Heywood seconds secured their survival in the top division of second team cricket for 2015 with a well-deserved victory at Rochdale.
Having narrowly lost to the Redbrook side the previous Sunday, Heywood turned up confident of overturning that result.
Heywood were asked to bat in wet conditions and were indebted to a fine innings of 76 from Sean Burrill that helped take the Crimble side to a testing target of 181-7.
After losing Hood and Blundell cheaply, Burrill came to the crease and played with a combination of watchfulness and attacking intent.
With Adam Fawcett and Mark Wright both departing having looked well set, Burrill was joined by Chris Booth and the two of them put together a partnership of 67 that was crucial in ensuring Heywood posted a challenging total.
Both batsmen were quick to put bad balls away with five sixes hit as Heywood for once put pressure on the fielding team.
It came as a surprise when Burril eventually departed when he appeared on his way to a century and it was left to Dom Fawcett and Roger Smethurst to take Heywood to a respectable position at tea.
The Rochdale innings didn’t go as planned for Heywood, with openers Crabtree and Hussain showing initial patience against the Heywood opening attack of Purser and Mills before they then went on the attack.
Dom Fawcett was introduced to try and repeat his heroics of the previous weekend but was lacking his usual accuracy and at 51 – 0 the game was in the balance.
Heywood turned to Mikey Grogan and he was to bowl a crucial spell, picking up 2-29 from 13 overs, working in tandem with Rick Purser to stem the run rate.
Purser eventually struck the crucial breakthroughs in removing both openers in quick succession finishing with 2-25 from his 15 overs.
With overseas first teamer Brown run out by Smethurst following a mix up, Heywood were starting to take a grip of the game and when the Heywood skipper introduced himself into the attack and picked up four wickets in quick succession the game seemed to be heading in Heywood’s favour.
A smart run out by Mikey Grogan off his own bowling accounted for Rochdale’s ninth wicket and Heywood were left facing the Rochdale pair of Gilbertson and Avery, who had snatched victory from them only 7 days earlier, as they sought the victory needed to ensure league survival.
Gilbertson seemed set on taking the game all the way, hititng a number of aggressive shots off a tiring Smethurst, who eventually finished with figures of 4-53.
However with 26 needed from the last two overs it was left to Mikey Grogan to secure victory for the Crimble side when he bowled Gilbetson for 31, leaving the Rochdale side 21 runs short.
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