HEYWOOD took the left route to keep their promotion bid on track in Division One of the Greater Manchester League.
Chris Kaye came out of first team retirement to form a deadly left-arm spin partnership with Jack Morley, which accounted for eight victims and bamboozled Denton, as the visitors fell for 94 at Crimble.
Then opener Andy Kerr became the only batsman on the day to really look comfortable on a difficult wicket, after play had started an hour late and saw the match reduced to 42 overs per side, and his unbeaten 52 guided Heywood to 95-4 and five welcome points.
Kaye, the Club’s 48-year-old record wicket-taker, and 16-year-old rising star Morley teamed up after new skipper Travis Townsend and Danny Pawson had claimed the first two Denton wickets to leave their opponents on 34-2.
From then on it was virtually a procession of batsmen to and from the pavilion.
Only Denton’s South African professional Cloete Buitendag stood firm with a battling 32 as Kaye and Morley combined to spin a web which engulfed the visiting batting line-up.
Kaye finished with 4-15 from 9.5 overs to rekindle memories of his long-serving first team days, and Morley claimed 4-27 from 11 overs as Denton struggled to set a competitive total.
Heywood’s run chase looked a formality when Bobby Cross and Kerr put together an opening stand of 46 before Cross became the first of Buitendag’s four victims with his threatening if at times erratic off spin.
Cross was bowled for five, then Pawson fell for a duck, Townsend made just a single and Morley contributed seven.
But through it all Kerr looked assured and earned a deserved half-century just before the winning line was reached, his contribution coming off 73 balls and containing two sixes and two boundaries.
Denton, meanwhile, may reflect that they could have given their opponents more to think about but for conceding more than a quarter of Heywood’s runs in extras, which included an alarming 20 wides.
So Heywood, now two points behind leaders Greenmount in second place, move on to fourth-placed Edgworth for another key game on Saturday, with just three points separating the sides in what has become a tense finish to the season.
T Hanks c Morley b Townsend 2
A Hayes c Cross b Pawson 24
C Buitendag c Cross b Kaye 32
B Mason lbw b Morley 5
K Taylor c Keyworth b Kaye 3
R Halpin c Grogan b Morley 4
A Beeley c Pawson b Kaye 2
J Holmes st Cross b Morley 12
R Bardsley not out 2
A Pannett lbw b Morley 0
J Stringer b Kaye 0
Total (35.5 overs) 94
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-34, 3-49, 4-55, 5-72, 6-77, 7-80, 8-93, 9-93, 10-94
Bowling: T Townsend 7-0-25-1, D Pawson 8-0-26-1, J Morley 11-0-27-4, C Kaye 9.5-3-15-4
R Cross b Buitendag 5
A Kerr not out 52
D Pawson st Stringer b Buitendag 0
T Townsend c Hanks b Buitendag 1
J Morley lbw b Buitendag 7
S Burrill not out 4
Total (for 4 wkts, 23.5 overs) 95
Fall of wickets: C Buitendag 12-2-30-4, K Taylor 3-0-15-0, A Pannett 3-0-16-0, A Hayes 3-0-13-0, J Holmes 2.5-0-16-0
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