Darwen Too Strong for Stags

Norden’s Lancashire League title challenge took a hit on Sunday with a heavy defeat to fellow title hopefuls, Darwen. The seemingly never-ending rain meant conditions were damp, but play started on time and the home side won what felt like an important toss and predictably asked Norden to bat first. Lee Crabtree could not continue his good form from last week, and he was the first wicket to fall, trapped LBW by Reece Davies without scoring. Mitchell Owen was not going to let conditions alter his ultra-aggressive style and he had 19 of the 21 runs on the board when he fell the same way as Crabtree. Jack Taylor and Josh Tolley dug in to try and establish a foothold in the game, but another member of the Davies family, Jack, was introduced into the attack to good effect and he dismissed both Norden batters before the total had reached 50. In conditions like these, one of the last bowlers in the Lancashire League you want to be up against is Dave Bowden, and he got in on the act by clean bowling Greg Butterworth and then having Nick Brierley adjudged LBW the very next ball. Norden were now reeling on 48 for 6, but there was some lower-order resistance. Alex Willis rarely gives his wicket away easily and, alongside first Oli Holt and then Scott Butterworth, he helped get Norden up over 100. A last wicket stand of 22 between Oli Kirkby and Dean Lord ended when Kirkby became Jack Davies’ fourth victim and Darwen were to be chasing 128 to win.

Norden could not have got off to a better start with the ball as Scott Butterworth knocked over home captain, Scott Friend, with the first ball of the reply. Unfortunately for Norden, no other bowler could find the same consistency. Darwen professional, Punit Bisht, was in no mood to hang around and wait for a ball with his name on it and with only 6 overs gone both Owen and Greg Butterworth had been hit out of the attack. The partnership between Bisht and Reece Davies continued to blossom and Bisht got to his half-century in 58 balls. Taylor, introduced into the attack late for Norden, was able to break the partnership by bowling Davies for 41, but it was much too late and a very comfortable win for the home side was wrapped up with just 2 wickets down and 24 overs remaining. Norden remain in 3rd in the table, with Darwen leap-frogging Burnley to go top of the pile.
1st XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6107839

Norden’s poor run of form in the t20 competition continued on Friday with a 3rd straight defeat, this time at the hands of Crompton. Dennis Louis and Mohammed Jamal got Crompton off to a flying start and they raced to 79 from 6 overs before Jamal was caught in the deep off Sami Waheed. Norden were able to capitalise and picked up 6 wickets quickly, but Hassan Fazal and Mohammed Hamzah hit 5 sixes between them to boost the Crompton innings at the end. They finished on 174 for 8 from their 20 overs, with Waheed picking up 3 for 33 for Norden. The Stags were never able to get up with the rate in their reply, and despite only losing 5 wickets, they fell 27 runs short of their target to remain bottom of the group.
T20 Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6099232

Unfortunately, Friday saw the only cricket to be played at Stag Park over the weekend, with both 2nd team games called off without a ball bowled. The Junior Cup quarter-final against Littleborough will now be played on Saturday the 22nd of June, with the 3rd team fixture on that day being played away at Greenmount.

Karl Buckley

Sad news to report, as long time member Karl Buckley has sadly passed away.

Karl became a regular fixture at the club in the mid 2000’s when brother-in-law, Dexter Fitton took over as head junior coach. Both Karl’s sons, Matt and Dan, came through the junior ranks and went on to play 1st XI cricket for the club with uncle Dexter as 1st XI captain.

Karl was a great man. Firm, but fair. He had a great sense of humour and was generous with his time. As the owner of Corletts garage, where he worked for the best part of 40 years, he was well known in the village. Karl was also a well known figure down at Rochdale St Clements FC.

He will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.

Our love and thoughts go out to Helen, Matt and Dan at this difficult time.

