REPORT BY STEVE McHUGH: HEYWOOD emerged on the wrong side of a high-scoring Greater Manchester Premier League encounter for a second successive away match.
They lost by just five runs at Prestwich a fortnight ago, having scored 236 in a run chase. And they followed up by posting 250 in the next away trip on Saturday, to Woodbank, only to see the home side chase down their victory target by reaching 251-7.
Yes, Heywood did make a fight of it towards the end by grabbing four quick wickets to secure a point that their efforts deserved.
But the fact that the bowlers failed to defend a total of 250-9 and Woodbank coasted to 225-3 before the late drama suggests that Heywood are getting their act together with the bat – if not the ball.
Heywood’s innings was a mixed bag. Openers Bobby Cross and Riley Patterson got their side off to a lightning start by reaching 55-0 after seven overs, but once Paterson was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Nick Kennedy for 15 with the total 65 the complexion of the innings changed.
Cross went caught behind off Read for a sparkling contribution of 49 from the first ball of the 14th over, just when he looked for a sizeable contribution, and wickets started to tumble at regular intervals.
Jack Morley, Travis Townsend, Dale Latham (first ball), Sean Burrill and Andy Dawson came and went cheaply as Kennedy spun a web to end with 4-41 from his 15 overs, and at 133-7 Heywood look set to fold for an insignificant total on the quick-scoring Bury area ground.
But Wes Hunt came in to join Danny Pawson and the pair dug in to turn the tide. Hunt produced one of his best innings in the senior side, while Pawson – after battling his way through a subdued start – started to take control.
So much so that they put together an eighth-wicket stand of 78 before Hunt went for 34, caught on the boundary edge trying to accelerate the scoring rate even further.
Pawson saw it through almost to the end before being run out in the final over, and his 74 contained three sixes and five boundaries as Heywood set Woodbank a 251 victory target.
Then it was home professional Phil Hayes who stepped up to the challenge.
The man well known to local cricket followers following stints in the Central Lancashire League and the Lancashire League came in at 44-1, after Pawson had trapped Will Turner lbw for 28, and paced his innings perfectly.
He saw Woodbank’s other opener, Gavin Nichol, fall lbw to Morley for 26 and the highly-rated Harry Dearden caught by Paterson off Townsend for 18. And at 125-3 with just 19 overs and three balls left the match was in the balance.
But Hayes then found a willing ally in Anthony Harris and the duo made sure that their side kept up with the required run rate.
Hayes led the way in a stand of 100 and richly deserved his century off 96 balls, containing two sixes and nine boundaries, only to be bowled by Townsend without addition to his score. And that sparked the mini-collapse.
Harris followed lbw to Tom McQuinn, brought back into the attack, for 34 and the Australian bowler had Murphy caught behind by Hunt two balls later.
It was 245-7 when Townsend then had Lewis McIntosh caught by Pawson on the long-off boundary. But Read ended the alarms when he smashed the next ball for six to end Heywood’s renaissance.
R Paterson lbw b Kennedy 15
R Cross c Gowers b Read 49
J Morley c Nichol b Kennedy 12
T Townsend c McIntosh b Kennedy 6
D Pawson run out 74
D Latham c Harris b Kennedy 0
S Burrill lbw b McIntosh 9
A Dawson b McIntosh 5
W Hunt c McIntosh b Dearden 34
T McQuinn not out 5
C Hilton not out 0
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 250
Fall of wickets: 1-65, 2-80, 3-92, 4-104, 5-104, 6-125, 7-133, 8-211, 9-247
Bowling: K Grundy 6-0-39-0, L McIntosh 13-0-65-2, N Kennedy 15-5-41-4, C Read 8-1-37-1, G Nichol 5-0-29-0, H Dearden 3-0-20-1
W Turner lbw b Pawson 28
G Nichol lbw b Morley 26
P Hayes b Townsend 100
H Dearden c Paterson b Townsend 18
A Harris lbw b McQuinn 34
L McIntosh c Pawson b Townsend 5
N Murray c Hunt b McQuinn 2
C Read not out 12
D Gowers not out 0
Total (7 wkts, 48.2 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-86, 3-125, 4-225, 5-233, 6-235, 7-245
Bowling: T McQuinn 8-0-45-2, D Pawson 9-2-52-1, T Townsend 13.2-0-45-3, J Morley 14-0-70-1, A Dawson 4-0-29-0
+ HEYWOOD Monkeys’ second match in the Marston’s T20 Cup, at home to Thornham Thunder, was washed out without a ball being bowled. Now they go to Littleborough Lakeside on Friday (6pm) for the third game in their Group.
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