Aug 122013
A rather chuffed Sheriff lifts the Burton Cup

A rather chuffed Sheriff lifts the Burton Cup

Sam Byrne and Rick Purser rescued Heywood Seconds from the brink of defeat to set up a thrilling Burton Cup final victory at Walsden yesterday.

They put on 62 for the final wicket to lead Heywood to a par total of 171 all out at Scott Street.

Then, with Dom Fawcett (2-19 off nine) the pick of the bowlers, Heywood stayed cool in the field to bowl Walsden out for 162, a nine-run victory and the first time since 1996 the seconds have won the Burton Cup.

Byrne won the man-of-the-match award for his splendid 35 and two wickets, but plaudits must go to everyone in the side for a performance that thrilled all who were there.

The win was especially sweet for 40-year-old skipper Roger Smethurst, who has given so much to the side and the club over the past 25 years and more.

His delight was evident when he was presented with the cup by league secretary Alan Wright, and no one at the club begrudged him his evening of celebrations, especially after last year’s near-miss in the final against Middleton.

Smethurst had earlier lost the toss and was put into bat, and must have wished he’d been given the chance to bowl as disaster lurked around every bowling change.

He was first to go, bowled by Harlow for four, as the pitch showed signs of spitting from a length, followed by the occasional one that skidded through.

Matt Hood looked in good nick, but he played a rash shot after hitting a lovely cover drive for four and was caught at cover of young opening bowler Chris Hanson.

Wickets fell at regular intervals after this as the runs dried up. Simon Dawson tried to up the scoring with three fours before he was bowled, and Mikey Grogan looked to be in good nick as Heywood failed to play straight against a disciplined Walsden attack.

Only Adam Fawcett showed any real stickability, taking his time over a 23 that provided some backbone to the innings, but he couldn’t get any help.

Heywood looked down and out on 109-9 with 11 overs remaining against a very strong Walsden side, when Purser joined Byrne at the crease.

What happened next will then go down in Heywood folklore. With the 56-year-old Purser showing the qualities that saw him score runs against some of the best pros in CLL history, Byrne played the aggressor’s role and looked every inch a top order batsmen as he hit runs all round Scott Street.

Every run was cheered by a good Heywood support, every boundary brought a standing ovation and very quickly the pair took Heywood past 150 and on to a total that could be defended.

They took it into the final over, and Byrne crowned a marvellous innings with a straight six off Hanson before being bowled for a quite superb 35 after the pair had put on 62 for the final wicket. Purser finished unbeaten on 14, and showed everyone else how to play on a difficult pitch.

Heywood’s total of 171 was far more than Walsden could and should have been chasing, and this was the catalyst for the excellent performance in the field that followed.

Smethurst’s side didn’t panic despite Stuart Hanson and fellow opener R Howley playing patiently and well in their bid to chase down 172 with no fuss.

But eventually Howley top-edged a slog off Purser – well caught by Smethurst – and then Dom Fawcett produced the outstanding spell of the match.

He immediately found a line and length and denied Walsden any scoring shots, and with Byrne bowling well at the other end, the wickets started to fall.

Byrne removed Hanson – brilliantly caught by Purser at slip – and Fawcett removed the dangerous Kris Halstead caught behind by Sean Burrill, and then D Howley in the same way.

Walsden were now 64-4, but the experienced Paul Marrow and Danny Bailey set about rebuilding the innings, surviving difficult drops by Burrill and Purser to put on 46 for the fifth wicket.

The match then swung Heywood’s way again, Byrne trapping Bailey leg before, then Grogan, moved uphill, bowling the second key spell of the day and trapping Marrow then Brown leg before in the same over.

Simon Dawson was left to bowl out down the hill and he kept things tight, bowling Harlow, then with Smethurst forced to bowl the third last over himself, the first of two late run outs left Walsden needing a miracle.

This wasn’t forthcoming, and Halstead was run out in the last over to spark wild celebrations from Heywood.

It was a performance full of grit and determination, but Smethurst’s captaincy cannot go by without mention.

His field placings were excellent, he never once panicked and his control and use of his bowlers was first class. His discipline on the pitch rubbed off on his younger players and he really led by example.