League Win and LCF Progress

Norden kept the pressure on the league leaders with a comfortable 10-wicket win against Enfield on Saturday. Despite missing the injured Dom Humphreys, the Norden bowling attack turned in an excellent performance to dismiss the visitors for just 121. Jack Taylor, bowling with the new ball, claimed the first wicket by bowling the dangerous Lewis Wright with one that skidded on. His excellent spell of 2 for 19 was backed up by Scott Butterworth, before brother Greg brought himself on to do the bulk of the damage. A partnership of 76 between professional Pramod Maduwantha and skipper Adam Bracewell, playing his 500th Lancashire League game for the club, was the only one of note that Enfield could muster, but Greg dismissed both before the total had reached 100. Bracewell looked unhappy at the LBW decision that went against him, and Maduwantha gave his wicket away having barely looked to play an attacking stroke in his 23. The lower order was not up to the task and Butterworth was able to help himself to a 5-wicket haul, finishing with a season’s best 5 for 34.

The reply can only be described as a canter. Josh Tolley and Lee Crabtree were never in any trouble against the Enfield attack. The only chance offered was a missed stumping off Crabtree when there were just 10 more required. Tolley made 63* and Crabtree 54* for his first half-century of the season. There will be bigger tests ahead for The Stags, starting with a trip to Darwen on Sunday in a clash of 2nd vs 3rd.
1st XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6107836
1st XI Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__4oVxpgKlc&feature=youtu.be

Sunday’s LCF Knockout 2nd round clash with Edgworth was settled by a bowl-out after persistent rain meant there was no play possible at Stag Park. Norden progressed to the quarter-finals with a 4-1 win, with both Butterworth brothers, Dean Lord and Josh Tolley hitting the stumps. Norden will host Blackpool CC in the next round on June 30th.

It looks highly unlikely that Norden will make it out of the t20 group stages after a 2nd consecutive defeat on Friday night. The bowlers certainly did their job by restricting Walsden to 135 for 6 with Dean Lord bowling an outstanding spell of 3 for 10 against his favourite opponents. Unfortunately, the batters were unable to back it up in rapidly darkening conditions and a DLS adjusted target of 125 from 18 was out of reach despite the best efforts of Crabtree with 40 and Tolley with 32.
T20 Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6099240

The 2nds were well beaten at Enfield. Again missing a number of players for various reasons, things started well when Oli Kirkby clean-bowled Anthony Steele with the first ball of the match. Sadly, there was to be little joy after that as only 3 more wickets fell in the Enfield innings of 209 for 4 from their 45 overs. A definite positive was another promising performance from young leg-spinner Jake Hill, who bowled his 12 overs consecutively for a spell of 1 for 45. Norden lost Kirkby and skipper Tom Booth in consecutive deliveries with the score on 10 and it was always going to be a tough struggle from then on. Haris Hussain was able to find some form with 40, and Stan Kearns played some nice strokes, but Norden couldn’t get close enough to pick up any bonus points.
2nd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6110298


The funeral will take place on Thursday 27 June; details as follows:
11.30 a.m. Funeral Mass at St Vincent’s Church, Caldershaw Road, Norden, OL12 7QL

12.40 p.m. Rochdale Crematorium, Bury Road, Rochdale, OL11 4 DG

1.15 p.m. Celebration of Sheila’s life at Rochdale Golf Club, Edenfield Road, Norden, OL11 5YR

The family has extended an invitation to all NCC members to join them in celebrating Sheila’s life.

Please note that, as a mark of respect to Sheila and so all staff are able to attend, the clubhouse will be closed on the day of the funeral.

LCF Game and Bob Fee Update

Please note that this Sundays LCF Cup game against Edgworth with now be a 12 o’clock start, due to the closure of Edenfield Road between 11-1 for the Tour Of Britian Women cycling race.

The interment of Bob Fee’s ashes has ben re-scheduled for Saturday 13th of July. The ceremony will take place at the innings break in the Norden 2nd XI vs Todmorden game. It is anticipated to start between 15:30 – 16:00.

