CARNAGE! That was the story of Heywood’s four-wicket defeat at Swinton Moorside in a match which lasted around just two-and-a-half hours and 36.4 overs.
Heywood were bundled out in 66 minutes for just 49, one of their lowest totals for years, in a mere 16.4 overs.
Then they smelled the chance of pulling off an astonishing victory when Moorside reached 41-6 in reply before stumbling over the line.
There seemed little hint of the drama to come when James Kettleborough scored a boundary and a two from the first four balls of the opening over by Australian over-the-wicket paceman Brad Palmer. Then the fireworks started!
Kettleborough tried to repeat the dose from the fifth ball, which got up to hip height, and clipped a catch low to mid-wicket.
If losing their in-form batsman was a blow for Heywood, it was nothing compared with what followed.
South African overseas amateur Tim Ockhuis, bowling left-arm around the wicket, proved to be the real tormentor.
His second ball wrecked the stumps of Bobby Cross, and the next saw Heywood professional Faisal Iqbal rapped on the pads shouldering arms and adjudged lbw.
A score of 6-3 from nine balls and three of the side’s top batsmen back in the pavilion looked an ominous portent. And so it proved.
Andy Dawson and Jack Morley did stem the tide for a while in a fourth-wicket stand of 29. But both were clean bowled with the total 35, Dawson to Ockhuis – after being the only batsman to look comfortable with a fluent 16 – and Morley to Palmer.
Sean Burrill and Wes Hunt did hang around for five overs, and at 46-5 there was a suspicion that if Heywood could scramble a further 40 runs then they would be in with a fighting chance.
However, the final five wickets fell for just three runs, Ockhuis proving the main destroyer with a 6-27 return from his eight overs.
The fact that it was a difficult wicket to bat on, although far from a terror track, was underlined when Moorside also crumbled in reply as Simon Dawson and Jack Morley bowled unchanged.
The duo cleaned up the first four wickets, three lbw, with just 21 on the board before opener James Wade and Matt Norvall stemmed the tide with a stand of 20.
But with nine runs needed for victory Moorside teetered again as Norvall fell for 10 off Dawson to a spectacular slip catch by Burrill. And Wade – after making what proved to be an invaluable 22 – became the fourth lbw victim of the innings off Morley without addition to the total.
At 41-6, the prospect of Heywood pulling the match out of the fire looked possible. But Ockhuis and Palmer, had they had done earlier with the ball, had the final say with the bat to see their side home.
Dawson ended with 3-27 and Morley 3-20 in their respective 10-over stints as Heywood tried in vain to overcome adversity.
Yet Swinton hung on to score their first victory of the season, while Heywood were left to wonder what might have been if a couple of their batsmen had found a way to survive more of the remaining 33.2 overs of their scheduled innings.
J Kettleborough c Hooker c Palmer 6
R Cross b Ockhuis 0
J Morley b Palmer 3
F Iqbal lbw b Ockhuis 0
A Dawson b Ockhuis 16
S Burrill c M Morley b Ockhuis 1
W Hunt b Ockhuis 5
M Grogan lbw b M Norvall 3
S Dawson b Ockhuis 0
S Byrne not out 0
T Pagett b M Norvall 0
Total (16.4 overs) 49
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-6, 3-6, 4-35, 5-35, 6-46, 7-47, 8-49, 9-49, 10-49
Bowling: B Palmer 7-2-10-2, T Ockhuis 8-2-27-6, M Norvall 1.4-0-2-2
D Flatley lbw b Morley 3
J Wade lbw b Morley 22
I Singh lbw b S Dawson 0
K T Taylor c Cross b Morley 1
C Norvall lbw b S Dawson 0
M Norvall c Burrill b S Dawson 10
T Ockhuis not out 3
B Palmer not out 4
Total (for 6 wkts, 20 overs) 50
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-13, 3-21, 4-21, 5-41, 6-41
S Dawson 10-3-27-3, J Morley 10-3-20-3
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