Aug 252014

Top-class batting from Bobby Cross

BY STEVE McHUGH: HEYWOOD’S recent revival was emphasised by a convincing defeat of struggling Rochdale at Redbrook.

The only disappointing feature of an eight-wicket victory, with Bobby Cross making an almost faultless, unbeaten 86, was that they did not take all five points!

Heywood had a grip on the Rochdale innings, after they put the home side in to bat, almost throughout, and excellent new ball bowling by Simon Dawson in particular and Riley Paterson – backed up later by Humza Naeem – reduced the home side to 58-7.

The fact that Rochdale then rallied to make 158-9 from their 50 overs was a combination of defiance by Kelton Aughey, the talented Scott Butterworth – who went in at No 9 because he is still recovering from a hand injury – and last man James O’Neill, plus dropped catches by Heywood.

Aughey made 20 and shared an eight-wicket stand of 35 with Butterworth, Dale Highton helped Butterworth put on 24 for the ninth wicket, then last man James O’Neill made an unbeaten 24 out of 41 for the last wicket.

Did Heywood take their foot off the gas? Butterworth, who excelled with his unbeaten 45, certainly looked a class apart from the rest of the Rochdale batting line-up, but it’s arguable that Rochdale were the team with the momentum at the tea break.

Heywood, however, were meticulous in knocking off the runs, with Dale Latham falling for seven at 26-1 in the 19th over.

That brought in-form Danny Pawson to the wicket and he and Cross got things going. Cross gave his only semblance of a chance on 24 with what would have been a stunning low return catch to Butterworth, while Pawson immediately carried on his fluency of his previous day’s 145 not out.

So it was something of a surprise when the skipper went for 36 to an excellent catch by wicketkeeper O’Neill, standing up to paceman Derek Faulkner.

If, at 100-2, Rochdale thought they had a sniff, the relentless Cross and professional Tom Cullen snuffed it out with a stand of 62. They took no chances and ground their way to victory with 13 balls to spare, Cross playing the dominant role of all the batsmen in the match.

And mention should also be made of the rapidly-improving Simon Dawson, whose excellent figures of 4-66 from 20 overs were slightly spoiled by Rochdale’s late rally.

So Heywood are now well placed for a top four spot, and maybe even the top three, after a mid-season wobble.
I Hague c A Dawson b S Dawson 2
S Wornes lbw b S Dawson 2
W Lansdale b Paterson 15
D Cryer b S Dawson 0
J Henderson b Naeem 17
D Faulkner b Kaye 10
L Brown c and b Naeem 7
K Aughey c Cullen b S Dawson 20
S Butterworth not out 45
D Highton b Kaye 8
J O’Neill not out 24
Extras 8
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 158
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-17, 3-17, 4-21, 5-37, 6-56, 7-58, 8-93, 9-117
Bowling: Paterson 9-1-19-1, S Dawson 20-5-66-4, Kaye 16-2-58-2, Naeem 5-1-14-2
R Cross not out 86
D Latham c Henderson b Butterworth 7
D Pawson c O’Neill b Faulkner 36
T Cullen not out 20
Extras 13
Total (for 2 wkts, 47.5 overs) 162
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-100
Bowling: Butterworth 18-2-47-1, Highton 11-3-42-0, Lansdale 2-0-14-0, Faulkner 11.5-2-34-1, Brown 5-1-21-0

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