HEYWOOD’S third successive victory shows they should have nothing to fear in the inaugural Greater Manchester Premier League season.
They moved to fourth from bottom after making harder work than necessary of a three-wicket defeat of fellow strugglers Bury.
But the past fortnight has shown that Heywood can look forward to continuing climbing the table – providing the batting line-up starts to erase its profligate tendencies.
Heywood were again excellent in the field as they dismissed Bury for 97, skipper Chris Humphreys setting the tone with an inspired marathon spell after taking the new ball.
He and Simon Dawson had Bury on the back foot from the off, with Dawson claiming the first two wickets in successive balls.
And, although it took Humphreys until the last of his permitted 15 overs to claim his solitary wicket, his control put the Bury batsmen under pressure throughout and his final figures of 1-18 underline just what an important role he played.
Spinners Jack Morley, with 2-41, and particularly Joe Lovell cashed in to mop up the Bury tail, with the latter claiming the last four wickets for just two runs in 22 balls!
A total of 97 looked a comfortable target for Heywood on a wicket that was far from a minefield, but the batting unit continues to have the home supporters on the edge of their seats.
Liam Mason went early to a loose shot, professional Danny Pawson was bowled shouldering arms and Dominic Humphreys fell lbw.
Overseas amateur Jayden Borg kept Heywood going forward, however, and looked composed with his aggressive contribution of 38. So it was something of a surprise when he was bowled by Johnny Budd with 30 runs still needed for victory.
Wes Hunt soon became another lbw victim before Andy Dawson was joined by Sean Burrill to take Heywood to the brink of victory.
But, with just two runs needed, Burrill was run out in a farcical mix-up and Lovell was caught at gulley from his first ball to leave the home side on 96-7.
That left the 15-year-old Morley to join the resolute Dawson, who is showing welcome responsibility in the middle order, and the pair made sure there were no further alarms.
If there was a little regret from another victory, it’s that Heywood lost those two late wickets to allow the visitors to snatch a bonus point for claiming seven victims.
Yet the home side can certainly be happy with another five-point haul and look forward to continuing their revival.
A Greenidge lbw b C Humphreys 32
K Belston c Borg b S Dawson 5
F Parr c Borg b S Dawson 0
M Jamal run out 14
C Walters c Lovell b Morley 5
M Mirza b Morley 8
A Breckin b Lovell 20
M Nasir st Borg b Lovell 0
D Robinson not out 3
N Tong c C Humphreys b Lovell 0
J Budd c and b Lovell 1
Total (43.4 overs) 97
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-12, 3-39, 4-52, 5-65, 6-79, 7-88, 8-94, 9-94, 10-97
Bowling: S Dawson 8-0-25-2, C Humphreys 15-0-18-1, J Morley 14-3-41-2, D Pawson 3-0-9-0, J Lovell 3.4-2-2-4
L Mason c Budd b Tong 4
J Borg b Budd 38
D Pawson b Walters 7
D Humphreys lbw b Walters 4
A Dawson not out 15
W Hunt lbw b Walters 2
S Burrill run out 5
J Lovell c Parr b Budd 0
J Morley not out 1
Total (for 7 wkts, 26.3 overs) 98
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-35, 3-45, 4-68, 5-77, 6-96, 7-96
Bowling: N Tong 4-0-14-1, A Breckin 4-0-17-0, C Walters 9.3-4-17-3, D Robinson 5-0-26-0, J Budd 4-1-17-2
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