Heywood turned in a brilliant performance in the field to set up the chance of victory at a rain-hit JW Lees Wood Cup final at Crimble.
With Chris Kaye in the vanguard, Heywood restricted Walsden to 163-9 off their 50 overs, and reached 15-1 off 6.4 when the rains washed out proceedings.
Crimble was in splendid condition thanks to the marvellous efforts of the HCC community, and with stalls, bbq and beer tents manned by members, Heywood captain Bobby Cross lost the toss.
Walsden got off to a solid start, reaching 36 before Riley Paterson picked up the crucial wicket of James Rawlinson, caught by Cross.
Then Kaye bowled the key spell of the innings, tying the visiting batsmen in knots, first picking up Jake Hooson caught off an inside edge on to his pad by keeper Danny Pawson for 17, then getting Matt Dawson caught in exactly the same manner.
The veteran left-armer gave nothing away, and his mastery of the Walsden batsmen was complete when he had overseas Harkal brilliantly caught one-handed at cover by Cross.
At 50-4 most teams would have panicked, but the dangerous Nick Barker and Josh Gale stayed cool and played out the rest of Kaye. He finished with the quite superb figures of 3-12 of 10 overs, a spell that had to be seen to be fully appreciated.
The Walsden pair put on 70 before Barker was bowled round his legs by Humza Naeem, who showed his pleasure at the dismissal by sharing a bit of banter with the noisy visiting support.
Joe Lovell then removed Josh Gale, and Riley Paterson bowled Joe Gale, before Andy Dawson took a stunning catch off Lovell to dismiss Shackleton, in front of the Walsden support who’d been aiming some rather crude comments at him during the course of the afternoon.
The weather had started to close in at this stage, but the game continued after tea and there was a huge blow when Ross Zelem – so good the previous day – was run out by a marvellous bit of fielding.
Travis Townsend and Cross then saw Heywood to 15-1 before the game was abandoned for the day, although not before we were subjected to some over-zealous appealing from the visitors.
Now the teams must come back during the week, far from ideal and especially so as some players on both sides are absent on representative duty.
It was a sad end to a good day where Heywood, its fans and its members showed themselves in their best light.
J Hooson c Pawson b Kaye 17
J Rawlinson c Cross b Paterson 25
M Dawson c Pawson b Kaye 3
N Barker b Naeem 38
S Harkal c Cross b Kaye 1
Josh Gale c Paterson b Lovell 28
Joe Gale b Paterson 16
S Barker c Zelem b Paterson 5
R Sladdin not out 8
J Shackleton c Dawson b Lovell 1
C Dewhirst not out 8
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 163
Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-47, 3-47, 4-50, 5-120, 6-120, 7-135, 8-151, 9-156
Bowling: Paterson 10-3-32-3, Naeem 10-0-48-1, Lovell 10-0-44-2, Kaye 10-3-12-3, Townsend 10-3-21-0
R Cross not out 9
R Zelem run out 1
T Townsend not out 4
Total (for 1 wkt, 6.4 overs) 15
Fall of wicket: 1-2
Bowling: Shackleton 3.4-1-8-0, Hoosen 3-0-7-0
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- JW LEES WOOD CUP: Cross Leads Heywood Home
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