The youngest and the oldest were again to the fore for Heywood Seconds as they beat Royton at the Paddock.
Rick Purser took 5-45 and Lee Grogan 2-67 as Royton were kept to 112-9 off 27 overs, then 15-year-old Ben Thulborn played his most accomplished innings to date to help Heywood chase down their target with overs and wickets to spare.
The game go off to an inauspicious start as Royton’s new covers, that had arrived on Friday and cost a significant sum, had not done their job. Water had seeped down the hill on to the wicket and they are now looking to sell their covers on!
Captain Roger Smethurst won the toss with the game reduced because of the weather, and stuck Royton in as the game started at 3.50pm.
Purser and Grogan got Heywood off to a good start and Royton were bogged down at 10-1 after 10 overs. This followed a controversial moment in the third over where veteran John Punchard was seemingly run out by Grogan when out of his ground, but the umpire deemed the ball was already dead. However, Grogan struck to have Punchard caught and bowled just two balls later.
Purser was the tighter of the two bowlers, but the pair bowled well in tandem and reduced Royton to 74-8 before one-time Heywood player Barry Woodward and Clarke put on 40 for the ninth wicket, and Royton reached 112-9, with another five wicket haul from the ever hungry Purser.
Heywood always thought the total was gettable, and despite losing Smethurst and Dom Fawcett, Simon Dawson continued his great run of form and found a safe ally in the talented Thulborn.
Dawson went for 32 with the score on 66, but Thulborn continued to play well, picking up ones and twos before playing the two shots of the day, hitting Jewell for two fours through extra cover in the same over.
Thulborn was out shortly before the end for 32, but runs from Sean Burrill had helped Heywood close to victory before Grogan and Phil Dawson saw Heywood to another four point win.
Smethurst said: “This was a good win, denying them any points as I believe they were joint top with us before the start of the game.
“Again the result was based on our bowling and fielding performance, but we also showed the strength of our squad in that although we were missing two or three players we still won.
“It was a great innings from Ben, who batted with maturity. He didn’t give a chance until he was out and paced his innings really well.”
A Morris b Purser 12
J Punchard c and b L Grogan 2
K Hussain c Smethurst b L Grogan 6
C Porteous c L Grogan b Purser 7
C Jewell c S Dawson b Purser 36
J Snape run out 0
A Punchard b Purser 0
P Clarke not out 19
S Webb lbw b Purser 3
B Woodward run out 26
Total (for 9 wkts, 27 overs) 112
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-17, 3-28, 4-31, 5-51, 6-52, 7-65, 8-74, 9-112
Bowling: Purser 14-3-45-5, L Grogan 13-4-67-2
S Dawson c Hussain b Jewell 32
R Smethurst c Woodward b A Punchard 10
D Fawcett lbw b Clarke 0
B Thulborn c J Punchard b Clarke 32
S Burrill c Woodward b Clarke 14
C Booth b Clarke 4
P Dawson not out 8
L Grogan not out 4
Total (for 6 wkts, 22.5 overs) 114
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-22, 3-66, 4-86, 5-95, 6-100
Bowling: Clarke 11.5-0-68-4, A Punchard 6-1-12-1, Jewell 5-0-24-1
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