Tolley Keeps Norden in the Hunt

A century from opener Josh Tolley was the driving force behind Norden’s win at Ramsbottom on Saturday. It was a victory which keeps Norden very much in the 5-way Lancashire League title-race which promises to go right down to the wire. The 10 points Norden took from Acre Bottom leaves them 20 points behind leaders Walsden with a game in hand, against winless Colne, at home next week. Maximum points from that match would leave just 11 points between all 5 contenders and with those teams certain to take points off each other before the end of the season, it really is anybody’s title. Having been put in to bat on Saturday, Norden lost Hashum Malik for a duck before Tolley and Greg Butterworth combined for a partnership of 116 to lay the foundations for a good first innings total. Butterworth departed for a well-made 42 but that was the last breakthrough that Ramsbottom were able to find as Ash Zaidi joined Tolley for another century partnership, seeing Tolley past his century, Zaidi past his half-century and Norden past the 200 mark. Ramsbottom required 230 to win and found themselves in early trouble when Dom Humphreys removed both openers before there was 20 on the board. Skipper Kieren Grimshaw and professional Daryn Smit were able to regroup somewhat and they had added 58 before Zaidi bowled Grimshaw as the weather started to deteriorate. After just under 26 overs of the reply, the rain became too heavy and the umpires took the players from the field and they were unable to return. Ramsbottom’s score of 88 for 3 at that point was 15 runs behind the DLS par-score, giving Norden the victory by that margin. This Norden team know they have the talent and the firepower to beat any team on their day and with just 5 games to go there is no reason why they can’t challenge right up until the final weekend.

1st XI Scorecard

The 2nds hosted a young Ramsbottom side on Saturday and had got themselves into a good position to take maximum points but were unfortunately unable to get in enough overs in the 2nd innings to constitute a game. Batting first, Norden amassed an excellent 296 for 7 from their 45 overs with Zeshan Anwar scoring 85 and Spencer Allen 69. There was also an impressive innings from 13-year-old Jamie Taylor who struck 27 at just under a run-a-ball. Taylor then picked up 2 wickets from successive deliveries in the Ramsbottom innings to leave the visitors at 38 for 3 but despite the creditable efforts of the umpires to keep the players on the field, the rain meant they had no choice but to call a halt to proceedings 10 overs short of the minimum requirement. It was a credit to Ramsbottom that they were able to field a 2nd team at all given the number of absences and late withdrawals they had to deal with and they should be congratulated for doing so.

2nd XI Scorecard

2nd XI Highlights 2nd XI vs Ramsbottom Highlights

The 3rds travelled to Walsden for a friendly on Sunday and came away with a victory. Sami Waheed hit an unbeaten century and Mo Munawar 50 not out as Norden piled on 238 runs from their 40 overs. Under 15s opener Stan Kearns also played his part with 35 at the top of the order. Walsden fell short of their target with the wickets shared around, including scalps for junior players Muhammad Muddasser, Jake Hill, Will Hindley and Kearns.

3rd XI Scorecard