HEYWOOD’S ground crew worked tirelessly to provide an enthralling double header of action at Crimble over the weekend while many other clubs were still trying to recover from the after-effects of the shocking winter and early spring weather.
The first team managed to get in more than half of their opening game in the Premier Division of the newly-inaugurated Greater Manchester League at home to Glossop before a prolonged snow shower lasting more than an hour forced an abandonment.
The only other Premier game to see action was Clifton v Edgworth, with the home side reaping the rewards via a 77-run defeat of Edgworth.
The second team’s scheduled first GMCL outing at Denton West in Division Three was called off without a ball being bowled.
But the third team (REPORT TO COME) fought out a thrilling home duel with Unsworth in the North East Sunday Division the following day, and the match ended in a cricketing rarity – a tie!
The good news for Premier postponements and abandonments is that the games can be replayed from scratch – forward thinking by the new organisation – and have been re-arranged for Sunday, August 28 (12.30).
The senior game against Glossop promised to be tight affair after Heywood had made 139-7 from their 50 overs. The visitors then struggled to 9-1 before the abandonment.
Heywood, not unsurprisingly inserted after losing the toss, made a promising start with Liam Mason making a bright 26 out of an opening partnership of 48 with Bobby Cross until falling to an excellent catch by Dale Pennington running from point.
Cross, joined by newly-installed professional Danny Pawson, struggled for his usual timing in the tough conditions, so much so that he did not reach double figures until the 26th over.
But he was showing signs of his normal fluency and had reached 27 before off-spinner Will Hargreaves came into the attack to change the face of the game.
Hargreaves bowled Cross, and accounted for new overseas amateur Jayden Borg, Dominic Humphreys and debut boy Chris Thomas for ducks. And a further dismissal of Sean Burrill for seven gave the slow bowler figures of 5-27 in 11 impressive overs.
In between, Pawson made an auspicious start to his new role and had reached 27 before middling a pulled shot off visiting professional Gionne Koopman unfortunately straight to Damien Eyre on the square leg boundary.
Heywood had lurched from 83-1 to 119-7 and it was left to Wes Hunt with a bright and breezy unbeaten 25 to give the home innings much needed impetus in the closing overs.
The final total of 139-7 was not near what once looked possible but the consensus of opinion was that it would still be tough to chase down in the conditions.
And so it seemed when Simon Dawson quickly had Oliver Kenyon slickly caught by Cross at gulley, before the snow came to dampen the excitement – but not the enthusiasm for both sides’ new ventures.
R Cross b Hargreaves 27
L Mason c Pennington b Usher 26
D Pawson c Eyre b Koopman 27
J Borg c Koopman b Hargreaves 0
D Humphreys b Hargreaves 0
C Thomas lbw b Hargreaves 0
S Burrill b Hargreaves 7
W Hunt not out 25
C Humphreys not out 6
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs) 139
Fall of wickets: 1-48, 2-83, 3-92, 4-98, 5-100, 6-112, 7-119
Bowling: Hunt 5-1-14-0, Usher 12-3-28-1, Kenyon 9-1-20-0, Koopman 13-1-47-1, Hargreaves 11-3-27-5
Kenyon c Cross b S Dawson 1
Pennington not out 3
Koopman not out 0
Total (for 1 wkt, 6.1 overs) 9
Fall of wicket: 1-5
Bowling: C Humphreys 3-1-5-0, S Dawson 3-0-3-1
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