Aug 172020

Heywood’s young third took on an experienced Walshaw team at a chilly Crimble, looking to get back to winning ways following their narrow defeat the previous week.

Walshaw won the toss and asked Heywood to bat first and they soon had the home side struggling with some tight bowling which made runs hard to come by. Matt Hood fell in the fifth over with the score on 10 and it quickly became a procession, with a couple of the batsmen feeling they were on the rough end of questionable decisions and Heywood were in deep trouble on 26-6 after 12 overs with their three senior batsmen back in the shed.

However Jonny McCulloch came to the wicket and set about repairing the damage and led two productive partnerships of 30 with Dan Openshaw and 31 with Tom Moulton before unluckily departing off a leading edge for a well made 29. Further useful runs were added by Moulton and then by Charles Stanford Campbell before both fell for 12 and 14 respectively with the Heywood side finishing on 103 all out in the 35th over. Walshaw’s opening bowler, A Hargreaves finished with the excellent figures of 8.4-3-9-7.

The score was a lot better than it might have been but with Heywood missing their two regular opening bowlers and Walshaw having posted good scores in their previous games, hopes were not particularly high of defending this relatively low score. However Walshaw started aggressively which meant chances were presented and a wicket apiece for Lee Grogan and Matt Dearden plus a run-out left Walshaw on 28-3 after 8 overs and the home team felt they were back in the game.

However, J Allum, who in the previous week had made centuries for both the seconds and thirds came to the wicket and looked like taking the game away again with some aggressive hitting. Confidence was beginning to ebb away but then veteran David Hilton came on and took a wicket in his first over and then Connor McNally took the key wicket of Allum trapping him in front for 48 with the score on 88.

This raised the home side’s hopes but with only 16 runs needed and 5 wickets and 24 overs remaining, Walshaw were still favourites. Grogan was brought back into the attack for one final roll of the dice and he and Hilton began to induce some panic in the Walshaw batsmen. A combination of some accurate bowling and some injudicious shot selection led to a steady clatter of wickets and when Grogan bowled last man J Jenkins, this prompted jubilant scenes among the Heywood team and spectators. Walshaw had fallen 8 runs short on 95, losing their last 6 wickets for 7 runs in the space of 6 overs, with Hilton finishing with 4 wickets and Grogan 3.

This was a game full of drama and incident and the young Heywood team should take great credit for turning round a game in which they were second favourites for most of it. There were many important contributions and the biggest lesson the young players can take from this is to never give up as results like this do happen.

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