Heywood ran into a determined, experienced and classy Littleborough side at Crimble, who ended their unbeaten start to the season.
The home side were thoroughly outplayed from the moment the coin came down in Littleborough’s favour and Chris Schofield elected to bowl in a match reduced to 28 overs a side and on a damp, lively wicket.
Stars of the show for Littleborough with the ball were two men firmly in the veteran bracket, as Heywood could only muster 101 all out off 26.5 overs.
Mo Bux – once of Castleton Moor and Rochdale – bowled unchanged to finish with 2-48 off 13 overs, while Phil Deakin plonked them on a length and allowed the batsmen to get themselves out to finish with 4-15 off 6.2 wily overs.
Only Travis Townsend really looked in charge for Heywood after captain Bobby Cross went third ball, clipping a delivery from Stimpson to midwicket. He was soon followed by Ross Zelem, who was caught behind off Bux.
Townsend smashed Bux for a beautiful leg-side six and despite losing Danny Pawson with the score on 63, he looked set to take Heywood to a decent total.
However, he was run out in a mix up with Riley Paterson, and with him went Heywood’s hopes of a good target.
Paterson was caught by Chris McDonnell off Deakin, trying to go for the big hit, and a series of run-outs and desperate attempts to up the run rate saw Heywood bowled out for 101, a total which looked as though it would never be enough for a team boasting two of the best batsmen in the league.
Boro pro Clinton Perrin was joined at the crease by former England player Schofield with the score on 35-2, and the pair played with consummate ease and abundant quality.
Schofield was the aggressor, taking a liking to anything over-pitched and treating all the Heywood attack with contempt.
He finished unbeaten with a superb 54, while Perrin made sure there would be no wobbles at the other end with a solid, unbeaten 20 as his side cruised to an eight-wicket victory.
A lot of this result did hinge on the toss, but it would be churlish to use this as the major reason for Heywood’s defeat – Boro were simply too good on the day and Heywood’s inexperienced middle order were exposed to the wily ways of two of the league’s elder statesmen.
In the eternal battle between youth and experience, today experience won.
R Cross c Micklethwaite b Stimpson 0
R Zelem c Roche b Bux 9
T Townsend run out 37
D Pawson c Henderson b Deakin 16
R Paterson c McDonnell b Deakin 3
A Dawson c Deakin b Bux 13
W Hunt run out 1
J Lovell run out 0
H Naeem not out 9
A Fawcett b Deakin 2
C Kaye b Deakin 4
Total (26.5 overs) 101
Fall of wickets: 0-1, 2-24, 3-63, 4-70, 5-71, 6-76, 7-79, 8-87, 9-96, 10-101
Bowling: Stimpson 3-0-20-1, Bux 13-3-48-2, Micklethwaite 2.3-0-12-0, Schofield 1.3-0-5-0, Deakin 6.5-2-15-4
J Smith-Butler b Paterson 8
C McDonnell b Townsend 17
C Perren not out 20
C Schofield not out 54
Total (for 2 wkts, 24.1 overs) 103
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-35
Bowling: Paterson 7-2-18-1, Townsend 9-2-30-1, Naeem 2-0-17-0, Kaye 3-0-18-0, Lovell 2.1-0-18-0
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- Bowlers And Zelem Usher In Crushing Nine-Wicket Royton Victory
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- Boro End Heywood Cup Run In Crimble Thriller
- Pictures And Scorecard From HCC v Royton – Weekend Report And Middleton Card And Pics To Come