Stags Bounce Back to Beat Boro

After a chastening defeat in the t20 at Greenmount on Friday night, Norden returned to winning ways in the league with a 6-wicket victory at Hare Hill on Sunday. After Littleborough had batted first and put 217/9 on the board, it was Mitch Owen who came to the fore in the run chase. His unbeaten century, his second for Norden, came from 71 balls and saw his team home with over 8 overs to spare.

The Littleborough innings was built around half-centuries from Zac Perren and Ryan Miskella, after sub-pro Haseeb Hameed had been caught behind for 30 off the bowling of Owen. The Boro pair put on 65 and, with Dom Humphreys having left the field with a side-strain, the Norden bowling attack was under pressure. The Butterworth brothers stepped up and took 7 wickets between them, Greg with 3 and Scott 4 to take his tally in the league to 16. Miskella batted through until the final over for his 62 and Joe Barnes played a nice cameo of 27 from 17 balls.

With Humphreys unlikely to bat, Norden started the chase effectively 1 wicket down and they lost both openers before the score had reached 30. Owen was his usual aggressive self from the outset, and again found good support from Jack Taylor. Taylor is fast becoming a key cog in this Norden team and he again played with intelligence, rotating the strike and allowing the professional to dominate the home bowlers. The partnership had just reached 100 when Miskella got one through Taylor’s defences and Greg Butterworth was caught behind off Hameed soon afterwards. The cool head of Spencer Allen joined Owen and there was to be no futher joy for the Littleborough bowlers. Owen struck 11 fours and 3 sixes in his knock, finishing unbeaten on 108. A fine effort under pressure. Allen was 19*
1st XI Scorecad: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6107829

Unfortunately, Friday night’s game must be at least mentioned in passing. Defending champions Greenmount made a good, but far from un-gettable, 180/4 and Norden fancied their chances at half-way. Tom Heaton made 76 for the hosts. Josh Tolley was cleaned up by Callum Hunter in the first over and Owen holed out off his counterpart Jacques Snyman in the second, meaning a tough chace now looked almost impossible. The Norden batting line-up continued to be aggressive, but to no avail as Hunter ran through the side, taking an impressive 5 for 7 from his 4 overs. The Stags were bowled out for just 35, meaning they may well have to win all their remaining group games to qualify for the quarter-finals. They have a chance to start that run at home to Walsden on Friday night.
T20 Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6099233

A youthful 2nd team put on an excellent showing at Stag Park on Sunday. Batting first, Norden lost Oli Kirkby and Haris Hussain in consecutive deliveries with the score on 29, but the experienced pair of Phil Docker and Hashim Malik put on 51 before Docker went for one sweep too many and fell for 32. Malik continued alongside Oli Yates and they too put on over 50. Malik made a 2nd half-century of the season and was a tad unlucky to fall to a good caught and bowled from Andy Rodgerson. The Norden innings fell away a little, but Yates’ 44 was his highest score at this level and a total of 206/8 was definitely something to bowl at. It was Yates who did the damage with the new ball, taking 3 early wickets before handing over to step-brother Jake Hill on debut. Hill, in tandem with Mo Waheed, bowled impressively and was unlucky not to have picked up a wicket or two before he finally got his just rewards. Jamie Roche and Harrison Chew had threatened to make a game of it, but Hill removed both set batters in the same over, before adding a 3rd wicket when Littleborough skipper Tim Astley failed to make contact with a pull shot and was bowled. Littleborough fell 63 short of their target, giving Norden all 12 points.
2nd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6110295
2nd XI Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYpPBApYrXs&feature=youtu.be

Littleborough were also the opponents for the 3rds on Saturday. Charlie Gooding, playing his first game of the season after returning from university, was right back in the swing of things taking 4 for 5 from 5.3 overs. There were also 2 wickets for Seb Howard as Littleborough were all out for 90. Norden’s chase was helped considerably by 32 extras, and a sensible 23* from Will Hindley got Jimmy’s men over the line with plenty of time to spare.
3rd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6109984

Cup Progress for the 2nds

There was a sombre mood at Stag Park on Saturday following the untimely passing of club stewardess, Sheila Worsley. An impeccably observed minute’s silence was held in Sheila’s honour prior to the 2nd XI cup tie against Accrington and the number of people in attendance only served to underline what a popular figure the club had lost.

