TO say that Heywood’s overwhelming defeat by a powerful Prestwich team at Crimble was not a surprise is a gross understatement.
The home team, decimated by having to dig deep into their reserves because of many senior players having accepted long-standing invitations to attend team-mate Dale Latham’s wedding, were blown away by the visitors’ batting display.
Prestwich rattled up 269-4 from 42 overs and would certainly have topped 300 but for losing eight overs in an hour’s break for rain.
Heywood from that point on never really had a chance of getting anything out of the game and, following two further weather breaks in their innings, closed on 116-4 from 28 overs – 72 runs short of a recalculated target.
Prestwich’s big-hitters gorged on the home attack, with opener James Wharmby topping 1,000 runs for the season in making 92 then Ryan Stanbury crashing his second successive century against Heywood following his unbeaten 100 in the reverse League match at The Heys back in May.
His contribution of 110 this time came off just 62 balls with three sixes, and the torture only ended when he was caught from the last ball of the innings.
Prestwich knew from that point that the only really danger to a facile victory was getting in 20 overs to make it a match, so Andy Bradley and fellow spinner Nathan Bailey formed an all-spin attack to get through the required quota before they could relax and turn to other bowlers.
Riley Paterson and skipper Travis Townsend shared an opening partnership of 57 before falling for 43 and 28 respectively, while Jack Morley made 25, yet it was all in vain.
So the title-chasing visitors claimed five points but not the bonus point, which is probably what they could feasibly have wanted out of the game considering gloomy weather forecasts threatening an abandonment.
But what of Heywood? The players called in to shore up the side certainly did the Club proud, and a special mention should be made of Mikey Witts.
The 16-year-old became the senior team’s FIFTH wicketkeeper this season – after Bobby Cross, Wes Hunt, Dale Latham and Sean Burrill – and his competent display featured a slick stumping of visiting skipper Sam Holden off Morley.
Yet the fact that Heywood have had to make so many changes to a specialist position says more than words about the problems the Club have faced in selection this season.
J Wharmby lbw b McQuinn 92
S Holden st Witts b Morley 21
M Walters b Hilton 8
R Stanbury c Townsend b Paterson 110
L Dale not out 25
Total (for 3 wkts, 42 overs) 269
Fall of wickets: 1-73, 2-90, 3-162, 4-269
Bowling: T McQuinn 13-0-60-1, R Paterson 8-0-78-1, J Morley 13-0-75-1, C Hilton 5-0-31-1, T Townsend 3-0-23-0
R Paterson b Memon 43
T Townsend c Wharmby b Bradley 28
M Witts c Wharmby b Bailey 3
J Morley b Walters 25
A Khanna not out 2
R Bennett not out 10
Total (for 4 wkts, 28 overs) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-62, 3-102, 4-104
Bowling: N Bailey 10-0-47-1, A Bradley 10-1-28-1, R Stanbury 1-0-8-0, M Walters 4-0-20-1, Q Memon 3-0-12-1
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