Super Sunday for Stags

Norden went into Sunday’s game against Burnley having won all of their completed home games in the league this season and that run continued with perhaps their best performance of the year so far.

After winning a good toss, Norden took first use of a flat Stag Park pitch and the crowd were treated to yet another masterclass from Josh Tolley. His new opening partner for the day was Lee Crabtree and the pair negotiated tight early spells from the reliable Fergus Bailey and Bharat Tripathi. Crabtree looked comfortable in his new role and he was the first to look to accelerate with a straight 6 off Bailey and a couple of delightful cover drives. Burnley, with new-ball bowler Harry Snowden unable to bowl due to injury, looked short on bowling options and Norden looked to attack Liam Bedford from the off when he replaced Bailey from the Woodhouse Lane end. 15 runs came from his first over, but he forced a miscue from Crabtree in his second and he departed for a well-made 38. Ashar Zaidi, as he has done so often, then came in to combine with Tolley to great effect. Only visiting pro Ockert Erasmus was able to bowl with any real control from that point as these two top-class players never looked in any trouble at all in a partnership that totaled 145 when it ended as Zaidi was starting to look like he was going to cause some real carnage. It seems flippant to say that Tolley’s hundred was inevitable, but in truth it seemed that way from the outset. The form that the Norden opener is in is something that you don’t see often in league cricket and his fifth century in four weeks came from 128 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes. Scott Butterworth came in to provide the end-of-innings fireworks and his 37 from 16 balls contained the biggest hit of the day, a pick up that easily cleared the scoreboard.

It was to be 284 to win for Burnley, a big ask but not an impossible one by any means with the batting conditions on offer. Butterworth made that task much harder, though, with another impressive opening spell in which he picked up the Burnley top 3 by targeting the stumps to good effect. Until Erasmus was back in the pavilion, Norden could not be truly confident of victory and it was Dean Lord who got the crucial breakthrough. Lord, who has been unable to bowl for several weeks with a side strain, bowled a fiery spell and produced a peach to find the outside edge of the South African’s bat and the celebrations were as enthusiastic as you’d expect. Joe McCluskie provided some resistance for the visitors with 69, but he never threatened to get them close as wickets fell regularly at the other end. The margin of victory was 74 runs for The Stags and with other teams at the top of the league also suffering defeat, the Lancashire League table looks incredibly tight with 8 teams separated by just 14 points.
1st XI Scorecard:
1st XI Highlights:

Norden travelled to Bacup on Friday night for an extremely one-sided t20 game. Norden’s 182 made light of a very tricky pitch, with Josh Tolley hitting an imperious 112 from 65 balls. Bacup’s reply never got going at all and they subsided to just 44 all out in 11.3 overs. Greg Butterworth claimed the remarkable t20 figures of 6 for 4 but there will be much stiffer challenges to come in the next few weeks in this competition, starting against group leaders Greenmount at Stag Park on Friday.
T20 Scorecard:

The 2nds visited Turf Moor in the return fixture to face the table-toppers and put in a superb performance to come away with the points. Oli Kirkby was the star man, scoring his maiden senior half-century, taking 3 wickets and claiming 2 catches. Kirkby put on partnerships of 79 with Kabir Ahmed and 116 with spencer Allen on his way to 78. Allen’s 56 was his first 50 of the season and underlined his return to form in recent weeks. Norden got up to 227 for 6 from their 45 and it was very much game on at halfway. Burnley’s strong 2nd XI batting line-up were always going to be in the hunt and so it proved. First Josh Holding and Joe Marshall put on 78 for the 2nd wicket, and the Gareth Halley and Matthew Thornton combined for 68 to put the game very much in the balance. Kirkby and Usama Malik proved to be the match-winners for Norden with the ball, picking up 3 wickets each and Kirkby fittingly finished the game by claiming an excellent diving catch running forward as Burnley fell 10 runs short of their target in an excellent game showcasing the strength of these 2 clubs.
2nd XI Scorecard:

The 3rd XI were led to victory by a fine all-round performance by stand-in skipper Mohsin Iqbal on Saturday at home to Bacup. Iqbal struck an impressive 84* from just 56, and was ably supported by Oli Yates with 41 and an unbeaten 25 from Joe Donnelly as Norden racked up 192 for 5 from their 40 overs. An openng stand of 50 from the brothers Boardman looked to have put Bacup in a good position but Iqbal and Saad Malik combined for 4 wickets in quick time to change the course of the game. Iqbal was then able to rotate a young bowling attack and there were another 2 wickets for Charlie Gooding, taking his season’s tally to 12, as Bacup fell 26 runs short.
3rd XI Scorecard :
3rd XI Highlights: