Sep 022013

CROSSEVADE0001Heywood were well beaten by an excellent Northern side in their LCB KO semi-final clash in Crosby.

The home side were excellent with the ball and in the field, restricting Heywood to 178-9 off 45 overs.

And, led by opener Stephen Lucas, they chased this total down without any bother, reaching 183-3 off 31.5 overs. Northern really are the best side by far I have seen this season.

Heywood captain Bobby Cross won the toss and batted, and his side were under deep pressure from the off thanks to the opening attack of Tom Bailey and Stephen Cole.

The former was the pacier and extracted good bounce, but Cole was the more probing, bowling wicket to wicket with a hint of swing and seam either way. On a pitch that offered a little variable bounce early on, he proved difficult to get away and picked up Andy Dawson with a delivery that nipped away and took his off stump.

Northern were stopping everything in the field, and Heywood lost Ross Zelem for 10 when he became the first victim of left-arm slowy Tom Sephton when he tried to break the shackles put upon the Heywood batting by the home attack.

With all-rounder Danny Pawson missing with an ankle injury, Cross and pro Travis Townsend knew they had to dig in and the pair were initially very watchful.

However, they took every opportunity to take ones and twos and gradually the pressure was released by the Ormskirk bowlers.

Cross was the first to bring up his half-century and Townsend soon followed, and they started to play a little more expansively against Northern’s fourth and fifth bowling options.

But, after putting on 116 for third wicket and with overs running out, first Cross was bowled for an excellent 66 and then Townsend perished to a great catch straight behind the bowler for 64.

From 154-4, Heywood were unable to push on and they ended on 178-9. It was enough to give the supporters who had travelled in good numbers some hope …

This was dispelled very quickly. Openers Lucas and Jack Boardman took a couple of overs to play themselves in before Humza Naeem bowled the latter with a beauty for 10.

From then on, a couple of sharp chances withstanding, Lucas and number three John Wildman were outstanding.

They punished all the bowlers and where Heywood found boundaries difficult, these two made scoring quickly look easy.

Lucas was the main aggressor, hitting with power in front of square on both sides of the wicket and he and Wildman both brought up 50s.

Joe Lovell picked up two wickets as Northern closed in on Heywood’s total, but Lucas continued to shine brightly and his side cruised home with 13 overs to spare.

It was a pretty ruthless demolition job by Northern, who now face Bamford Fieldhouse in the final at Old Trafford.

Huge thanks to all at Northern for making it such an enjoyable day at what is one of the best sporting complexes around, and we wish them all the best in the final.

R Zelem b Sephton 10
A Dawson b Cole 8
R Cross b Woosey 66
T Townsend c Biddlestone b Boardman 64
D Latham c Bailey b Woosey 2
W Hunt lbw b Woosey 1
R Paterson not out 13
S Dawson b Bailey 1
J Lovell c Boardman b Sephton 2
H Naeem lbw b Bailey 2
C Kaye not out 2
Extras 7
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 178
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-29, 3-145, 4-154, 5-165, 6-158, 7-160, 8-163, 9-173
Bowling: Bailey 9-1-30-2, Cole 9-1-21-1, Sephton 9-0-39-2, Boardman 9-1-41-1, Woosey 9-0-45-3
S Lucas not out 86
J Boardman b Naeem 12
J Wildman c Hunt b Lovell 52
M Walling st Latham b Lovell 16
T Bailey not out 7
Extras 10
Total (for 3 wkts, 31.5 overs) 183
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-133, 3-171
Bowling: Naeem 6-2-31-1, Paterson 4-1-28-0, A Dawson 3-0-16-0, Kaye 9-0-44-0, Lovell 8.5-0-58-2, S Dawson 1-0-3-0

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 September 2, 2013  Tagged with: , , ,  Add comments

  19 Responses to “Heywood Well Beaten By Powerful Northern In LCB KO Semi”

  1. Well written,as usual Scott and gracious in defeat.However,Heywood have lots to be proud of in representing the CLL with such distinction in this prestigious competition.Congratulations all round!

