REPORT BY ROGER SMETHURST: Heywood 2nds put in what captain Steve Evans described as their “best all round performance of the season” as they won a closely contested game at Dukinfield on Saturday.
Batting first, it quickly became apparent that – on a wicket with low and inconsistent bounce and an outfield that was lush and slow – scoring was not going to be easy for a youthful Heywood line- up.
But with application showed by all the Heywood batsmen Heywood toiled towards a respectable total, with opening batsmen Mikey Grogan showing great patience in compiling the game’s highest score of 39.
He received support from all the Heywood line-up including youthful third teamers Matt Dearden and Connor McNally. They showed they were not out of their depth at this level of cricket, something that has to bode well for the club in the future.
When Grogan departed, Chris Booth continued to help the visitors set a respectable total and he finished the innings in style with a huge straight six to leave himself on 24 not out and Heywood on 142-7.
Heywood knew that if they were to win then accurate bowling was essential in the conditions. And despite a somewhat erratic start they quickly made inroads into the Dukinfield line-up, reducing the home side to 30-3 with Tom Pagett picking up a couple of wickets.
However, the home team responded and sought to rebuild their innings, learning from Heywood’s earlier watchfulness in the tricky conditions.
The scoreboard slowly ticked over although not without some good fortune, as Heywood dropped three catches in the face of disciplined bowling from Chris Kaye and Olivia Thomas.
Kaye eventually finished with the economical figures of 14 overs for 30 runs but for once he was not Heywood’s main wicket-taker.
That honour fell to Thomas, who, after her recent successes with Lancashire, returned figures of 3-44 from her 14-over spell.
A tight finish appeared on the cards but accurate bowling from Grogan, Thomas and Zeeshan Baig – supported by improved fielding that included a fine diving catch by Thomas at ‘cow corner’ – saw Heywood win by 16 runs with the home side nine wickets down.
With a line-up missing a number of regular second teamers this was an encouraging performance where everybody contributed, with great application and concentration shown in difficult conditions.
And although relegation appears almost certain for the second team there were a lot of positives to be taken into the final three games of the season.
HEYWOOD 2nd X1
C Kaye c Mayne b Hyde 5
M Grogan st Mayne b Mujeed 39
M Dearden c Hyde b Collins 8
R Smethurst c Shaw b Mujeed 12
C Booth not out 24
C McNally b Collins 8
O Thomas st Mayne b Shaw 5
S Evans c Collins b Shaw 9
D Hilton not out 0
Total (for 7 wkts, 45 overs) 142
Fall of wickets: 14-1, 55-2, 81-3, 84-4, 112-5, 123-6, 136-7
Bowling: T Hyde 14-3-34-1, C Shaw 12-0-38-2, M Collins 14-1-46-2, Z Mujeed 5-0-21-2
DUKINFIELD 2nd X1
M Collins lbw b Pagett 3
M Mayne c Dearden b Baig 5
R Creighton c C Kaye b Pagett 14
M Roberts c Booth b Thomas 30
C Shaw st Booth b Thomas 24
F Hussain not out 22
T Hyde c Booth b M Grogan 19
S Philburn c Thomas b M Grogan 0
Z Mujeed c Booth b Thomas 0
B Burgess c Smethurst b Baig 1
C Malpas not out 1
Total (for 9 wkts, 45 overs) 126
Fall of wickets: 5-1, 21-2, 30-3, 81-4, 83-5, 123-6, 123-7, 123-8, 125-9
Bowling: Z Baig 9-0-24-2, T Pagett 4-1-17-2, C Kaye 14-2-30-0, O Thomas 14-0-44-3, M Grogan 4-1-11-2
- None Found