Bobby Cross played the innings of the season to help Heywood to victory over Radcliffe at Crimble yesterday.
In a rain-reduced encounter at Crimble – the game started at 3.40pm and was a 23-over affair – Heywood posted an imposing target of 132, thanks mainly to Cross’ sublime, unbeaten 77.
Then Chris Kaye and Curtis Maguire ripped through the Radcliffe batting, bowling them out for 78 for a 54-run victory and five crucial points. With Norden losing at Walsden, it leaves Heywood as the only challengers to the Villagers, who are eight points clear and are looking hard to beat, especially at home.
However, Heywood can only win their games, and Cross’ performance leading from the front really was something admire.
Put into bat by Radcliffe after a terrific effort from all involved at the club to the game on, the new ball pairing of Mark Burns and former Heywood favourite Steve Cheetham found lift and movement and had both Cross and Ross Zelem in a bit of trouble early on, before the young opener was well caught at slip by Ben Johnson off Burns.
Cross soon settled in and he started to play the bouncing ball and lateral movement with the class of a professional cricketer, glancing the short ball backward of square on the leg side and late through backward point, then driving, cutting and pulling with power. It was as good an innings I have seen from Cross.
He received some support from pro Travis Townsend, who was unlucky to be caught down the leg side off Cheetham, as well as Danny Pawson and Maguire, but it really was the Bobby Cross show and he left the field to great applause from another good home crowd on what was turning into a lovely afternoon.
In reply Radcliffe made a steady start, but once Kaye came on everything changed. Chasing is never easy on Heywood, and soon the Radcliffe batsmen tried to play wonder shots and Kaye and Maguire took advantage.
Maguire was on a hat-trick at one stage – trapping Smalley lbw then bowling a swinging Cheetham first ball – and it was fitting that as the collection came round for Kaye’s five-for, Maguire wrapped up the Radcliffe innings by bowling pro Phil Hayes.
All in all a fine performance from a team who are playing as well now as they have done all season.
R Cross not out 77
R Zelem c Johnson b Burns 1
T Townsend c Robinson b Cheetham 19
D Pawson st Robinson b Johnson 10
C Maguire st Wolstencroft b Cheetham 8
D Latham c Coates b Burns 6
H Paterson not out 0
FOW: 1-6; 2-57; 3-76; 4-97; 5-115.
Total (for five wickets, 23 overs) 132
Bowling: Cheetham 12-0-64-2, Burns 7-0-34-2, Johnson 4-0-28-1.
M Burns c Pawson b Kaye 20
G Wolstencroft b Maguire 8
A Blake lbw Kaye 5
P Hayes b Maguire 18
C Berry c Slawson b Kaye 0
B Johnson b Maguire 0
M Coates c Slawson b Kaye 1
M Smalley lbw Maguire 3
S Cheetham b Maguire 0
M Robinson st Pawson b Kaye 3
D Farley not out 0
FOW: 1-39; 2-43; 3-50; 4-54; 5-56; 6-62; 7-70; 8-70; 9-77; 10-78
Total (all out 21.1 overs) 78
Bowling: Paterson 5-1-18-0, Maguire 10.1-0-26-5, Kaye 6-0-24-5
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- Brilliant Fielding Sees Heywood To Thrilling Victory