History repeated itself at Clifton on Saturday as Heywood contrived to lose a game they looked like winning comfortably.
Last August, Greg Jennings took eight wickets when he ripped through the Heywood middle order and tail as they collapsed from 198-4 to 215 all out chasing a target of 220.
This year, it was the unheralded Ben Chapman who wreaked havoc, picking up five quick, late wickets to send Heywood tumbling from 125-1 with five overs left chasing 152 to 142-7 when the overs ran out.
It was a poor collapse from Heywood, which could have been avoided if Bobby Cross or pro Tom Cullen had hung on in there to help the middle order through.
As it was, Chapman – better known to Heywood fans as promising top-order bat – bowled straight and full and was too much for a Heywood middle order who played some very poor shots.
The match started at 3pm and was reduced to 25 overs, but all credit to Clifton as the ground was in good condition despite the poor weather.
Pro Masmulla and Adam Griffiths went hell for leather from the off and were particular harsh on Simon Dawson as they marched to 84 before Chris Kaye removed Griffiths, sweeping to Wes Hunt behind square on the leg side.
Humza Naeem was loose early on but got come control back to get rid of Chapman and Dean Morris cheaply, and when Kaye removed paid-man Masmulla for 40, it looked as though the home side might be restricted to less than 140.
But Brown played some nice shots and despite another wicket for Kaye and one for Riley Paterson, Clifton made their way to 152-6 off their 25.
Heywood got off to a great start thanks to skipper Danny Pawson and Cross. The pair were, as usual, punishing to anything off line, with Pawson enjoying the spin of Parkinson when he was brought on.
The openers seemed to be cruising with the score on 89, but Pawson was bowled by Morris. Cross and Cullen looked to have settled things down but then disaster struck.
Cross became Chapman’s first victim – bowled – as he returned up the slope after opening the bowling downhill, then Cullen was immediately stumped playing a bit of a nothing shot off Morris and the score was 125-3.
With four overs to go Heywood should still have pushed for victory, but a series of limp shots and some very good bowling from Chapman saw the visitors crumple and fall well short in the end.
It was a bit of a fall to earth after the recent run of form in front of an optimistic visiting support, but all credit should go to a committed Clifton side for their efforts.
T Masmulla c Cross b Kaye 40
A Griffiths c Hunt b Kaye 47
B Chapman b Naeem 2
D Morris c Thulborn b Naeem 1
C Parkinson not out 8
J Brown c Pawson b Paterson 28
S Cheetham b Kaye 0
L Dorsey not out 9
Total (for 6 wkts, 25 overs) 152
Fall of wickets: 1-84, 2-89, 3-99, 4-100, 5-135, 6-136
Bowling: Paterson 8-0-34-1, S Dawson 3-0-26-0, Naeem 7-0-48-2, Kaye 7-1-39-3
R Cross b Chapman 48
D Pawson b Morris 55
T Cullen st Brown b Morris 13
W Hunt c Parkinson b Chapman 3
H Naeem b Chapman 1
R Paterson c Masmulla b Chapman 0
S Dawson b Chapman 0
B Thulborn not out 6
A Fawcett not out 3
Total (for 7 wkts, 25 overs) 142
Fall of wickets: 1-89, 2-125, 3-125, 4-129, 5-129, 6-129, 7-132
Chapman 10-2-46-5, Meredith 4-0-21-0, Parkinson 3-0-30-0, Morris 6-0-22-2, Dorsey 2-0-15-0
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