Roger Smethurst says there is no room for complacency for Heywood Seconds despite a comprehensive defeat of Middleton at Crimble.
The twos beat the Moonrakers by 80 runs to start the season well and gain some small measure of revenge for the loss in the Burton Cup final last season.
But by Smethurst’s own admission, this was not the Middleton side of old and he urged his side to focus on making improvements to their own game rather than dwell on victory.
He said: “This was a solid performance which was pleasing because the top order batted well and got us off to a good start.
“The game was over really by tea and the only disappointments were that we didn’t bowl them out and we dropped a couple of catches. We’ll be looking to do some fielding work at practice this week to sharpen us up.
“We can’t afford any complacency, though, as Middleton were quite clearly under strength and it could be a long season for them if they don’t manage to add other players to their strength.”
On a lively wicket, Middleton won the toss and stuck Heywood in. This played into Heywood’s hands as Matt Hood, on debut, and Simon Dawson responded to Smethurst’s demands for top order runs and got Heywood off to a fast start, putting away the bad ball with aplomb.
Dawson fell for 34 but Hood brought up a maiden 50 with a six and his new side were well on the way to a good score.
Dom Fawcett continued to impress with a lively 35 and with contributions all down the order, Heywood reached 220 for 9 off their 50 overs.
Smethurst felt at tea this was too many for Middleton, and so it proved.
The visitors were reduced to 2-3 after 4 overs with Rick Purser picking up two wickets, caught at slip by Simon Dawson and Lee Grogan, then picking up an lbw.
There then followed a long partnership between captain Rob Bennett and Sam Warren. Bennett scored a good 50, although he was dropped once, while Warren played a very slow innings, refusing to play a shot against either Purser or Grogan.
Smethurst took the opportunity to give Sam Byrne and Dom Fawcett a long bowl before Heywood then started to pick wickets up in the last four overs.
Eventually Heywood needed three wickets in the last over. Grogan picked up two but couldn’t dismiss the injured Mark Buckley with the last ball and Heywood had to settle for four points.
S Dawson c Lee b Shaw 34
M Hood c M Foden b Buckley 53
D Fawcett lbw b Bennett 35
R Smethurst c Shaw b Bennett 29
P Dawson st P Foden b Bennett 16
A Fawcett c Copeland b Bennett 12
C Booth run out 7
L Grogan lbw b M Foden 1
S Jones not out 11
R Purser c Shahid b M Foden 4
S Byrne not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 220
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-115, 3-140, 4-176, 5-180, 6-193, 7-199, 8-211, 9-218
Bowling: Buckley 9-1-45-1, Copeland 5-0-25-0, M Foden 10-0-46-2, Shaw 8-0-31-1, Shahid 7-1-25-0, Bennett 11-0-39-4
M Lee c S Dawson b Purser 0
P Foden lbw b Grogan 0
M Shahid c S Dawson b Purser 0
R Bennett c Byrne b D Fawcett 50
S Warren c Smethurst b Byrne 49
A Copeland st Jones b Byrne 15
B Lee c A Fawcett b Grogan 6
M Foden c Jones b S Dawson 0
D Stanley not out 3
C Shaw c D Fawcett b Grogan 0
M Buckley not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 140
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-2, 3-2, 4-85, 5-127, 6-128, 7-129, 8-138, 9-140
Bowling: Purser 15-6-29-2, Grogan 14-5-22-3, Byrne 11-0-41-2, D Fawcett 7-0-33-1, S Dawson 3-0-10-1
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