It really was a case of men versus boys when Heywood entertained Ashton on Saturday.
The gulf between the top and bottom of the table was there for all to see, as Heywood strolled to a nine-wicket victory against a Tameside side who are making strides off the pitch and at junior level, but whose senior sides need an injection of class.
It was a pity it wasn’t a much more closely-fought contest as Saturday saw a big crowd at the game to attend a Former Players Reunion Day, excellently put together by Bob Dearden and Mike Law.
Players from the past 70 years were treated to a fine bowling performance from Heywood, but one which owed a lot to the lack of aptitude from Ashton.
Curtis Maguire and Hamish Paterson were too good for the Ashton top order, reducing them to 41-5 before there was any real fight from the visiting side.
This came in the form of 22-year-old skipper Siraj Kadodia, who played with great maturity to score a classy 50 that earned his side some respectability.
But when Maguire and Paterson returned after a slow-bowling interlude, the pair soon finished off Ashton. Paterson finished with yet more excellent figures of 4-23, and Maguire 3-22.
Ashton were never in with a chance, especially given the current form of Heywood captain Bobby Cross.
He and Ross Zelem made light of any threats bowled by the Ashton attack. It was fitting that Cross should play so well in front of the players who records he has eclipsed over the years, and it was a shame that he was finally out caught behind for 73 chasing a widish delivery.
It was left to Zelem and pro Travis Townsend to see Heywood home and to the five points that see them still within catching distance of league leaders Walsden.
Next week is the big test when they face Milnrow away and Waldsen at home.
R Gleave b Paterson 4
J Newman c Zelem b Maguire 4
A Iqbal b Maguire 13
A Bhatti b Paterson 0
S Kadodia c Kaye b Paterson 52
A Rathore b Maguire 0
T Hanks b Naeem 11
J P Lewis c Cross b Lovell 5
J Khalil not out 22
R Taylor b Paterson 2
B Phillips c Townsend b Slawson 2
Total (45.4 overs) 131
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-22, 3-28, 4-39, 5-41, 6-71, 7-86, 8-121, 9-126, 10-131
Bowling: Paterson 11-2-23-4, Maguire 9-2-22-3, Naeem 5-0-23-1, Lovell 4-1-15-1, Kaye 7-2-13-0, Slawson 10.4-2-28-1
R Cross c Bhatti b Hanks 73
R Zelem not out 37
T Townsend not out 13
Total (for 1 wkt, 23.4 overs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-106
Bowling: Iqbal 5-1-24-0, Kadodia 1-0-8-0, Rathore 6-0-31-0, Gleave 3-0-19-0, Hanks 3-0-19-1, Khalil 3-0-12-0, Newman 1.4-0-15-0, Phillips 1-0-4-0
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- Paterson’s Six Shooter Shatters Radcliffe’s Hopes
- Cross Steals The Show As Radcliffe Bow To Kaye And Maguire
- Bowlers Set Up Crucial Win To Keep Heywood In The Hunt
- Heywood Crush Werneth To Confirm Gulf In Class
- Maguire Returns For Heywood, Andy Dawson Also In Team To Face Norden.
- Chanceless Cross Makes Light Work Of Unsworth
- Pitch-Perfect Cross Makes Another Piece Of Crimble History (I Think)
- Cross In Top Form As Heywood Cruise Past Flixton
- Batting Frailties To The Fore Again As Heywood Go Down At Monton
- Cross And Pawson Show Class To Dispatch Monton