BELOW-PAR Heywood were steamrollered out of the Royal London National Club Championship at the area final stage by a powerful Hyde side at Crimble.
Heywood were a shadow of the team that had put up impressive displays to see off Farnworth, Prestwich and Walsden in the previous rounds as they crashed to defeat by 167 runs.
Home skipper Danny Pawson looked crestfallen when he lost the toss. And it proved to be crucial as Hyde rattled along at a brisk rate throughout their innings to rattle up 270.
Star of the visitors’ batting show with 80 was 16-year-old George Balderson, after openers Dave Fitzsimmons (44) and Danny Berry had set the tone with a quickfire stand of 41.
Further useful contributions came consistently down the aggressive order, particularly 35 apiece from the talented James Duffy and Ryan Waterhouse, and the only real surprise that the visitors did not get nearer the 300 mark – which looked a probability for most of the innings.
Heywood did manage to pull it back a little towards the end of the 45 overs but the bowling unit struggled in general. Clear best of the bunch was professional Travis Townsend, who reverted to bowling off-spin and claimed 2-36 in the middle of the Hyde innings.
The home side needed a positive reply to set themselves up with a chance of the daunting run chase, but calamity struck in the opening over by Jason Whittaker as he got rid of Andy Dawson and the struggling Andy Kerr.
When Bobby Cross and Danny Pawson, lynchpins of the batting line-up this season, followed for 15 and eight respectively it was 42-4 and the hill to climb had become a mountain.
Townsend battled to restore some respectability before falling for 41, but the rest of the line-up folded tamely in just 26.4 overs as Heywood just managed to reach three figures.
Reaching the area final was quite an achievement but Heywood certainly did not do themselves justice on the day.
Best wishes to Hyde as they march on in their pursuit of National glory yet they probably could hardly believe that it would be such a cakewalk. So did many of the local supporters!
D Berry c K Cross b S Dawson 19
D Fitzsimmons b Townsend 44
G Balderson c Hunt b S Dawson 80
J Duffy c S Dawson b Townsend 35
R Waterhouse not out 35
E Young c A Dawson b Pawson 5
D Cranmer st R Cross b Pawson 26
L Reeves b Pawson 0
J Whittaker not out 1
Total (for 7 wkts, 45 overs) 270
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-118, 3-181, 4-209, 5-217, 6-265, 7-265
Bowling: S Dawson 9-1-42-2, A Dawson 3-0-23-0, D Pawson 8-0-50-3, K Cross 7-0-48-0, J Morley 9-0-57-0, T Townsend 9-1-36-2
R Cross c Allcock b Whittaker 15
A Dawson c Duffy b Whittaker 0
A Kerr c Allcock b Whittaker 0
T Townsend c Hewitt b Young 41
D Pawson c Hewitt b Cramner 8
J Morley st Allcock b Hewitt 12
S Burrill lbw b Balderson 16
W Hunt b Cranmer 3
L Mason not out 3
S Dawson b Cranmer 0
K Cross c Whittaker b Balderson 0
Total (26.4 overs) 103
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-1, 3-31, 4-42, 5-75, 6-81, 7-100, 8-102, 9-102, 10-103
Bowling: J Whittaker 9-0-32-3, D Cranmer 7-1-22-3, G Balderson 3.4-1-14-2, C Hewitt 4-1-20-1, E Young 3-0-12-1
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