THREE brothers playing alongside each other in a senior side for the first time, two 15-year-old debutants and only four first team regulars.
That was the back story to Heywood Monkeys’ 81-run defeat by Heyside Hyenas in their second match of the Marstons T20 group.
Given the background to the Heywood team on the night, it would have come as a massive surprise if they had been able to pull off a victory at Little Hey Street.
The home team did everything right – winning the toss and posting a formidable 173-9 from their 20 overs, then taking Heywood wickets at regular intervals to restrict the visitors to 92 all out from 16.3 overs.
But behind those bare facts there was plenty to take from the game for Heywood, captained for the first time by Andy Dawson and also featuring his brothers Simon and Phil.
The skipper could do little to stem the flow of runs on a fast-scoring ground, and, at 102-1 early in the 10th over, there were visions of a final score topping 200.
But Heywood fought back pleasingly in the field led by Sam Byrne, clearly the pick of their attack on the night.
His flighted off-spinners produced deserved figures of 3-27 from his four overs, and he took a smart catch on the boundary edge to get rid of home professional Ashwin Hebbar.
Andy Dawson claimed two victims and there was one apiece for Simon Dawson and Lee Grogan.
Heywood’s 15-year-olds certainly did not disgrace themselves, either.
Tom Sullivan pulled off a smart piece of fielding and an accurate throw from point to wicketkeeper Wes Hunt to run out Ben Holt (40) after an opening stand of 69 in seven overs and one ball, and Harry Graham-Scott claimed a confident catch at point to account for a firmly-hit Ryan Barnes cut shot.
The run chase looked a mission impossible, however, considering Heywood’s resources. And so it proved.
Andy Dawson hit 15 from five balls of Will Avery’s first over until falling to a smart catch by Hebbar at cover, and Simon Dawson was bowled by the same man in the third over. And when Hunt was also bowled by Avery it was 26-3 and Heywood’s senior trio were back in the shed.
From then on it was clear that all Heywood really had left to play for was pride, and there were notable examples of that.
Graham-Scott hung around for a while until falling to a fine catch behind the stumps; Dominik Fawcett looked in excellent touch until being run out for 11; and Sullivan displayed promising character with 14 off 22 balls.
Grogan (16) and Phil Dawson (15) made sure that there was not an embarrassing capitulation, and Dawson in particular – on his first outing of the season – looked calm, composed and more than capable at the crease.
So, in restrospect, Heywood could expect little more and there are still four more qualifying games left in the group – starting at home to Greenfield on Friday – to try to make progress to the later stages of the T20 competition.
B Holt run out 40
A Hebbar c Byrne b A Dawson 34
S Firth b Byrne 14
R Barnes c Graham-Scott b A Dawson 2
N Campbell lbw b S Byrne 16
T Avery c A Dawson b Byrne 5
D Cashin c Hunt b S Dawson 13
D Robertson b Grogan 12
J Lord run out 6
W Avery not out 1
C Newton not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs) 30
Fall of wickets: 69-1, 102-2, 109-3, 109-4, 116-5, 139-6, 155-7, 171-8, 173-9.
Bowling: S Dawson 4-0-25-1, C Hilton 5-0-44-0, A Dawson 4-0-33-2, L Grogan 3-0-33-1, S Byrne 4-0-27-3
A Dawson c Hebbar b W Avery 15
S Dawson b W Avery 5
W Hunt b W Avery 1
D Fawcett run out 11
H Graham-Scott c Lord b T Avery 0
S Byrne c and b T Avery 0
T Sullivan st Lord b Cashin 14
L Grogan b Campbell 16
P Dawson c Barnes b Campbell 15
T Pagett b Campbell 2
C Hilton not out 0
Total (16.3 overs) 92
Fall of wickets: 16-1, 21-2, 26-3, 31-4, 31-5, 38-6, 67-7, 69-8, 91-9, 92-10
Bowling: W Avery 3-0-24-3, T Avery 3-0-7-2, C Newton 3-0-17-0, D Cashin 4-0-13-1, N Campbell 3.3-0-23-3
- None Found