M Hood c K Halstead b C Hanson 14
R Smethurst b Harlow 4
D Fawcett c C Hanson b S Hanson 7
B Thulborn c and b Butcher 1
A Fawcett b M Halstead 23
S Dawson b M Halstead 13
M Grogan b Butcher 7
L Grogan c K Halstead b M Halstead 0
S Burrill b Harlow 9
S Byrne b S Hanson 35
R Purser not out 14
Extras 44
Total (49.5 overs) 171
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-26, 3-34, 4-35, 5-49, 6-78, 7-86, 8-94, 9-109, 10-171
Bowling: Harlow 10-2-37-2, C Hanson 10-2-40-1, Butcher 10-4-12-2, S Hanson 9.5-1-41-2, M Halstead 10-1-39-3
R Howley c Smethurst b L Grogan 21
S Hanson c Purser b Byrne 20
K Halstead c Burrill b D Fawcett 10
D Howley c Burrill b D Fawcett 0
D Bailey lbw b Byrne 21
P Marrow lbw b L Grogan 32
C Hanson not out 22
D Brown lbw b L Grogan 0
M Harlow b Dawson 8
M Butcher run out 9
M Halstead run out 2
Extras 17
Total (49.2 overs) 162
Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-62, 3-62, 4-64, 5-110, 6-122, 7-122, 8-141, 9-156, 10-162
Bowling: Purser 10-3-17-0, Dawson 9.2-0-46-1, L Grogan 10-3-22-3, Byrne 10-0-41-2, D Fawcett 9-1-19-2, Smehurst 1-0-9-0

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  8 Responses to “BURTON CUP FINAL: Byrne And Purser Stand Sets Up Deserved Victory”

  1. Wow what fantastic news – brilliant stuff guys I knew you could do it – nobody can say it is undeserved after coming so close to silverware last year.
    Particular pleased for Roger – the guy lives and breathes HCC and has endured some tough times down the years. Excellent captain and top bloke and nobody deserves this more than Roger for all the hard work and dedication.
    Many congratulations to the whole team – enjoy the celebrations – now bring the league title back too!

  2. So proud to see our lads win the Burton Cup yesterday. I hope the youngsters make the most of the memory – well done to all of you on a great team effort. Special congratulations to my old sparring partners and the two old timers in the side Roger and Rick – who both led from the front on the day.
    Looks like all that team bonding @ pit stops is paying dividends.

  3. Good work boys and well deserved!

    Special mention to Roge though!

    I’m pleased about this for Roge more than any of the successes this year. This isn’t to diminish what has already been achieved but if one man deserved some success down at the club its Roge!

    For our sins, I spend all winter with Roge traipsing around the country watching Bury and have listened to him go through a raft of emotions around his own and his teams cricketing performances! Above all his thoughts though, he wanted one thing more than anything …………….. Heywood 2nd XI to win a trophy!

    Reports of great games and youngsters development pleased him as much as they should but winning trophies can’t be matched, replaced or taken away! They become a benchmark by which teams are judged.

    Roge is a man of pure gold. HCC is in his blood and this victory is some reward for his efforts on and off the pitch! Here is a guy with one of the toughest jobs there is, yet he thinks nothing of devoting every other spare minute of his time to the club. Its a dedication matched only by very few.

    I’m made up for you Roge and i’m made up for the rest of the guys!!

    The club is awash with success at the minute in every facet and long may it continue !!

  4. Congratulations to Roger and his team!I was able to see the second half and what a tense session it was.It was pleasing to see Sam go up for his award but special congratulations to Roger.It was some reward for all the great work he has done for HCC.

  5. Top effort boys, congratulations and well done!

    Its pleasing to read the scorecard and note that 10 of our 11 Champions are all HCC developed cricketers who have come through the junior ranks at the club at one time or another.

    Sven of mid-90′s Walsden 2ndXI fame I’m sure a tad disappointed this morning.

  6. To see the look of pure joy on Rodger’s face as he entered the clubhouse holding his long sought after Trophy will stay with everyone for a long time. Well done to all the boys for a victory which must have been emotionally draining as well as exciting. Good also for all the First Team to rush back to the club from Barlick to congratulate the Seconds on their tremendous achievement.

  7. Well Mark I’m sure you are right in claiming that the bonding borne out of the pit stops down the years had some small part to play in all of this success – I hope the lager vs ‘proper’ beer banter is still going on.
    I am also sure that you will be banging the drum of the subsid now – after all the cup success was a mere warm up for the main event!
    By the way can anyone confirm Roger is ok and has not drunk himself into oblivion after such a fantastic day?

  8. A massive congratulations to all of the 2nd team members!

    Another trophy for the club and another message to all in the league that running a club properly and promoting the youth pays massive dividends!!

    Well done Roger and the boys!!

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