Heywood Seconds got back to winning ways with a relatively comfortable victory over Clifton last Sunday.
Heywood lost the toss and Clifton decided to bat on a wicket offering seam movement to Heywood openers Rick Purser and Lee Grogan.
Heywood appeared determined to put their recent two losses behind them and excellent fielding from Mikey Grogan saw him run Clifton opener Griffiths out with a direct hit.
Former first team player Chris Lord looked in good touch and after the loss of number 3 Tye to Lee Grogan, he was then joined by veteran Clifton captain Ian Morris in what looked like a crucial partnership if Clifton were to post a significant score.
However excellent fielding by Sam Byrne and Lee Grogan saw Morris run out in bizarre circumstances trying to take three to deep midwicket. This seemed to rattle Lord who shortly afterwards was out dancing down the track to Purser abd was well stumped by Burrill.
A good catch close in by Smethurst saw Purser snare another victim and Heywood were sniffing an early tea.
However an excellent innings of 47 from Royle, who received good support from the lower order, frustrated Heywood, and they eventaully bowled Clifton out in the 49th over, thanks to two wickets from Byrne, to leave Heywood chasing 115 for victory.
Heywood were confident at tea realising the total was probably 20 short of where Clifton wanted to be and Simon Dawson and Matt Hood got Heywood off to a reasonable start before Dawson was clean bowled by Reade for 16.
Dominic Fawcett didn’t last long, falling lbw to the same bowler, before Adam Fawcett and Matt Hood then teamed up and started to rebuild the innings.
However, recent weeks have shown Heywood’s batting to be nothing short of brittle and with Hood dismissed, Mikey Grogan soon followed and Heywood were in further trouble when Adam Fawcett was dismissed caught at backward point off Dunn, who had come on from the club end and was bowling a tight spell.
Chris Booth, batting at six, continued to buck the recent trend by looking like the only Heywood batsmen in any kind of form and he received some support from Sean Burrill before he played a loose shot and was out with 12 still needed to win.
Lee Grogan followed two balls later, caught also trying to hit over the top, and it was left to injured captain Roger Smethurst to provide the support Booth needed to see Heywood home to a welcome victory.
Smethurst said after this and the previous day’s defeat at Rochdale: “This was another frustrating weekend where out batting appeared nothing short of brittle.
“A number of players seem low on confidence at the moment with only Chris Booth looking comfortable at the crease.
“The return of Ben Thulborn can only serve to strengthen the team. It was good to see Tom Blundell back in action and hopefully he will get a few more games before then end of the season as its only two years ago he was a first team player.
“I think, a bit like the first team, it’s been a long, competitive season for the seconds with no easy games and winning the Burton Cup seems to have almost been enough for the team.”
C Lord st Burrill b Purser 30
G Griffiths run out 2
M Tye c D Fawcett b L Grogan 3
I Morris run out 6
J Royle b Byrne 47
S Dorsey c Smethurst b Purser 0
O Dunn b Dawson 5
G Royle c Dawson b D Fawcett 7
R Reade run out 1
A Cunliffe c A Fawcett b Byrne 2
R Phiri not out 0
Total (48.2 overs) 114
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-30, 3-46, 4-46, 5-46, 6-62, 7-82, 8-88, 9-112, 10-114
Bowling: Purser 15-8-21-2, L Grogan 15-6-29-1, D Fawcett 7-0-29-1, Dawson 9-1-25-1, Byrne 2.2-0-8-2
S Dawson b Reade 16
M Hood b Dunn 18
D Fawcett lbw b Reade 0
A Fawcett c Dorsery b Dunn 19
M Grogan lbw b Morris 0
C Booth not out 19
S Burrill c Reade b Dunn 17
L Grogan c J Royle b Dunn 0
R Smethurst not out 3
Total (for 7 wkts, 40.2 overs) 117
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-24, 3-62, 4-68, 5-73, 6-102, 7-102
Bowling: Reade 13-0-44-2, Phiri 9-2-18-0, Morris 9-2-34-1, Dunn 9.2-2-20-4
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