Heywood struggled to cope with Norden’s opening bowlers as they succumbed to a second straight loss to the Woodhouse Lane side.
They were reduced to 75-5 thanks to some brilliant bowling by Chris Humphreys, and some indifferent shot selection against the rest, and despite Wes Hunt’s best performance so far for the firsts and some determined runs from Dale Latham in the middle order, their score never quite seemed enough.
However, they were still in the game when Norden were left at 109-5 thanks to three wickets to Chris Kaye, but then Oli Makin and the veteran Dexter Fitton played the innings’ of the day to take Norden to a five-wicket victory.
Heywood won the toss and lost first Ross Zelem to Simon North – caught behind – then Andy Dawson, who skied one to Michael Price waiting at mid-off.
Bobby Cross and Travis Townsend both got starts but failed to capitalise, and Danny Pawson played a poor shot when on eight to leave Heywood in trouble. This was in the face of a superb spell of bowling from Chris Humphreys, who bowled with no fine leg and barely conceded a run there, such was his accuracy. He finished with 2-25 off 12 great overs, and a couple of missed chances off his bowling.
Latham and Hunt batted responsibly and the odd scare apart, showed what talent Heywood has waiting in the wings. But they both went in their 30s with the score on 150 and 157, and a score of 200 plus was kept to 181.
Heywood needed to get rid of Norden pro Price early on, and had their chance when he edged one through to Pawson when in single figures. He snatched at the chance and that was that.
He went on to make 53 and held Norden’s innings together in the face of some excellent spin bowling from Kaye, who reduced the visitors to 109-5 and still needing 73 to win.
But Makin, while riding his luck at times, played a lovely innings, hitting hard and straight down the ground, and in Fitton he found a former Lancashire man who still has real ability.
The pair made light work of the chase, although things could have been different if Makin had been given run out when it was possible he was short of his ground. But no blame could be attached to the umpires here.
So Heywood under-performed for the second home match against Norden on the run in front of a big ground and on Rochdale Heartbeat day. Thankfully, it being a tight league, they are still only a win away from going top again.
R Zelem c Makin b North 4
A Dawson c Price b North 5
R Cross c Hazlehurst b H Fitton 28
T Townsend c Hazlehurst b Humphreys 27
D Pawson c Tattersall b Humphreys 8
D Latham st Hazlehurst b Morrell 32
W Hunt c and b Price 37
R Paterson st Halzlehurst b Morrell 15
J Lovell c Tattersall b Price 1
H Naeem lbw b Price 6
C Kaye not out 4
Total (49.1 overs) 181
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-12, 3-60, 4-74, 5-75, 6-150, 7-157, 8-158, 9-175, 10-181
Bowling: Humphreys 12-3-25-2, North 4-0-25-2, H Fitton 7-1-35-1, Makin 4-0-20-0, Lord 6-1-21-0, D Fitton 4-0-19-0, Price 7-1-11-3, Morrell 5.1-0-21-2
M Price st Pawson b Kaye 53
G Tattersall c Kaye b Paterson 5
S North c Pawson b Naeem 8
S Pimm c Paterson b Kaye 6
H Fitton c Paterson b Kaye 12
O Makin not out 47
D Fitton not out 42
Total (for 5 wkts, 46.1 overs) 182
Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-42, 3-53, 4-80, 5-109
Bowling: Paterson 5-0-21-1, Naeem 12-1-55-1, Kaye 16-2-51-3, Lovell 11-1-38-0, Townsend 2.1-0-13-0
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