  2. Good factual report Scoop, and Bob is correct in that we have plenty to be proud of this season not least reaching the semi finals in the LCB KO and double cup success.

    Indeed Northern proved to be worthy winners, thanks to the hospitality we received and very good luck to them in the final of the competition. The standard of cricket played by the opposition yesterday was far superior to any cricket I have seen in the CLL in recent years, apart from the stand between Travis and Bobby we were generally outplayed for most of the game and we are very far from being a poor side.

    Food for thought then, If this is the type of cricket played week in week out in the Liverpool competition (yes I know we beat Ormskirk) then the CLL has much catching up to do. The days of the Lancashire league and the CLL being the best leagues in the county are now well gone. Obviously the premier league system allows payment of players and this will inevitably attract the better standard of cricketers (it is noticable that both finalists pay the majority of their players!). Paying players other than the professional is not something I am personally comfortable with for many reasons but raising the standard of cricket it is probably an inevitable consequence.

    Its high time the LCB showed leadership and asked both the Lancashire League and the CLL to have a long hard look at themselves, to do nothing is not an option any more. If both leagues are happy with the status quo then in my opinion standards will decline even more.

    I hope people dont see this as just a knee jerk reaction to defeat, and these veiws are not the official opinion of Heywood Cricket club, just my own.

  3. Brilliant comment,David.It should be read out at the League Meeting on Friday and perhaps email it to LCB and indeed The Lancashire League Chairman.

  4. Shag we need a visonary thats for sure but paying any player Pro excepted is something that should be avoided at all cost. Northern and Bamford have reached the final and congratulations to them both but it will always be the richest clubs that prosper. In True Corinthian spirit surely we have already started a better process that might take harder work and a longer timeframe to see results but investment in our fantastic youth set up is surely the right way to go.

    With our under 9′s having record attendance numbers for training and this filtering upstream through 11′s 13′s 15′s 18′s I personally look forward to watching 10 Heywood young men and a pro fight tooth and nail for honours sometime around 2025.

    Deep pockets and paying not quite good enough journeymen sticks in my throat, the wrong type of message for every junior who passes through the gates at 5.55pm every Tuesday night. Lets continue to set an example to the CLL and strive for excellence but the right way. We are not on our own as Norden and Clifton and others also look like they are treading a similar path.

    More food for thought what would the LCB KO have done if we had won on Sunday and forfeighted the final to play the Littleborough game? Now that would have created a storm and I would love to see a response to that question from the CLL management comittee who have been nothing short of pathetic in recent weeks ( My thoughts and absolutely nothing to do with HCC ).

  5. Morally, I agree with John, in reality I have to agree with the former chairman.
    However, I don’t think it is fair to mention Bamford and Northern in the same breath. One is a fabulous, traditional but forward-looking club, looking to field a team of the best players in Lancashire and also promote its own players. The other is Bamford.
    There comes a time when we have to admit we can’t compete on many levels with a club like Northern. They have many advantages over most clubs in the country. There is no hint of jealousy here – it looks a well-run club and the team of excellent young players (and the odd old head) they have does not happen by just throwing money at it. Good luck to them – they are a million miles away from Bamford. Their location in an affluent area does not hinder them either.
    However, we can take certain things on board. On the most basic level, the football was the dominant factor in the main bar area. Our TV is out of the way in the back room. We need to make Heywood more of a social club than just a cricket club.
    But back to cricket. As David says, the standard of cricket in the CLL and East Lancashire as a whole is a million miles behind this league. The Lancashire League have stamped out any potential for progress by ruling out merging with or taking on board good clubs from the Ribblesdale League, while we in the CLL labour under the misapprehension that playing teams we have played for more than a hundred years is preferable to change. What other leagues are doing about the future, I do not know, but with the Manchester Association having collapsed, there is no better time than now for administrators to rip up the rule book and restructure cricket in East Lancashire. There are many ideas and formulas already floating around.
    We need to decide if we want to watch the best cricket we can, attract the best young players to the best clubs (if clubs want to pay then that is a reality of life) and bring some variety and vibrancy back to league cricket. Standing still and playing out the same tedious old rivalries year after year, while the better players are constantly attracted to different leagues is not what I want to see.

