A FREAK injury to Andy Dawson overshadowed Heywood’s 31-run defeat at Woodhouses, which puts the home team top of Division One of the Greater Manchester League and demotes their opponents to third.
But a highlight for Heywood was a first half-century for the senior team for 24-year-old Sean Burrill, whose 61 off just 62 balls threatened to pull the match out of the fire.
Dawson, fielding at backward point with Woodhouses 18-1, appeared to make a routine stop only to be forced to leave the field with an apparent dislocation of his thumb.
The 23-year-old was taken to hospital where the diagnosis became worse. In addition, he is believed to have suffered tendon damage and a fracture – requiring an operation – and will almost certainly be out for the season.
Heywood never really recovered from the setback as the home side made 185-8 from their 50 overs on an up-and-down wicket, then were always chasing the game and eventually folded for 154-9 with Dawson obviously unable to bat.
It leaves Heywood four points behind Woodhouses and two behind Greenmount, with seven games left to try and finish in the top four and earn promotion back to the Premier League.
There were bright spots for the visitors, however, and none more so than Burrill’s admirable contribution.
He went to the wicket to join Danny Pawson at 69-5, effectually 69-6 considering the Dawson blow, and the duo dovetailed so well that they raised hopes of pulling off a rescue act.
Burrill was in a positive frame of mind from the outset and stayed that way despite losing his skipper for 43, made out of 82 balls and containing two sixes and four boundaries, with the score 115.
But the younger partner continued to time the ball impressively, and four sixes added to four boundaries underlined his fluent timing. He only perished caught and bowled by Alex Spender going for another maximum with the total 148 and the run rate creeping up.
Earlier, Heywood may reflect that Woodhouses made just a few too many runs on a tricky track despite another impressive bowling spell by Jack Morley.
The 16-year-old came on for the 12th over and turned in a maximum 15-over parsimonious stint to finish with the outstanding figures of 2-21 with six maidens. And, in truth, he deserved a bigger wickets haul.
So Heywood move on to another key game on Saturday at home to Stand, who have climbed the table impressively in recent weeks and are now just 11 points behind the Crimble side.
L Johnston c Pawson b S Dawson 1
S Webb run out 20
R Sloan lbw b Morley 39
H Gunathilaka run out 7
N Hardman c Hunt b Morley 25
A Spender run out 28
C Reeves b Pawson 23
P Johnston not out 18
Z Booth c K Cross b Pawson 3
J Butler not out 1
Total (for 8 wkts, 50 overs) 185
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-69, 3-72, 4-94, 5-120, 6-159, 7-163, 8-181
Bowling: S Dawson 7-1-26-1, C Hilton 5-0-10-0, J Morley 15-6-21-2, D Pawson 11-0-51-2, K Cross 12-0-66-0
A Kerr c Gunathilaka b Butler 0
W Hunt run out 0
S Dawson b Spender 12
J Morley run out 14
D Pawson c Gunathilaka b Butler 43
T Townsend c Reeves b P Johnston 4
S Burrill c and b Spender 61
M Witts b Butler 1
K Cross c Butler b Spender 7
C Hilton not out 0
A Dawson – did not bat
Total (for 9 wkts, 47.1 overs) 154
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-6, 3-17, 4-45, 5-60, 6-115, 7-128, 8-148, 9-154
Bowling: J Butler 15-3-39-3, A Spender 11.1-4-42-3, N Hardman 13-4-34-0, P Johnston 8-0-38-1
- None Found