Matt Hood took an early contender for catch of the season as Heywood 2nd XI won their pre-season friendly at home to Bury.
With Bury needing just three to win, with one wicket left and with batsman Majid having already smote a huge six over cow corner, the same batsman launched one off Dom Fawcett towards the same boundary.
But lurking there was Hood, who dived forward and took a remarkable one-handed catch, much to the delight of his team-mates.
Earlier, Heywood had posted a limp total of 127-5 off their 40 overs, although there were some promising signs.
They slipped to 14-2 before Tom Blundell and Dom Fawcett dug in for the duration. The pair ran well as boundaries were non-existent with a lush outfield and in the face of tight bowling, and put on 82 for the third wicket.
Fawcett finished with 32 and Blundell a promising 51, while the one four of the innings was from Stephen Ball, a former Crimble first-teamer and brother of Vinnie, who is back at the club after a long absence.
It would take a good bowling effort to defend Heywood’s total, and that’s what it was.
Rick Purser was as parsimonious as usual, and he and James Mills bowled tightly early on with just one wicket to show for it.
Simon Dawson made some major inroads after Fawcett picked up the wicket of the dangerous Hayhurst, taking three middle-order scalps.
Mikey Grogan also bowled well, filling the gap left by the departure of Sam Byrne for a new life in the north east, and the game went to the wire before that piece of Hood magic.
Captain Roger Smethurst said: “This proved to be a more than useful warm up for us, with Blundell and Fawcett impressing with the bat and all the bowlers making useful contributions.
“The season starts with a home game on Sunday against a newly-promoted Littleborough side who will be keen to make an impression in the top division.”
HEYWOOD 2nds v BURY 2nds
S Dawson b Majid 4
M Hood c Murphy b Majid 1
T Blundell b Khan 51
D Fawcett run out 32
S Ball b Basir 16
M Grogan not out 3
C Booth not out 1
Total (for 5 wkts, 40 overs) 127
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-14, 3-96, 4-121, 5-125
Bowling: Majid 5-0-17-2, Massey 6-0-14-0, Belston 8-2-14-0, Potts 6-0-22-0, Metcalfe 4-0-19-0, Khan 7-0-19-1, Nasir 4-0-15-1
D Murphy c and b Purser 2
J Hayhurst c and b S Dawson 27
M Nasir c Burrill b D Fawcett 19
I Gorsi b S Dawson 7
L Santos b S Dawson 4
T Khan b Purser 18
S Massey c Burrill b Purser 6
C Belston b Grogan 6
M Majid c Hood b Fawcett 18
C Potts b Grogan 2
M Metcalfe not out 0
Total (36.4 overs) 125
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-47, 3-60, 4-64, 5-80, 6-97, 7-104, 8-104, 9-117, 10-125
Bowling: Purser 8-2-24-3, Mills 6-0-22-0, S Dawson 8-2-22-3, D Fawcett 7.4-0-38-2, Grogan 7-1-16-2
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