HEYWOOD found themselves on the wrong end of batting blitz as they went out of the Derek Kay 1st X1 Cup at the semi-final stage.
Royton, with big centuries from James Maurice-Scott and professional Chirag Khurana, rattled up a massive 372-6 from their 50 overs at The Paddock to put the tie virtually out of reach at the halfway stage.
And although the visitors responded bravely with 268 in reply it always looked like a mission impossible.
The Maurice-Scott and Khurana axis rattled up an opening partnership of 242 from little more than 33 overs in the face of a hapless Heywood attack before the latter went for a destructive 129 made off 95 balls, containing three sixes and 17 boundaries.
Maurice-Scott, who was dropped off a relatively easy chance on the backward square leg boundary when just 12 and the total 38-0, carried on regardless and finished up with a swashbuckling 160 from 146 balls featuring three sixes and 17 boundaries.
It was a run fest on the quick-scoring Royton ground, particularly with a short boundary to the pavilion side and the rapid outfield baked by tropical weather over the past few weeks.
The Royton middle-order batting line-up contributed with scores in the teens and there were some weary bowling figures and bodies as Heywood trooped off the field at the halfway stage.
Heywood promoted Andy Dawson to open the batting. And despite quickly losing Riley Paterson and Danny Pawson – the latter to a first ball caught behind that certainly did not please him – he briefly threatened to get Heywood off to a flier.
Dawson galloped to 33 from just 19 balls, including two sixes and five boundaries, until slicing a catch to the point boundary to make it 45-3. And, realistically, that was that.
Jack Morley was run out for three going for a quick single and at 74-4 there looked a possibility that Heywood could fold cheaply. But skipper Travis Townsend and Sean Burrill set about a revival that raised faint hopes of a miracle.
Burrill was in particularly belligerent form – more of the same in future please, Sean – and his exciting 69 off just 41 balls included three sixes and and eight boundaries.
Townsend, meanwhile, was proving the perfect foil at the other end and proving no slouch himself. But just when there appeared a glimmer of hope Burrill lifted another big hit towards the long-on boundary where Ryan Carruthers jubilantly snaffled the catch.
That was it, done and dusted, despite two late decent contributions from Dominick Fawcett and Simon Dawson, with Townsend seeing it through until the end before being last man out for a worthy 91 which included three sixes and nine boundaries.
At the end of the day, it was another Cup failure at a late hurdle with a below-strength side. It probably would not have been different result with a full complement to pick from … but it might have been.
J Maurice-Scott b S Dawson 160
C Khurana lbw b Townsend 129
R Carruthers b Townsend 0
A Carruthers c Townsend b S Dawson 13
R Holder c A Dawson b Townsend 16
J Greaves b A Dawson 17
C Thickett not out 10
N Sinkinson not out 1
Total (for 6 wkts, 50 overs) 372
Fall of wickets: 1-242, 2-242, 3-294, 4-337, 5-342, 6-366
Bowling: T McQuinn 9-0-66-0, S Dawson 8.5-0-52-2, D Pawson 10-0-67-0, T Townsend 10-0-82-3, J Morley 6-0-46-0, A Dawson 6.1-0-54-1
R Paterson c Joy b Holder 12
A Dawson c Thickett b Holder 33
D Pawson c Joy b Holder 0
T Townsend b N Maxwell 91
J Morley run out 3
S Burrill c R Carruthers b Khurana 69
M Witts lbw b Maurice-Scott 0
M Grogan b Maurice-Scott 2
D Fawcett lbw b Khurana 13
S Dawson b A Carruthers 21
T McQuinn not out 1
Total (43.3 overs) 268
Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-32, 3-45, 4-74, 5-165, 6-165, 7-184, 8-213, 9-259, 10-268
Bowling: R Holder 10-0-70-3, N Maxwell 7.3-0-36-1, J Maurice-Scott 10-0-52-2, A Carruthers 6-0-29-1, C Khurana 10-0-74-2
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