IT was only by a nervy margin of eight runs, but Heywood can reflect on their victory over Stand with a deal of satisfaction.
The home side dug deep into their reserves to supplement a bowling attack that contained only three regular first choice bowlers.
But the end result saw Heywood get their promotion bid back on track and move into second place behind Greenmount in Division One of the Greater Manchester League.
Heywood’s total of 183 was based on around a third-wicket stand of 79 between Andy Kerr and Travis Townsend that seemed likely to result in a total above the 200 mark.
But once Townsend went for lbw 41, and Kerr slipped going for a quick single and was run out for another excellent contribution of 72, the wheels came off to some extent.
Only Sean Burrill, with 17 from 13 balls, threatened to provide the late order impetus needed and the last five wickets fell for just five runs in the face of a spirited Stand attack.
Heywood needed a disciplined start with the ball and found it in the shape of 15-year-old Cabhan Hilton, whose maximum six-over spell yielded the wicket of Farmer caught at slip for the parsimonious sum of just seven runs.
Skipper Danny Pawson manipulated his bowling attack skilfully, and when Jack Morley – starting a key 15-over stint – bowled opener Matt Holt and Townsend provided a follow-up to get rid of former Heywood player Chris Thomas, Stand were 40-3 and their innings in the balance.
But Dinesh Ateeq went on the attack when joined by professional Ali Azmat and the duo threatened to give their side a real chance of chasing down the victory target.
The aggressive Ateeq followed up his four-wicket haul in the Heywood innings with a belligerent batting display, even though it’s fair to say he rode his luck as one or two lofted shots fell in between Heywood fielders.
Azmat, meanwhile, looked calmed and assured. So it was a massive boost to Heywood when he was adjudged lbw to Townsend without playing a shot to leave the visitors on 71-4.
Luke Davision gave Ateeq more valuable support before he and Stuart Catterall fell to Morley, and at 106-7 the Heywood attack looked to have done the hard work.
Keiron Wong gave valuable support to Ateeq, however, and Pawson made the bold move of bringing Dominik Fawcett – who answered a late call to first team duty – into the attack.
Fawcett certainly did not let the side down with a responsible five-over spell for just 22 runs that gave his skipper breathing space towards the end of the innings.
Wong and Ateeq, meanwhile, put together a stand of 44 before the former was run out for 22 going for a risky single and Ateeq finally fell for 66 made from 82 balls – lofting a catch to Wes Hunt running from mid-wicket as Pawson came back into the attack.
At 161-8 and the overs running out, Stand found their backs to the ball, especially when Noman Ahmed became the second run-out victim of the innings five runs later.
The visitors closed on 175-9 as Heywood celebrated a victory that they may reflect on as vital come the end of the season.
A Kerr run out 72
W Hunt hit wkt b Ateeq 13
R Cross c and b Ateeq 5
T Townsend lbw b King 41
D Pawson c and b Ateeq 11
J Morley run out 10
S Burrill c Catterall b Ateeq 17
M Witts run out 1
D Latham b King 3
D Fawcett lbw b King 0
C Hilton not out 1
Total (50 overs) 183
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-56, 3-135, 4-137, 5-150, 6-178, 7-178, 8-182, 9-182, 10-185
Bowling: N Ahmed 7-3-20-0, D Ateeq 14-3-43-4, A Azmat 15-0-62-0, S Catterall 6-1-22-0, J King 8-0-32-3
M Holt b Morley 21
D J Farmer c Pawson b Hilton 8
C Thomas b Townsend 4
D Ateeq c Hunt b Pawson 66
A Azmat lbw b Townsend 12
L Davison b Morley 10
S Catterall c and b Morley 1
K Wong run out 22
N Ahmed run out 6
J King not out 10
C Marlor not out 1
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 175
Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-40, 3-40, 4-71, 5-104, 6-107, 7-151, 8-161, 9-166
Bowling: D Pawson 12-1-47-1, C Hilton 6-0-7-1, J Morley 15-6-42-3, T Townsend 12-1-54-2, D Fawcett 5-0-22-0
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