  6. Its an interesting debate and as before a visonary is required.

    More radical thoughts on the bigger longer term future of league cricket in Central and East Lancashire.

    I dont know the answer. My preference would be to watch good / high standard cricket with 10 local lads playing another 10 local lads from another borough ( Plus the pro ).

    all this drafting in not quite good enough to be a pro lads and slipping them £50 a game just puts me off. ( i appreciate I probably am not visonary enough!!!! ).

    Something has to change it is a very tangled web of a problem with a whole host of people very set in their ways, Most of them reluctant to change there egg and cress for a ham and mustard so anything more important may prove to be impossible!!

    Just to quickly add my own Congratulations to Walsden on a well deserved title. The best team in 2013 in my own opinion. They have set a bar and one we can aim for in 2014.

  7. Bad luck Heywood but still a tremendous achievement getting so far.

    Have read through the comments above I would say that I actually don’t think the CLL is inferior to the Liverpool Comp. I have watched several games over there over the years and my attendance usually doubles the gate.

    Northern might have had the edge on Heywood this time but Heywood did beet Ormskirk earlier on. Also if you played that game a few times a reckon you would get a 50/50 split on the winner.

    In my opinion the best cricket team in the North West is Walsden. Look what they have achieved with a professional who cannot bat!

    If this Walsden team had a 1000 runs a season professional in the their team I cannot see any team from any league besting them over a season. And that is with 10 genuine local amateurs in the team all who live within a mile or so of the ground

    Of course we all know that the cricket Gods works in mysterious ways and on the day any result is possible

    I suppose that is why we all find the game so addictive.

    And no I am not Walsden fan in case anyone wondered, just a well travelled local cricket watcher

  8. We need to decide on what we are trying to achieve here.
    Are we striving for a competive league structure that could be achieved via mergers or are we trying to create an all conquering team to rival Northern and the like?

    If it’s the latter then I fear for John’s masterplan which would be a shame. As good as our youth set up is now, it would be highly unusual to be able to field eleven high class local players who could compete with the likes of Northern week in and week out. To reach that level I’m sure you would need to import players (paid or unpaid) to supplement the very best of our own crop. I don’t know but I would imagine Northern’s side would be made up of a mixture of locals and imports.

    John and all the other youth team coaches are doing a tremendous job and I would hate to see all that effort wasted and the young players’ ambitions of first team cricket being frustrated by an influx of people from all over the county. That may be the way to achieve the ultimate standards and form an elite system but it would surely spell the end of local cricket. You are surely going to have spend to compete and any club that can’t do so will be left behind and potentially fold. Is that what we want?

  9. Good points well made.
    John’s approach is the most seductive, but the only team locally that has a crop of players entirely home-grown is Walsden, and this is not a team that has evolved over time, but rather is one that has come together very recently as the lads have decided that, for a lengthy period or a short period of time, they want to represent their home club. However, when the Huddersfield League or Liverpool Comp etc come knocking with good money, will they all stick with their home club? Paying the bills is important.
    Much as I think we have an excellent crop of young players coming through, we need some glue to give them a chance to thrive and maybe that has to come from outside. Look at what happened in the early 2000s when we made great strides forward. To attract such players – without paying, because Crimble is still, alongside Towncroft, the best ground in this area – we need to offer them good, competitive cricket with good facilities. Our facilities are improving, but the standard of cricket? I’m not remotely convinced the CLL is anywhere near the best standard around.
    As for Hilts’ points, I think we all know where Dave stands on this. But with all due respect Dave, you enjoy the social aspect of the game and second team cricket is not really ailing as much as first team cricket, except that young players all around the league need to learn how to bat for longer. This really isn’t about second team cricket – those of us who regularly watch the senior team know standards are not as good as they could and should be.
    As for Brian’s point, yes, Walsden are an excellent team and will only get better. But even with a good pro, they are not in the same league as Northern, or Ormskirk. Trust me Brian – I was there at both games. These teams are semi-pro in more than the obvious way – their approach and attitudes and preparation for games was infinitely superior to teams I have seen in the CLL. And back to Walsden. I don’t think they are any better than Middleton were the past couple of seasons, or than Norden were, or than Rochdale are (I think they are the team to beat next year, as long as they believe in themselves). Littleborough, Rochdale, Norden, Middleton and some Milnrow and Radcliffe sides of the past 25 years have been superior. Standards have slipped and are continuing to slip. That does not take away from the fact Walsden have improved massively and will continue to do so.
    Anyway, this debate needs to happen at a much higher level than one cricket club’s website!

