Heywood Seconds’ batsman have to take a hard look at themselves after a poor display on Saturday.
They were bowled out for a paltry 72 at Walsden, when chasing down the home side’s below-par 142 on a good wicket at Scott Street.
Too few batsmen showed any desire to bat for any length of time, and worse still, played round too many straight balls, a sure sign that something is amiss.
Smethurst said: “It was a poor batting display where, Mikey Grogan apart, none of the Heywood batsmen showed any application on what was a good wicket.
“It was a bad game to lose having been in a great position at tea and with other results having gone in our favour we could have started to pull away at the top.
“As it is, the league has closed back up again and we may have now dropped to second or third. There are no more than six points separating first from sixth so we can ill afford further defeats in the weeks to come.”
Smethurst lost the toss and Walsden made a decent start through opener Ryan Howley, who hit 31 before falling to Lee Grogan.
Further tight bowling from Grogan and Rick Purser tied them down, and the fielding was excellent, especially when dangerous opener Brown was run out by Smethurst. Purser took a spectacular one-handed caught and bowled to dismiss prolific scoring Danny Bailey, and Scott Jones held a good catch to dismiss Dan Howley, who was looking well set.
Walsden never really got going apart from captain Stuart Hanson, who tried to counter attack and scored a quick 30 before being bowled by Dominic Fawcett during an excellent spell of seven overs that also included Mickey Grogan taking a tough catch at long-off.
The innings was concluded with two good run outs, the first one following good work by Chris Booth and the second from sharp work between Sam Byrne and Grogan.
At tea, Heywood were very satisfied as this was a below par score on a good wicket. The only fly in the ointment was that Hood was taken ill while Heywood were fielding, possibly with pre-wedding nerves as he gets married this week in Cyprus – although after attending hospital he was later diagnosed with a viral infection.
Heywood’s innings started with Simon Dawson in usual positive mode, but they lost Wes Hunt early bowled playing across the line.
Dawson was then bowled also having missed a straight one and with Dom Fawcett given out to the first of two dubious LBW decisions a few balls later Heywood were in deep trouble.
Worse was to follow when Lee Grogan was bowled trying to unsettle the experienced Mick Butcher. Chris Booth also didn’t last long before being caught behind.
Smethurst and Mikey Grogan then started to try and rebuild the innings before the captain was victim of the second dubious LBW.
Scott Jones and Purser were unable to make any impact and it was left to Byrne and Mikey Grogan to try and bring some respectability to the score before Mikey was eventually last man out bowled round his legs with a massive 22 overs remaining.
Smethurst continued: “Next week is yet another tough away game for us at Rochdale where we will be missing Matt Hood who’s on holiday for a fortnight getting married, and Lee Grogan who’s at a wedding.”
D Brown run out 6
R Howley c and b L Grogan 31
D Howley c Jones b Purser 20
D Bailey c and b Purser 4
P Marrow b S Dawson 4
S Hanson b D Fawcett 38
N Butcher c Hunt b D Fawcett 1
T Illingworth not out 18
J Steven c M Grogan b D Fawcett 0
G Connor run out 2
J Barnes run out 0
Total (44.2 overs) 142
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-48, 3-59, 4-68, 5-76, 6-90, 7-128, 8-128, 9-139, 10-142
Bowling: L Grogan 12.2-1-38-1, Purser 15-5-33-2, S Dawson 10-1-55-1, D Fawcett 7-2-14-3
S Dawson b Barnes 17
W Hunt b Illingworth 2
L Grogan b Butcher 13
D Fawcett lbw b Barnes 0
R Smethurst lbw b Barnes 4
C Booth c ? b Barnes 3
M Grogan b Butcher 14
S Jones st ? b Butcher 2
R Purser st ? b Hanson 0
Byrne not out 4
M Hood did not bat
Total (28 overs) 72
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-32, 3-37, 4-41, 5-45, 6-51, 7-61, 8-64, 9-72
Bowling: Barnes 11-1-35-4, Illingworth 4-0-16-1, Butcher 10-2-16-3, Hanson 3-0-5-1
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