SATURDAY: LITTLEBOROUGH 2nd XI 208-4, HEYWOOD 2nd XI 118 – Heywood lost by 59 runs (D/L method)
SUNDAY: HEYWOOD 2nd XI 126 MIDDLETON 2nd XI 129-8 (Purser 3-45, Hilton 3-22, Grogan 2-55) – Heywood lost by two wickets
Heywood Seconds paid the price for a lack of consistency with the bat as they slumped to two defeats last weekend.
On Sunday at Crimble, a series of collapses, interspersed with some periods of defiance with the willow, left them with too much of a mountain to climb and they eventually succumbed to a two-wicket defeat at the hands of near neighbours Middleton.
And the previous day at Littleborough, they endured the worst of the rain-affected conditions and went down to a 59-run defeat chasing a reduced target of 177.
Sunday’s visit to Crimble of Middleton was undoubtedly the game of the weekend, but it didn’t look like being so as Heywood again failed to shine with the bat.
They lost too many early wickets, with top three Simon Dawson, Dave Hilton and Dale Latham all back in the pavilion with single figures to their name.
Only Phil Dawson (pictured) showed some real desire to stay at the crease in the face of some accurate bowling from a Middleton side boasting left-arm legend Lee Wolstenholme, but when he went for 26 things looked grim.
However, Chris Booth (24) and Mikey Grogan (18) ensured there would be some fight from Heywood, and only a quick flurry of wickets at the end, including that of Rick Purser to the delight of his former club-mates, stopped Heywood scoring more than their 126.
In reply Purser and Grogan caused early problems for Middleton, picking up two wickets apiece, but the visitors kept going along at a decent pace and reached 108-4 before the game turned on its head.
Hilton, who had replaced Grogan at the Lake End, suddenly found some drift and with Purser picking up his third wicket and skipper Roger Smethurst subsequently bottling things up from the Pavilion End, Middleton found themselves suffocating at 114-7.
But despite Hilton picking up his third wicket, finishing with 3-22 off 10.4, Middleton edged home, leaving Smethurst to rue his side’s inability to dig deeper with the bat.
He said: “It’s the same story it’s been all season – just not enough runs.”
Saturday’s trip to Littleborough saw the home side bat first in changeable conditions and rack up an imposing 208-4 off 49 overs. The pick of the bowlers for Heywood was again Grogan who helped himself to 2-45 off 15 overs.
Rain caused the Duckworth-Lewis method to kick in and Heywood were left to get 177.
They never threatened to chase this and were dismissed for just 118 off 31 overs, with no one making more than Sean Burrill’s 17.
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