May 182012

Joe Lovell is in the wickets

BY STEVE McHUGH: BOBBY Cross has challenged Heywood to “keep the momentum going” after his team’s perfect start to the season.

The cock-a-hoop side are the only unbeaten side in the Central Lancashire League after four maximum-point victories, and followed up their latest victory at Rochdale with a seven-wicket verdict over Bolton Association side Flixton the following day in the first round of the Lancashire Cricket Board’s KO Cup.

The games are coming thick and fast now, with a CLL home clash against Crompton on Saturday followed by a first round John Willie Lees Wood Cup meeting with Clifton at Crimble on Sunday (both 1.30).

And skipper Cross, who hit 92 against Flixton, wants to see no sign of complacency from the team, saying: “We have obviously started really well, but also we don’t want to get carried away after winning all our five games to date.

“There are a lot of people pointing out that we’re top and that we’re title favourites, but you can’t take any notice of that. There is so long to go.

“On the flipside, there is nothing wrong in being positive. We have had difficult games at Middleton and Rochdale and beaten them comfortably, so there is a lot to be encouraged about.

“The Wood Cup is an important game because, in the seasons we have done well in the league in recent years, we have also done well in the Cup. It helps keep the momentum going.

“We have certainly got the squad of bowlers to do make an impact in the Wood Cup with having six or seven bowling options now, which is where our professional Travis Townsend has brought such a balance to the attack.”

Two players who will be hoping to keep up the good work are Danny Pawson and Joe Lovell.

Pawson has hit three successive CLL half-centuries in a total of 186 runs in four games, and followed up with an unbeaten 36 against Flixton.

Lovell, the 18-year-old former Royton and Milnrow all-rounder, has slotted into the side impressively with 10 CLL wickets and two more in the Lancs KO Cup with his off-spinners.

Added Cross: “Danny is playing really well and showing the benefits of having a winter off after being in Australia from the previous two years.

“You can get stale playing all the year round, but now I think he is really looking forward to his weekend’s cricket. He’s really good player.”

The second team, meanwhile, lost their first game of the season by five wickets at home to Rochdale last weekend, and will be looking to get back on track at Crompton on Saturday, followed by a Burton Cup trip to Clifton on Sunday.

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