Heywood’s third team played hosts to Elton in the return fixture with the locals looking to do the double following victory at the Bury side’s ground earlier in the season.
Elton won the toss and invited Heywood to bat first on what was a slightly soft wicket following the recent rain but were perhaps regretting their decision with the Heywood openers Matt Hood and Matt Dearden accumulating steadily whilst seeing off the opening bowlers. Typically, Hood was the more dominant of the two and having survived a few early scares, started to take toll of anything loose and the rate began to steadily accelerate with both batsmen now looking at ease.
It was a surprise therefore when in the 23rd over with the score on 91 that Dearden received a ball that stopped on him a little and he lobbed up an easy catch and he was gone for a well made 27. Despite the setback Hood continued to dominate and a score of 180-200 looked on the cards. However, the following batsmen didn’t find it easy and runs were hard to come by and it was left to Hood to boost the score. His efforts surely deserved a hundred but he fell agonisingly short on 99 not out off 108 deliveries as the innings closed on 174-4 off a shortened 38 overs. This was a touch below what might have been anticipated at one stage but Heywood were quietly confident of defending this score given the low scoring game on the same wicket the previous day and from what they had achieved in recent games.
The Elton openers however started brightly and took 27 off the first 3 overs before Graeme Taylor took the first wicket with the score on 31. Callum Jackson took the second Elton wicket following a smart stumping from Charles Stanford Campbell with the score on 62 to give Heywood hope but Elton were still going at 5 runs per over which was above the asking rate.
This was to be the last wicket to fall as unlike in previous weeks, the bowlers didn’t quite have the accuracy to exert pressure and the batsmen found it easy to knock the ball around for ones and twos on the big Crimble outfield. Elton comfortably reached their target with 5 overs to spare with J Birkett and P Kent finishing unbeaten with a well made 81 and 52 respectively.
So Heywood’s recent good run came to an end but at least there were bright spots in the batting of Matt Hood and the general all round ground fielding of the young side which remained of a very good standard.
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