They lost by five wickets, with just one ball left, to Rochdale in a tense finale. But Heywood may have done enough to make the last eight on run rate, following earlier exciting victories over Norden and Middleton.
The only other match left to play in the Group, following earlier abandonments, is Norden v Rochdale tomorrow (Friday) night. And all teams have lost at least one game.
The defeat at Redbrook was Heywood’s third in a row, following the Wood Cup exit at Milnrow and the first Central Lancashire League KO at Norden.
But this was a much more spirited display, with the visitors just failing to defend what seemed an inadequate 113-4 on a ground which was still suffering from the recent monsoons.
Heywood’s total was based around a fine start inspired by Andy Dawson, who made 30 out of a first wicket stand of 38 in five overs with skipper Bobby Cross.
Left-arm spinner Greg Butterworth came into the attack to get rid of both within the space of four balls. And from then on Heywood struggled to keep the momentum going despite useful contributions of 22 by professional Travis Townsend and an unbeaten 26 from Dale Latham.
Rochdale looked to be coasting in their reply when openers Byron Hancock and Malinda Warnapura reached 50 after eight overs.
But Heywood dug in and some determined bowling and sparkling fielding gave them a chance.
Sri Lankan professional Warnapura was stumped by Danny Pawson off Joe Lovell for 28, Rochdale’s own Andy Dawson went to a terrific catch off a skier to Curtis Maguire at extra cover, and James Maurice-Scott was another victim of a tremendous catch in the deep – this time by Ross Zelem from the bowling of Maguire.
And when South African overseas amateur Hancock was then run out for 27 by a direct hit by Dawson running in from the square leg boundary, Rochdale were 93-4 still needing 20 with four overs left.
Easy? Not a bit of it. Butterworth went three runs later, the impressive Maguire’s second victim this time to a catch behind the stumps, and it was left to young Tom Avery to join the experienced Daz Cryer.
They nervously edged towards their target but still needed six runs off the final over of the game bowled by Hamish Paterson.
And there was a roar of relief from the home fans when, with two balls left and two still needed for victory, Cryer sliced a boundary through backward point.
R Cross c Dawson b Butterworth 7
A Dawson b Butterworth 30
T Townsend b Warnapura 22
D Pawson st Crabtree b Cryer 11
D Latham not out 26
C Maguire not out 10
Total (for 4 wkts, 20 overs) 113
Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-39, 3-59, 4-92
Bowling: Harling 3-0-17-0, T Avery 2-0-21-0, Butterworth 4-0-15-2, Cryer 4-0-17-1, Warnapura 4-0-27-1, Maurice-Scott 3-0-13-0
B Haycock run out 27
S Warnapura st Pawson b Lovell 28
A Dawson c Maguire b Townsend 12
J Maurice-Scott c Zelem b Maguire 15
G Butterworth c Pawson b Maguire 2
D Cryer not out 12
T Avery not out 6
Total (for 5 wkts, 19.5 overs) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-67, 3-92, 4-93, 5-96
Bowling: Naeem 2-0-14-0, Grogan 2-0-14-0, Lovell 4-0-18-1, Townsend 4-0-27-1, Maguire 4-0-16-2, Paterson 3.5-0-20-0
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- Distinct Lack Of Vigour As Shot-happy Dale Beat Heywood
- Rochdale Inflict Fatal Blow To Heywood Title Hopes
- Flawless Cross Keeps Heywood Rolling
- Kaye And Townsend Steal Show As Rochdale Are Hammered
- New Ball Duo Bring Dale To Their Knees
- Heywood Struggle Again As Rochdale Ease To Second Win In 24 Hours