Clifton 2nd XI 156 (Purser 3-37, Grogan 2-49, Fawcett 2-13, Smethurst 2-28); Heywood 2nd XI 148-9: Heywood lost by eight runs
It was a case of same old, same old for Heywood Cricket Club seconds against Clifton on Saturday at Crimble.
Their top-order batting folded like a cheap concertina, and they were never really in with a shout of chasing down Clifton’s target of 156 all out.
That they reached 148-9 was down to some positive batting from the late middle order, but it made it five defeats in a row for Roger Smethurst’s men. It was made worse by an injury to veteran Rick Purser, who suffered serious knee ligament damage.
It was enough to leave Smethurst thoroughly down in the dumps.
He said: “It was disappointing again. The top five batted badly and got us behind the run rate.
“This put us behind the run rate and put the rest of the batting order under pressure.
“It’s been the same story for weeks now.”
Bowling first, the Heywood attack looked to have kept Clifton under wraps as they slumped to 94-7 thanks to impressive pre-injury bowling from Purser (3-37) and Mikey Grogan (2-49).
But a 40-run partnership for the eight wicket between Stephen Thorpe and Matthew Hay took Clifton to 133-8, and from there they eked out another 23 runs before being dismissed from the last ball of the 50th and final over. Dom Fawcett and Smethurst each picked up two wickets.
Heywood were in a desperate place with the bat. Simon Dawson, Tom Blundell, Phil Dawson, Wes Hunt and Mark Wright were all back in the shack with the score on 38-5 and 20 overs gone.
Once again, Chris Booth showed his potential, scoring 27 and sharing in a 42-run partnership with veteran Dave Hilton (27) that took Heywood to 80-6 and in with a slight chance.
Fawcett (26no) and Grogan (20) added to their contributions with the ball to enhance their growing all-round reputations, but it was not enough and Heywood finished on 148-9 for an eight-run defeat.
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