  10. Not sure where the second team thing has come from Scott – I didn’t mention it. I’ve primarily only ever been a second teamer but those who have played with me know that I like to compete, hate losing and expect the highest possible standards to be witheld. You also have to enjoy playing though – otherwise what’s the point!

    I’m not pushing ‘social’ cricket Scott – I am pushing local cricket and I believe John is also – a team primarily made up of local lads who have come through our youth system with maybe one/two imports and a pro to bolster it.
    I’m not sure the folk of Heywood would want to come and support a team of superstar exiles who jump from club to club each season hunting pots or dare I say it a larger back hander.
    I agree that standards probably need to be raised and an amalgomation of leagues would no doubt achieve that to a large extent. That way we preserve the identity of our excellent club if not that of the league.

  11. It’s not about superstar exiles – it’s about making Heywood, and the CLL, attractive places to play cricket for young players. The point I am trying to make Hilts is that you haven’t spent the last three years watching nearly every first team game. I have. And I don’t think the standards are especially high. I’m sure all league cricket watchers from all leagues remember stronger periods of league cricket. Or is it rose-tinted glasses?
    No one is advocating spending at Heywood and bringing in players at the expense of homegrown players. But to continue to enjoy better and more competitive cricket, there needs to be competition for places and sometimes we will be weak in certain areas of the club. I’m thinking of players like Ross and Danny Pawson – no one can argue they have hindered the progress of kids born within the sound of St Luke’s bells and who have been at Heywood since they could walk, but they came to the club while young and have raised standards.
    League cricket needs to change. Old rivalries are now bitter rivalries in some cases. Playing teams from other leagues has been an eye opener in many ways, but there has also been no enmity, no unpleasantries with other clubs as they are new rivalries. And I have been mightily impressed with the spirit and on-field conduct of the Liverpool teams, far better than the CLL.
    That’s my view!

  12. Absolutely agree with you Scott – as per my previous post, one or two newcomers like Ross and Danny is great and essential to lift standards – all I’m saying is let’s be careful in our strive for ‘excellence’ and not jump on the bandwagon of importing superstars wholesale.

    You are right in that to some extent I’m viewing from afar but results show that we are not that far away from being a very good team – we have won the cup, reached the semis of the Lancashire knockout and potentially may still finish second in the league despite the recent forfeiture. Having blooded 2-3 young players into the team this year that can only be seen as a fantastic season. If that side can remain for the next couple of years with maybe the odd addition then surely we will have a very good side capable of regaining the league title and be competing in the latter stages of the Lancashire knockout again.

  13. For those who might be interested there much discussion relating to this material on this local cricket forum. Varied contributions tend to come from most local leagues, although the feedback has been a little slow of late

  14. Not a Heywood member, but I came to your fantastic website to get a report on the LKO Semi and enjoyed reading your debate. Hopefully I can add a little to it…

    Firstly, I am not a member (or affiliated to) any club. I’m simply a long-time cricket lover, who’s watched a fair bit of league cricket over the past 20/30 years (especially in the Liverpool Comp/Northern League).

    I’ve watched Heywood once this season – I saw the majority of your game in the Lancs(?) against Ormskirk. Firstly, I thought it was an excellent game of cricket and my impressions of Heywood was a good, youngish side and a well supported, ‘proper’ club. To, with relative ease, beat a full-strength Ormskirk side, at home, was an excellent achievement and says a lot about your club and, dare I say, league.

