Lancashire League round-up

Lancashire Evening Telegraph

1 June 1998

A QUICKFIRE half century from East Lancs' Paul Kelly proved to be the turning point in his side's win over Todmorden at Centre Vale.

Kelly arrived at the wicket with East Lancs stuttering on 150-7 after Phil Bolton had laid the early foundations with a patient 47.

He slammed 52 off just 31 balls, including four 6s in Alex Scholefield's last over, to allow skipper Mark Lomas to declare on 201-7 in the 52nd over.

As Todmorden mounted their run chase they were always in with a shout as long as professional Vasbert Drakes remained at the wicket.

But when he was finally eighth man out after smashing 78 from just 80 deliveries Todmorden were skittled for 139 as Nasir Iqbal claimed 4-50 to give East Lancs maximum points.

Enfield medium paceman David Bracewell was the destroyer-in-chief as Accrington crumbled at Thorneyholme Road.

Only professional Ryan Campbell showed any genuine application with a run-a-ball 69 as Bracewell ripped the heart out of the home side's top order with 5-32.

Accrington were finally toppled for 115 but it would have been far worse had it not been for a last wicket stand of 26. A second wicket partnership of 64 between skipper Andy Barker (47) and Tofeeq Khan (17) was the backbone of the Enfield reply.

Gary Barker (26 no), playing his first game of the season, and Neil Holmes (13 no) saw them home with six wickets left inside 33 overs as they finished on 117-4.

Burnley won a real nail-biter at Lowerhouse by just two wickets with only one over to spare to claim maximum points.

Professional Anthony Botha (4-35) and David Connolly (4-24) claimed four wickets each earlier in the day as Lowerhouse were dismissed for 112.

And with the game delicately poised as Burnley struggled to 66-4 in reply, the visitors lost three further wickets in three overs to leave themselves in trouble at 72-7.

But ninth wicket pair Kamran Farooq (8 no) and Connolly (16) held their nerve as the Turf Moor side won with an over left, despite a haul of 4-43 from Jez Hope.

The Seedhill derby fizzled out into a tame draw, with table-toppers Nelson held by Colne after an excellent batting display. There were three half centuries as Nelson rattled up 209-2 before declaring with Craig Walton (58) scoring his first senior 50 for the club since joining them from Earby.

Roger Harper (59no) and Paul Garaghty (57no) shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 101 before declaring with a couple of overs to spare.

Colne lost their second wicket at 51 with around a third of their overs gone and the game petered out, with professional Joe Scuderi unbeaten at the end on 48.

It might have been different if the professional had not been dropped when he was just seven.

Haslingden claimed a narrow win over Rawtenstall, grabbing the winning runs with just two balls to spare.

Glenn Barlow (47) and professional Keith Arthurton (39) provided the backbone of the Rawtenstall innings as they needed their full quota of 55 overs to reach 179-8. Jack Simpson (43) and Paul Blackledge (72) gave Haslingden a fine start with an opening stand of 122. Blackledge's innings contained three sixes and five fours and was his highest senior score for the club.

Then Stuart Taylor (30no) took over to steer them home, with four needed off the last over.

A double-wicket maiden in the final over from Ramsbottom's Nick Riley denied Bacup of a bonus batting point and almost snatched a thrilling win for the visitors at Lanehead.

Ramsbottom skipper Ian Bell gave his bowlers an extra five wickets to secure maximum points after declaring on 169-7 with professional Ian Harvey having posted a 54-ball half-century on his way to 65.

Bacup were given an excellent start by Pete Killelea and professional Brad White as they put on 73 for the first wicket.

But Riley whipped out both openers and a middle order collapse left them hanging on for a draw.

That looked quite comfortable and with seven balls to go they needed just one more run to claim two bonus batting points.

But with Harvey claiming a wicket in his last over and Riley removing David Ormerod and Terry Lord in the space of the last six balls they fell short with nine wickets down.

Happy ending for Russell

Lancashire League: Rishton 123-7, Church 121

THE end justified the means in more ways than one as Rishton ground out their 'usual' derby victory over Church at Blackburn Road yesterday.

In this case it was the end from which Rishton's South African left-arm spinner Corrie Jordaan weaved his special brand of magic.

For it helped spark a spectacular Church batting collapse which ultimately cost them a game remarkable for NINE lbw decisions several yards down the track.

And, while it was Jordaan who struck the winning runs around 6.30pm, there was no doubt that the destination of the points had been determined several hours earlier by a masterstroke of captaincy from Russell Whalley.

To a degree, the failure of his other amateur bowlers forced him to bring himself into the attack and swap ends for Jordaan.

But, whatever the reason, it turned the entire course of the game - a fact gallantly acknowledged by losing skipper Peter Gilrane.

It would have been easy for Gilrane to have grumbled about a fair proportion of six lbw decisions which went against his team.

But he didn't, looking at his own side's failings after the best possible start. ``We keep on shooting ourselves in the foot when we're batting,'' said the Church captain.

``It was a great start at 65-0 but then we collapsed to 121 all out and that's not good enough.

``But I am proud of our bowlers for the way they stuck at it.

``And full credit to Russell. He made a great change, backed himself and it worked out for him.''

Rishton looked as though they were going to face a daunting total as Alec Holt (38) and Trevor Hatch (26) impressively peppered the boundary in rattling up 50 runs from the first 10 overs.

But, after Jordaan had bowled an unproductive 0-14 spell from six overs came the decisive switch.

Whalley explained: ``I felt I had to put myself on but I needed to bowl from the Blackburn Road end. Corrie said it was no problem to him to switch and he wasn't getting anything from that end anyway.''

Jordaan, who proceeded to take 5-22 from his next 15 overs at the pavilion end, from where he usually operates, revealed the difference.

``There was more pace and turn bowling from the pavilion end. There was some turn at the other end but the ball didn't zip as much as I need it to do.

``Russell also bowled superbly and you need the amateurs to bowl well.'' A betting man would have lost a lot of money after a dozen overs or so of a game between two teams steadily restoring credibility after the disasters of last season.

Church were racing away, seeing off the Rishton attack with ease as the sun came out. But they slumped alarmingly to 95-8 against the wily Jordaan's spin and the movement gained by Whalley (5-42).

A brief bit of resistance at the end was polished off for a modest 121.

Not that Rishton's reply was too impressive after an early blitz by Stuart Roberts and to add injury to insult for Church, Mark Aspin limped off with a hamstring problem.

Church pro Neil McGarrell bowled a strange mixture of medium pace and left-arm spin and was not too successful but, nevertheless, wickets fell steadily to give the visitors hope.

Craig Fergusson, an outstanding prospect as a batsman-cum-off-spinner at just 16, bowled brilliantly but dropped a catch from Jimmy Bibby to cost his team a dozen runs which were important in the context of the game.

At 97-6 it was still in the melting pot but Paul Whalley (33 no) grafted superbly to steer Rishton to their seventh successive win over Church.

As for Jordaan, he nodded towards the pavilion and revealed: ``This is my end from now on.''

Source: The Lancashire Evening Telegraph

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Date-stamped : 07 Oct1998 - 04:31