The game started poorly for Norden as some ill-discipline with the new ball allowed Accrington to get off to a quick start. Opener Dilshan Fernando looked in good touch and he struck 5 boundaries in an aggressive 37, whilst young partner, Joe Graham was holding firm at the other end. Skipper Tom Booth turned to the Waheeds to try and get some control of proceedings and it was Sami who got the breakthrough as he found Fernando’s off-stump as the batter aimed for another legside boundary. 3 further wickets fell in quick time, another for Sami and 2 for the ever-reliable Mo. Graham continued to play obdurately for the visitors, though, and Shakeel Khan joined him to good effect. A partnership of 64 was proving frustrating for Norden and it took the extra pace off Jamie Taylor to break the stand as he sent Graham’s off peg cartwheeling. Once Khan had chipped a full-toss straight back to Oli Kirkby, Sami returned to mop up the tail and claim a first 5-wicket haul of the season. The Waheeds took 7 for 48 from 19.2 overs between them and Norden had them to thank for keeping the score below 200. Accrington’s 174 all-out included 32 wides bowled by the home side, something that will have to improve as the season progresses.

Zain Hanif quickly showed himself to be the main threat with the ball for Accrington and he took the first two wickets of the run chase, clean bowling Kirkby and Joe Gordon, playing his first match of the season having returned from university. As usual, Spencer Allen was able to provide some stability to the innings and he was the perfect foil for Danny Devine, who was playing fluently. Devine drove straight with impressive regularity and only offered one chance in bringing up his maiden Norden half-century from 70 balls. Both he and Allen perished looking to clear mid-off, perhaps unwisely given how comfortably they were playing in other areas, but Hashum Malik was in no mood to hang around and he blasted an unbeaten 46 in 30 balls, with 5 sixes. Norden go through to the quarter-finals of the Junior Cup, the draw for which takes place on Wednesday evening.
Junior Cup Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6591476
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-efAM6SXld0&feature=youtu.be

Sunday saw the return of the poor early-season weather, but the 2nds did manage to fit in enough cricket between showers to complete a game. Unfortunately, they came off 2nd best to Great Harwood, for whom experienced captain, Miles Corish, made 88 as the home side battled well with the bat in difficult conditions. In fact, when rain brought an early end to the home side’s innings after 36.4 overs, Norden had only managed to take one wicket. A slight DLS adjustment to the target meant Norden were second-favourites but certainly weren’t out of the game. That didn’t stay the case for very long, however, as wickets began to fall at regular intervals. No Norden batter got to 20 and there were a number of soft dismissals before the rain returned again and play was abandoned with Norden on 75 for 8, 66 runs short of where they would have needed to be.
2nds Sunday Scorecard: http://www.lancashireleague.com/Scorecards/1313/1313930.html

Just 28.2 overs were possible at Stag Park on Sunday as Norden and Middleton had to settle for 5 points apiece. The Norden fans did get a first sighting of Mitch Owen with ball in hand, and he took 2 early wickets in an opening spell that suggests he will be a huge asset with ball as well as bat for the remainder of the season. Middleton were 109 for 2 thanks to an unbroken partnership of 99 between captain Andy Gregoriou and professional James Price, when the heavens opened and no further play was possible.

Friday night’s t20 opener at Ramsbottom was postponed and has been re-scheduled for the 28th of June.

Sheila Worsley

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of our dear friend and club stewardess, Sheila Worsley overnight. As a mark of respect the clubhouse will be closed this evening (Friday 24 May). Please can you respect the family’s privacy at this most awful of times.

