HEYWOOD Monkeys were well beaten by Unsworth Dragons in their opening action of the Archway T20 group.
The visitors put themselves in the box seat at the halfway stage by rattling up 153-5 from their 20 overs.
And that proved too much for the home side who eventually fell for 116, with only professional Travis Townsend, skipper Danny Pawson and Wes Hunt reaching double figures.
It means that the Monkeys must win their last two group matches – the rearranged trip to Bamford Bulldogs this coming Friday, June 16, and at home to Thornham Thunder on June 23 – if they are to make progress in the competition.
Heywood can reflect on fielding indiscretions that contributed to the Dragons putting themselves in a strong position with the bat, after Simon Dawson had claimed the scalp of overseas amateur Leighton Friend lbw with the second ball of the match.
That brought Mohammed Saoib to the wicket, and he survived two chances in the reminder of the opening Dawson over before going on to a crucial contribution of 49.
Saoib was well supported by Aman Arora, who made 22 in a second-wicket stand of 65, and South African professional Mangaliso Moshele made sure there was no let-up with an unbeaten contribution of 44 – including two big sixes.
The Monkeys needed a good start but paceman Ian Hall made sure that was not going to happen.
He had Andy Kerr superbly caught by Andrew McGuinness to his first ball, which prompted a jubilant Dragons celebration – hardly surprising considering that Kerr hit a century when the two sides met in the league at the beginning of May.
Andy Dawson soon fell to the same combination, and when Bobby Cross was cleaned up by a pernicious full delivery Heywood were in trouble at 17-3.
It left the onus on Townsend and Pawson and they responded with a stand of 51, virtually keeping up with the asking rate of eight an over.
But once Pawson was caught on the boundary edge hitting to the longest part of the ground, and Townsend was bowled by Mohammed Jehangir, there was little further resistance.
So Heywood, who reached the T20 final last season, now have it all to do. But there is no shame in losing to a Dragons outfit who, on this evidence, will give anyone a run for their money.
L Friend lbw b S Dawson 0
A Arora lbw b Pawson 22
M Saoib st Cross b Morley 49
M Moshele not out 44
M Jehangir c Grogan b Townsend 0
J O’Brien c Cross b A Dawson 16
I Hall not out 4
Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-65, 3-98, 4-106, 5-147
Bowling: S Dawson 4-0-20-1, A Dawson 4-0-34-1, D Pawson 4-0-31-1, J Morley 4-0-23-1, T Townsend 4-0-36-1
A Dawson c McGuinness b Hall 7
A Kerr c McGuinness b Hall 0
R Cross b Hall 9
T Townsend b Jehangir 28
D Pawson c Garnett b O’Brien 23
S Burrill c Arora b O’Brien 2
W Hunt c O’Brien b Saoib 11
S Dawson b Saoib 7
J Seddon b McGuinness 4
M Grogan c Moshele b McGuinness 5
J Morley not out 2
Total (18.2 overs) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-15, 3-17, 4-68, 5-77, 6-88, 7-103, 8-108, 9-110, 10-116
Bowling: I Hall 4-0-22-3, L Friend 2-0-18-0, J O’Brien 4-0-33-2, M Jehangir 4-0-14-1, M Saoib 3-0-14-2, A McGuinness 1.2-0-6-2
+ HEYWOOD’S scheduled clash with Edgworth at Crimble in Division One of the Greater Manchester League was washed out without a ball being bowled.
- None Found