Jul 232012


Bobby Cross returns to Crimble ready for a shower after Saturday's depressing visit to Oldham

REPORT AND OPINION BY SCOTT McHUGH: Heywood were glad to beat a hasty escape from the Pollards with all five points on Saturday.

On a pitch resembling a mudbath, on an unkempt ground with no facilities for players nor visiting supporters, Heywood fought hard to post a total of 112 against 10-man Oldham, and then bowled straight and with purpose to bowl the hosts out for 83.

Heywood’s score owed much to the perseverance of Ross Zelem, who batted a long time for the 27 runs that gave Bobby Cross’ side the chance to post a defendable total.

The only other innings of note – on the scorecard at least – was from Danny Pawson (24), although anyone who lasted for any length of time deserved praise.

Oldham were soon in disarray at 18-5, and only some attempted biffing from the late middle order saw Oldham reach 83. Pro Travis Townsend took three wickets, while Humza Naeem picked up three and Hamish Paterson two.

The final ignominy of a day where spectators were told to go to a local off-licence if they wanted a drink was that the showers and toilet were not functioning for the players and they had to drive back to Crimble to get changed.

The majority of Heywood supporters stayed away from a club that should now be kicked out of the league. The support and spirit of the second team at Crimble showed there is a will to keep the club going, but there is no evidence of that at the Pollards.

Once the toughest place to play league cricket, it is now a shambles and must fill the heart of every former Oldham player and supporter with sorrow when they see the place now. Nothing is more indicative of the club’s fall from grace than the fact the old club and bar is now a separate entity. While that does well, the cricket club has no source of income and no way to improve.

Sympathy and empathy with Oldham’s plight has run out, and there is no way back in the CLL. It’s a shame

R Zelem run out 27
A Dawson c Hassan b Ashraf 6
T Townsend b Syed 2
D Pawson c Ramzan b Ashraf 24
R Cross c Ashraf b Usman 9
D Latham c Aslam b Usman 2
R Slawson lbw b S Hassan 8
C Kaye not out 5
H Paterson lbw b Usman 1
J Lovell c Aslam b Usman 0
H Naeem lbw b S Hassan 0
Extras 28
Total (38.5 overs) 112
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-23, 3-62, 4-77, 5-81, 6-105, 7-105, 8-106, 9-106, 10-112
Bowling: Ashraf 10-2-25-2, Syed 10-1-35-1, S Hassan 9.5-1-29-2, Usman 9-5-16-4

N Hussain c Cross b Paterson 9
Z Jatoi lbw b Paterson 0
A Bajwa c Dawson b Townsend 2
S Hassan lbw b Townsend 1
W Aslam b Townsend 0
H Ramzan c Lovell b Naeem 25
N Ashraf c Zelem b Townsend 27
H Usman c Latham b Naeem 8
U Hassan lbw b Naeem 0
Last man absent
Extras 11
Total (22.4 overs) 83
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-5, 3-17, 4-17, 5-18, 6-55, 7-70, 8-70, 9-83
Bowling: Paterson 10-2-30-2, Townsend 7.4-1-36-4, H Naeem 5-1-14-3

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