REPORT BY ROGER SMETHURST: HEYWOOD’S third team managed to beat the weekend monsoons when they travelled to Bury on Sunday to play Woodbank buoyed by their victory of the previous weekend.
But the side slipped to an eight-wicket defeat, scoring a creditable 130-6 from 29 overs then seeing the home side chase down the victory target with eight wickets to spare.
On arrival it was apparent that the ground had survived the heavy overnight rain, and, having lost the toss, Heywood were put in for a game reduced to 34 overs per side.
Openers Matt Hood and Dominic Fawcett got Heywood off to a positive start before the players were forced from the field by a strong shower that reduced the game further to 29 overs.
Both players continued to play positively, putting on a partnership of 58 until Fawcett was caught on the deep cover boundary for 32.
Heywood’s innings then stuttered as they lost three quick wickets, with Joe Carter and Ethan Clarkson both struggling against some accurate Woodbank bowling and Hood falling in identical manner to Fawcett for 24.
Jacob Kaye and Roger Smethurst then set about re-building the innings. Despite Kaye surviving a number of shouts for lbw as he persisted in trying to sweep the slow bowlers, the partnership had moved Heywood into a strong position at 100-4 when Kaye was run out for 24 trying to take a quick single.
A number of Heywood supporters passed comment that it was unusual for Smethurst to be involved in a that type of dismissal!
Young Tom Sullivan continued his good form from the previous week as he made a positive 15 in short time, playing a number of slog sweeps to the leg side.
He was dismissed with one ball of the innings left, and it was left was for Smethurst to hit the last ball of the innings for six to leave himself unbeaten on 22 with Heywood having posted a competitive 130.
The Woodbank innings couldn’t have started in a better fashion for Heywood when, from the third ball of Rick Purser’s first over, he induced Thornhill into a legside drive that resulted in Connor McNally taking a solid catch.
This, however, proved to be a false dawn for Heywood as Lees came to the crease and played a positive innings.
Only Sullivan offered any level of control with the ball, bowling his five overs costing 19 runs, as Lees sought to play attacking shots against Purser, Tom Pagett and Joe Carter.
Lees eventually fell for 82 from 72 balls with only one run required for victory, Joe Carter inducing a false shot that was well caught by Kaye behind the stumps.
But it was too little too late and Woodbank opener Singh remained unbeaten on 46 as Woodbank eased to their target with almost four overs to spare.
This proved a tough defeat for the thirds, who batted and fielded well, but the Heywood bowlers just could not cope with Lees’ attacking intent.
The third team season finishes on Sunday with a home game against Monton, which might induce those suffering the after-effects of the Club’s cocktail night to come down and support the young team!
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