BY ROGER SMETHURST: Heywood entertained Unsworth at Crimble on Saturday desperate for a victory after a run of five defeats.
Heywood again lost the toss and were invited to field on a hot day.
With Rick Purser and James Mills opening the bowling Heywood got off to a solid start and Purser was soon amongst the wickets.
Heywood appeared to be taking control of the game in reducing Unsworth to 87-5 with Purser taking 3-35 from his 15 overs.
However with Simon Dawson in the first team and Mikey Grogan unavailable the Crimble sides lack of back up bowling was exposed and despite Dominic Fawcett taking 3-54, the Unsworth lower order were able to get away and set Heywood a challenging target of 218.
At tea the home side remained confident of chasing down this score and were given a solid start by Ray Baker and Matt Hood.
The pair put on 82 for the first wicket before Baker was unlucky to fall for a cultured 42 having looked in no trouble. Hood was joined at the crease by Tom Blundell, who after starting sluggishly also got into his stride.
After an array of attacking strokes it came as a surprise when Hood was bowled for 60 but with Adam Fawcett joining Blundell and Heywood well up with the run rate everything appeared in control. However the home team hadn’t factored in the weather and when the teams were forced off by heavy rain and the calculators came out it became apparent that Heywood were 20 runs behind the adjusted total.
Fortunately, the sides were able to get back on and despite losing Fawcett, Heywood continue to progress strongly with veteran Mark Wright looking untroubled as he and Blundell scored at will. However with 31 runs needed off 9 overs with seven wickets in hand the weather intervened for one fateful last time.
A sudden rain shower caught all by surprise and realising that Heywood were still behind the required rate Blundell perished for a well made 36 and Mills fell second ball having been sent in to desperately try and find the boundary that would have been sufficient to see the Crimble team home.
As it was the teams were forced off the field with Wright unbeaten on 28 and Heywood within sight of victory.
With the game being in its last half hour no return to the field was possible and calculations revealed that Heywood had fallen agonisingly short by three runs of a much needed victory.
This was a bitter blow to the Crimble outfit who had been in control of the game from tea, with all the batsmen making decent contributions and victory seeming the likely outcome.
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