The club will reopen at lunchtime tomorrow and there will be a minutes silence observed before the cricket match commences in Sheila’s honour. Anyone welcome to attend to pay their respects.

The Joy of Six

Six was the magic number for Norden at the weekend. On Saturday, it was Scott Butterworth’s superb 6 wicket spell that set the Stags on course for a win at Clitheroe and on Sunday, Stag Park saw no fewer than 27 sixes hit in the LCF Knockout game against Vertex.

Saturday’s game saw the type of win Norden have struggled to achieve in recent times; against one of the top sides without major contributions from either Josh Tolley or the pro. Clitheroe got off to bit of a flyer, with Ali Ross and Tom Lord starting well, but the game changed in a blink of an eye when Butterworth bowled an extraordinary over in which he dismissed Lord, Clitheroe pro Tian Koekemoer and Joe Bolton without conceding a run. The scramble of Clitheroe players rushing to put on whites and pads continued as Butterworth then cleaned up the prolific Ross with the first ball of his next over. Dom Humphreys was doing his job by keeping it tight at the other end, and even though Clitheroe were able to recover somewhat through Charlie Dewhurst and skipper Peter Dibb, they were only ever looking to scrap their way to a vaguely defendable total after the damage Butterworth had done. Brother Greg broke the partnership and Dean Lord and Jack Taylor also picked up a wicket apiece. Scott then came back and took two more to finish with the fine figures of 6 for 34 and Clitheroe were all out for 115.

Clitheroe’s seam bowling attack is an experienced and skillful one, and on a pitch that was offering something, they were not out of the game. Tolley was the first man to go for 13, caught in the gully and Mitch Owen got one that nipped back and kept a touch low to be bowled for 14. With the 2 big guns in the shed, Clitheroe fancied their chances, but Taylor, increasing in maturity and confidence by the week, stood firm and his 27 under extreme pressure was vital. Norden lost 2 wickets with the score on 59 and then 2 more, including Taylor, on 79. Following on from last week, though, Nick Brierley and Humphreys came together to calm the nerves and get the job done. Brierley dropped anchor and Humphreys took the bowlers on. This combination did the trick and their unbroken stand of 37 sealed a 4 wicket win and 12 points. Humphreys finished 26*.
Saturday Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6107814

Nobody really knew what to expect from opponents Vertex on Sunday. The winners of last year’s GMACL had been forced to switch the game to Stag Park due to the unavailability of their rented Warrington home and they won the toss and batted first in glorious sunshine. It was clear from the outset that aggression was going to be their method. Greg Butterworth used 7 bowlers and the youngsters, Taylor and Oli Kirkby were the most economical. Taylor’s 2 for 24 from 9 stood out a mile in a high-scoring game and Kirkby acquitted himself very well in hist first 1st team spell. The real fireworks in the Vertex innings came from number 9, Shirzad Rasul. Coming in at 144 for 7, he looked uncomfortable for a couple of balls and then proceeded to start smashing balls out of Stag Park with regularity. He struck 8 sixes in his 40-ball 73 and this saw Vertex get up to a competitive 237 for 8 from their 45.

Scott Butterworth opened up with Tolley and it was soon clear that Vertex were not as strong with ball as they had been with bat. Butterworth raced to 46 in just 20 balls before being bowled by the slow left arm of Yasin. This brought Owen to the crease, and in now seemingly typical Mitch style, he was not for hanging about. The Vertex bowling and fielding simply wasn’t up to the task and Tolley accumulated as Owen went bezerk. His 50 came up from 22 balls and there was going to be no stopping him as he hit 13 sixes in reaching his first Norden hundred in 46 balls. Finishing on 121*, with Tolley also unbeaten on 55, Norden cantered home by 9 wickets with 23.2 overs not required. The Stags will face GMCL side Edgworth at home in the next round.
LCF Knockout Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6131886
LCF Knockout Highlights: https://youtu.be/jzl52Or-GhU