    I think the thing that most stands out for me when watching the ‘top’ Comp clubs (Bootle, Lytham, Ormskirk, Northern) over top clubs from other leagues (Netherfield, St Annes, FSC, etc) is that there is far more of a professional attitude – something alluded to above. Personally, I think that comes from getting the right group of players together at the same time – money can’t buy lads getting down to the Club two or three times a week for nets, getting to games a good hour and a half before the game to have a full, proper, warm up. Money can bring runs and wickets to a Club, but in rare cases, can you buy in that type of ‘attitude’.

    Northern would be a case in point. From memory, I would guess that only three or four of their first XI are ‘Northern lads’ (i.e. – played in their U13s, 15s, etc) but I would also suggest only a couple of their lads get paid, and even then, it’s not just for cricket. They have to coach, help with the wicket, etc.

    What Northern do well is take the best cricketers from 16-19 who are not playing in the Comp’s Premier League (Walling, Lucas, Bailey, Sephton, etc) and offer them a good place to play cricket, a driven enviroment, aimed at getting the best out of each player and the like.

    Reading about your club, and having watched (admittedly, only one) game of yours this season, I don’t think you do much wrong. You have a good club, a good following and good young players.

    Hope to see you again in the future at a Comp ground!

  15. There are some good points here and at at risk of sounding hypercritical there are one or two anomolies that i am ok with.

    Scoop mentioned being born hearing the bells at St Lukes ( Love it!! – I could!! i was in the shadow of Mutual Mill!! )

    Humza – Danny – Joe Lovell – Ross et al ( and there have been a few i played with – Mike Arnold – Wilky even Mark Wright )

    Non are Heywood lads born and bred but all showed a genine love for the club and either played or still play for many seasons.

    Humza from 11 years old and Wrighty well he might as well have moved to Aspinall street 25 years ago!!

    There are exceptions and all of the above show that we are not exclusive to those born on the A58 between Chamber House and Heap Bridge!! Any player who is North West based, plays for the love of the game, shows some continuity in playing and has a genuine affection for Heywood as a club is fine by me.

    Yes we want better standard and how the league can move this forward is a minefield.

    Lets just not do anything with one season Pot Hunters on £50 a game in beer tokens!!

  16. Fash –
    I really must correct you on me apparently not being a Heywood lad !
    I WAS BORN IN MY PARENTS HOUSE on MILLER STREET and my first breath on this earth were taken within a stones throw of Crimble – AND guess who lived next door – GERRY HEYWOOD
    I suppose it is true I didn’t play cricket for Heywood till I was nearly 16 so I’ll let you off

    Look forward to sharing a pint with you on the race trip

  17. Good stuff that Dessy – thanks for the input.
    We don’t do a lot wrong – we are a young side who won’t always perform to our best every week but when we do are hard to beat. We have a lot to offer at Heywood in many coaches, a huge, brilliantly maintained ground and real enthusiasm from fans and players. Sometimes we expect too much of our kids – we had two under-18s and four players 19 and under in that team., plus two 21-year-olds or so, and our first-choice keeper/ batsman was missing. So we are doing exceptionally well and have more than held our own this season. It’s just that Northern were ruthlessly good, and that provokes thought.
    John/ Wrighty – I was born on John Street, although raised in Norden. Suppose I count as both a ‘Heywoodney’ and an outsider. There’s not much wrong at HCC and we have some great coaches and great young players. There’s a chance for the right people to show some real determination and make a name for themselves in the first team in the next few years. I am optimistic (honestly)

  18. Cheers Scoop.

    The one thing I’d add, is I think that’s exactly the way to do it. I know if I was intimately involved in a Club – either as player/member – I’d much rather see a youngish, localish team build over two, three, four seasons, to something remarkable like a Lancs/National win; as opposed to pay five or six lads £100 per game and see success go as soon as the money goes. For a case study of that phenomenon, just look at Bootle!

  19. Wrighty 1000 apologies!!

    Long day yesterday what was i thinking ( a Heywood Legend of all people!!!! )

    I guess its the fact you lived outside OL10 for so long but I certainly know you are HCC to the core.

    Really looking forward to the race trip. If anything like all the others it will indeed be another fantastic day out.

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