Two of Heywood’s senior players were the stars of the show for Heywood Seconds as they comfortably beat Middleton on Saturday.
Captain Roger Smethurst anchored his side’s innings with a typically watchful knock of 69, then Lee Grogan – still a class act – took a brilliant 6-28 to bowl out the home side for 147 as they fell 36 short of Heywood’s 183 all out.
Smethurst won the toss against an under strength Middleton team and decided to have a bat.
After a steady start Matt Hood was out lbw to Gareth Hughes, who was bowling an impressive spell of inswing bowling. This brought the in-form Dom Fawcett to the crease, who only lasted two balls before being clean bowled by Hughes and Sean Burrill then followed a short time later, also clean bowled by Hughes with another big inswinging delivery.
Adam Fawcett started to try and rebuild the innings with Smethurst but then tried to cut a ball off the Middleton captain Rob Bennett and was out caught behind.
Heywood appeared in trouble at 67-4, but the ever-improving Mikey Grogan then came in and played a key innings, putting on a partnership of 62 with Smethurst and he looked in little trouble until he was bowled by Callaghan for 27.
Chris Booth was out caught behind first ball and Heywood appeared in further trouble at 127 for 6, but Smethurst and Lee Grogan then put on 30 and 200 looked a real possibility until Grogan went for one big shot too many and was out caught and bowled to the impressive leg spin of Mo Shahid.
Smethurst eventually fell in similar circumstances with five overs to go and it was left to Sam Byrne to take Heywood to 183, a total the captain was happy with.
As usual, Lee Grogan and Rick Purser opened the bowling, and Grogan picked up wickets at regular intervals – the most important of which being the prolific Middleton captain Bennett, who was clean bowled.
Heywood appeared to be cruising having Middleton at 44-7, although this could have been even better if the dangerous Middleton opener Shahid hadn’t been dropped four times.
He was then joined by former Heywood player and veteran Tommy Astley and the two of them set about rebuilding the innings.
They put on a partnership of 60 and suddenly Middleton were sniffing a chance of a victory. However Byrne managed to snare Astley lbw and then with Purser and Grogan having finished and Dom Fawcett the subject of bowling restrictions, Smethurst had to bowl and he completed a fine match when he had the Middleton number 10 Stanley caught at mid on.
All the time Shahid was still at the crease and scoring with ease, but eventually Byrne picked up the last wicket having the Middleton number 11 stumped by Scott Jones.
M Hood lbw b Hughes 9
R Smethurst c Foden b M Shahid 69
D Fawcett b Hughes 0
S Burrill b Hughes 0
A Fawcett c Foden b Bennett 9
M Grogan b Callaghan 27
C Booth c Foden b Callaghan 0
L Grogan c and b M Shahid 16
S Byrne c and b Hughes 19
S Jones c Stanley b M Shahid 4
R Purser not out 0
Total (49.1 overs) 183
Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-41, 3-45, 4-65, 5-127, 6-127, 7-157, 8-165, 9-182, 10-183
Bowling: Hughes 14.1-2-37-4, Bennett 12-0-40-1, Tierney 4-0-33-0, Shaw 4-0-22-0, M Shahid 11-0-38-3, Callaghan 4-1-15-2
M Shahid not out 72
R Tierney b L Grogan 7
G Hughes run out 0
R Bennett b L Grogan 2
P Foden b L Grogan 1
M Collins b L Grogan 0
C Callaghan c Jones b L Grogan 4
C Shaw lbw b L Grogan 0
T Astley lbw b Byrne 23
D Stanley c D Fawcett b Smethurst 14
D Shahid st Jones b Byrne 4
Total (45.4 overs) 147
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-20, 3-30, 4-38, 5-38, 6-44, 7-44, 8-104, 9-132, 10-147
Bowling: Purser 15-3-43-0, L Grogan 15-3-28-6, D Fawcett 3-0-14-0, Byrne 7.4-1-21-2, M Grogan 2-0-19-0, Smethurst 3-0-16-1
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