Heywood enjoyed a satisfying warm-up to their CLL season opener at Clifton.
They beat Middleton by five wickets at a welcoming Towncroft, chasing down the home side’s challenging total of 184 with 5 balls to spare.
Star of the show with the bat was, as always, Bobby Cross, the former captain in superb form finishing unbeaten on 96. He hit a number of sixes in an exciting innings that was full of enterprising shots.
He was ably supported by captain Danny Pawson, who hit a well-paced 54 that got better and better as it went along before he was well caught.
The game was notable for the first XI debut of England Women’s star Kate Cross, who broke down some big barriers with her appearance. In future years, this will be the norm in many sports but for now the club should be proud to have a young player make such a breakthrough.
She certainly looks well capable of claiming a first-team spot alongside brother Bobby on a regular basis and she picked up two good wickets on a flat deck.
However, the pick of the bowlers was Andy Dawson. The young all-rounder bowled with pace and accuracy to finish with 2-18 off 8 solid overs.
Mention, too, should go to George Walker and Grant Jones, who hit excellent half centuries as Middleton set a good target.
The only downside to the day is knowing that Middleton are in Division Two of a badly-organised league. The Moonrakers and clubs like Milnrow are flagship and historic clubs, and we need to play each other on a regular basis.
Finally, for the supporters, it was a lovely day with plenty of banter between old sparring partners. A better way to start a season, with good facilities at a great ground, it’s hard to imagine.
G Walker c and b K Cross 82
R Tierney c Pawson b A Dawson 3
P Foden c Hunt b K Cross 5
G Jones c and b A Dawson 72
F Shaghir not out 6
T Rutter not out 6
Total (for 4 wkts, 40 overs) 184
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-32, 3-162, 4-176
Bowling: S Dawson 8-0-45-0, A Dawson 8-3-18-2, K Cross 8-1-38-2, H Naeem 4-0-16-0, C Kaye 7-0-28-0, R Cross 5-0-32-0
L Mason b Pritchard 0
S Dawson c Jones b Buckley 17
R Cross not out 96
D Pawson c Walker b Rutter 54
W Hunt b Holmes 0
A Dawson b Holmes 11
P Dawson not out 0
Total (for 5 wkts, 39.1 overs) 188
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-42, 3-158, 4-165, 5-177
Bowling: M Buckley 7-1-26-1, M Pritchard 8-1-31-1, G Walker 7-2-36-0, G Hughes 6-1-40-0, T Rutter 6-0-21-1, S Holmes 5.1-0-29-2
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