The 2nds managed to get their first league win of the season at home to Clitheroe on Saturday. Oli Kirkby was a real handful for the Clitheroe top-order early on and he picked up the first 2 wickets. Norden’s lack of bowling options became a bit of a problem for skipper Tom Booth, but the returning Waheed father and son duo performed well. Mo was his usual economical self and Sami took 4 wickets in his second spell, playing a big part in restricting Clitheroe to 165 all out, when 200+ had looked on the cards. A bit of a wobble saw Norden lose 3 quick wickets, but Danny Devine and Hashum Malik put on 117 for the 4th wicket. It was great to see Malik return to form and his biggest fan, Graham Fletcher, was in the crowd to see him make a match-winning 91. Devine’s 28 may not have been as eye-catching, but it was just as important, and it was a shame that both fell as the winning line was in sight. There were no more concerns, though, and a 5-wicket win was just what the boys needed. With players due back from school, exams and university soon, this will hopefully be the springboard to kick on with big league and cup games coming up next week.
2nd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6110283
2nd XI Highlights: https://youtu.be/iv6nS5cIiKY

U13’s Season Gets Underway

Norden CC under 13s got their league campaign underway last Friday with a short trip to face Rochdale.

The starting XI showed several changes to the side that lost in the cup in midweek with Harry Spencer, Archie Crabtree and Mohid Shah all included.

Captain James Frankish won the toss and decided to have a bat on a lovely evening which allowed for 20 overs to be played.  The visitors game plan was to ensure they batted for 20 overs but openers Daniel Wild and Adam Bunting still showed intent and put away the bad ball when necessary keeping scorer David Almond on his toes. 

Some tight bowling from Sami Ajaz and Soban Khan meant the hosts were comfortable with how the game was progressing but Wild and Bunting began to up the pace and had reached 54 in the 10th over before Wild was bowled by Zaid Qamar for 25.  This allowed the incoming batsman to go on the attack but the side were wary that Lancashire spinner Moosa Kashmiri had not yet entered the fray as his excellent variety of bowling can trouble any batsman in this league.

Bunting and captain James Frankish instead decided to target the other bowlers and pick off Kashmiri when a bad ball permitted them to do so.  Bunting went after Gohar Aftab and hit two boundaries off him on his way to retiring 30 not out before Aftab got some revenge by taking a return catch and dismissing Frankish for 11.

With 6 overs now left, it was all systems go for the Norden batsman but the big hitting Archie Greenwood fell for just 6 and the visitors racked up 25 runs in these overs with Zayaan Nadeem (10) and Ralph Bennet 9 not out taking the score up to 111.

Rochdale opened with Kashmiri and Mohammed Junaid whilst James Greenoff took the new ball for Norden.  It was a cagey affair with Norden content to allow Kashmiri to score at a run a ball but by the end of the 5th over Rochdale were sat on 30/0 and a tight game looked in-store.  This brought Harry Spencer to the crease which enabled Norden to take the pace off the ball and it worked a treat as he bowled uninterrupted from the scoreboard end for 4 overs, conceding just 13 runs in the process and also taking the wicket of Junaid.

This pushed up the required run-rate but Moosa Kashmiri was still at the crease but in the 12th over he retired on 31 and then it was downhill for Rochdale.  With 63 runs required from 8 overs, it meant some big hitting was needed but the middle order was dismissed in quick succession as Daniel Wild bowled Khan and Hussain and then Zac Brown followed that up the following over courtesy of an excellent catch by Archie Crabtree to dismiss Ajaz for 12.  In the 16th over Lord was run out for 2 and then Brown took a further wicket the following ball to all but end the game. Gohar Aftab had some fun at the end and hit a couple of boundaries on his way to 15 not out whilst Norden took the opportunity to give everybody who hadn’t batted a bowl.  It enabled Rochdale to finish on 91/6 with Zac Brown the pick of the bowlers taking 2/3 off his two overs.