Roger Smethurst praised the nerve of Adam Fawcett as Heywood Seconds made it two out of two against a committed Werneth side.
Fawcett, finishing unbeaten on 48, held the middle and lower order together as Heywood chased down a rain-reduced target of 147 for a two-wicket victory at the Coppice that was testament to the strength in depth at Crimble these days.
Smethurst said: “This was a really good win in what were difficult conditions to field in, and then we definitely got the worst of the wicket when we batted as it got wet and the bounce became a bit unpredictable.
“In the circumstances Adam Fawcett timed our run chase to perfection and never panicked even when the run rate got up to six an over.
“It was a very good innings under a lot of pressure and it showed again the strength of our lower order, after Simon Dawson had played a strong innings early on.”
Heywood won the toss and decided to field as the weather was indifferent and Smethurst knew the best chance of a result was by bowling Werneth out or through Duckworth / Lewis batting second.
Things didn’t start too well for Heywood! Coach and player Lee Grogan introduced a new warm up, which did not work well on veteran Rick Purser. As Smethurst said “this completely knackered Rick up and he bowled three of the worst overs I’ve ever seen him bowl”.
He was replaced by Simon Dawson, who picked wickets up on his way to a four-for. But although both he and Grogan bowled well, Heywood were unable to apply any pressure due to aggressive batting from Werneth and the odd bad ball.
Wickets did fall thanks to some good fielding, before Sam Byrne and Dominic Fawcett bowled key spells in the middle of the innings and really slowed Werneth’s scoring rate. Again, however, Heywood were left frustrated at leaving the home side 176-9 and not bowling them out.
Dawson and Matt Hood opened the Heywood response, Dawson playing a very aggressive innings putting bad balls away.
But Heywood lost Hood and then Dom Fawcett in quick succession and with rain around the result could have gone either way. Smethurst and Dawson came off for rain twice and the target was eventually reduced down to 147.
A major turning point in the game was ten a poor decision by the square leg umpire, who gave Dawson run out when he appeared well over the crease with both bat and body.
Heywood then stuttered losing both Smethurst and Phil Dawson before Adam Fawcett and Chris Booth put on 30 to help rebuild the innings.
Although the run rate had crept up to five an over Heywood always looked like they could win as long as they didn’t lose wickets.
However. Booth was bowled with the score on 102 and Grogan was out for a duck second ball before Scott Jones then put on 40 with Fawcett to almost see Heywood home before he was bowled.
Byrne then went in and Heywood won with 5 balls to spare after starting the last over needing five to win. Byrne got a single off the first ball, their bowler then bowled a wide and a further wide off which Heywood ran two to win with five balls to spare.
Smethurst continued: “This match just showed that in this new league set up there will be no easy games, as at the start of the day we might have considered Werneth one of the weaker teams in the top division.
“However they pushed us all the way and without Adam’s innings we would have been in real trouble.
“Next week is a very tough game for us against Walsden with whom we had three tough games last year – most notably the Burton Cup semi final.”
N Ullah c Byrne b S Dawson 25
D Longden c and b S Dawson 8
I Dronsfield b Grogan 7
J Burston not out 56
J Lutner c Booth b S Dawson 18
J Taylor c S Dawson b Byrne 23
N Khan c Byrne b D Fawcett 8
A Umar st Jones b Byrne 0
F Shagir b S Dawson 7
S Niaz st Jones b Grogan 9
M Sajid not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 176
Fall of wickets: Purser 3-0-19-0, Grogan 13-4-42-2, S Dawson 15-1-58-4, Byrne 12-0-39-2, D Fawcett 7-1-15-1
S Dawson run out 40
M Hood lbw b Shagir 8
D Fawcett b Shagir 0
R Smethurst c Shagir b Burston 15
P Dawson lbw b Khan 2
A Fawcett not out 48
C Booth b Khan 12
L Grogan c and b Khan 0
S Jones b Shagir 7
S Byrne not out 1
Total (for 8 wkts, 38.1 overs) 148
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-25, 3-64, 4-71, 5-71, 6-102, 7-102, 8-142
Bowling: Shagir 7-0-14-3, Sajid 3-0-24-0, Burston 15-2-46-1, Khan 13.1-3-48-3
HEYWOOD WIN BY TWO WICKETS ON REDUCED TARGET
- Incelement Weather Intervenes At Werneth
- Heywood Seconds Conquer Weather Then Tame Werneth
- Dawson Brothers On Fire, But Crompton Victory Built On Smethurst And Fawcett Foundations
- Heywood Seconds Make Short Work Of Werneth
- No Hiccups As Smethurst’s Seconds Ease Past Unsworth
- Seconds Pay Price For Below-Par Target
- Never-Say-Die Spirit Helps Seconds To Another Superb Victory
- Dynamo Dawson In Electric Form As Sparks Fly In Seconds’ Rochdale Victory
- Purser And Jones Seal Exciting Victory For Seconds
- Smethurst: Plenty To Improve On Despite Opening Day Success