Mark Wright defied Father Time with a performance from the archives as Heywood seconds continued their march to the CLL Second Division Title.
Wright – the second-highest first team run scorer in the club’s history but now into his 50s – was called into the side to face Milnrow at home at the last minute to cover for Simon Dawson, who had been called into work on Saturday.
And when he was needed most, Wright showed he has lost none of his competitive spirit, hitting a superb 44 – including several trademark straight and square drives for four – when his side needed it most as they chased down Milnrow’s 142 all out.
That Milnrow were restricted to just 142 was down to a great ‘squeeze’ in the middle overs, led by another veteran and captain Roger Smethurst.
Smethurst was aided and abetted by a player at the other end of the spectrum – Dom Fawcett – and the pair of them stopped Milnrow’s momentum as at one stage, with 25 overs to go, they were 90-2.
But Smethurst picked up four wickets and Fawcett two, and despite some desperately slack fielding, Heywood restricted Milnrow to a chaseable score on a lively wicket.
Heywood started slowly through Phil Dawson and Sean Burrill but another important contribution from Fawcett got Heywood back on track.
Wright then provided the momentum and solidity needed to chase down the visitors’ total, and although it took Heywood until the 49th over to chase down the 142, it was inevitable from a long way out that Heywood had done enough to preserve their lead at the top of the table.
R Wilman c Jones b Blundell 4
L Howcroft c Blundell b D Fawcett 28
D Smith c Hunt b Purser 3
D Lord b D Fawcett 35
C Williamson st Jones b Byrne 28
C Dempsey lbw b Smethurst 0
J Butler b Smethurst 20
M Owen c Burrill b Blundell 2
M Mahmood b Smethurst 3
J Dawson not out 0
N Clarke b Smethurst 0
Total (49.4 overs) 142
Bowling: Purser 15-5-29-1, Blundell 10-1-39-2, Byrne 8-1-31-1, D Fawcett 7-2-14-2, Smethurst 9.4-1-22-4
P Dawson lbw b Clarke 17
S Burrill lbw b Butler 5
D Fawcett b Lord 19
M Wright lbw b Owen 44
W Hunt b Wilman 23
C Booth not out 9
T Blundell b Wilman 0
S Jones not out 2
Total (for 6 wkts, 48.3 overs) 146
Bowling: Butler 11-5-25-1, Smith 8-5-11-0, Lord 7-2-13-1, Clarke 8-0-30-1, Owen 9-0-38-1, Wilman 5.3-0-18-2.
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