Batting Frailties Return to Haunt Stags

In last week’s opening fixture, Norden’s lower middle order played a large part in setting up a winning first innings total. Unfortunately, this week saw the other side of the coin with the Stags suffering an almighty collapse at Haslingden. A poor start had left Norden on 33 for 4, but a fine partnership between Greg Butterworth and Alex Willis looked to have recovered the situation and laid the foundation for a competitive score. The pair added 58 but both were dismissed in quick succession by Gary Sudworth. This was the start of a run of 6 wickets for only 2 runs scored. Dean Lord was the only batter from 7 down who managed to register a run, and that was a solitary single. Lord was last man out, giving home professional Rudi Second his third wicket, to go with Sudworth’s three, and Norden were all out for 93 in the blink of an eye.

Despite a wet outfield, the pitch was playing fairly true, and a target of 100 was unlikely to trouble the hosts. Scott Butterworth again bowled well with the new ball, trapping Joe Sipocz in front for just 5. There was no luck for the Norden quick after that, though, and Matthew Griffin and Second were able to ride out Butterworth’s 10 over opening spell for no further loss. Try as they might, Norden’s other bowlers also failed to provide another breakthrough, and Haslingden were able to cruise home for a 9 wicket win with half of their overs remaining.

Saturday’s Worsley Cup tie against Greenmount was abandoned on Saturday without any play. The match will now be played at Stag Park on the 11th of May with the winners to travel to Crompton in round 2.
1st XI Scorecard:

There was a mixed weekend for the 2nds. On Saturday, a patched up side missing a host of players for numerous reasons, made the trip to Greenmount and came away with a fantastic victory. Greenmount batted first and their imposing total of 298 was built around a huge partnership of 186 between Kieran Edwards and Toby Leach. Leach registered a maiden senior century, with Edwards falling just 2 short of his personal landmark. It was great to see Hashum Malik return to bowling duties and he claimed 3 wickets, and special mention should go to Oli Yates, whose spell of 3 for 33 was comfortably the standout bowling performance seen on the day. Some rain meant Norden’s target became 280 from 44 overs and Malik started brightly before falling to an excellent catch. Nick Brierley and Haris Hussain came together for the big partnership that the chase needed, and it looked for a while like the pair might emulate Edwards and Leach. Noah Birtwistle broke the stand on 118 when Brierley looked to sweep on 78 but missed, and Hussain then fell to the same bowler 2 overs later for a fine 58. Norden needed someone to stand up and that man was Ross Collin. Under huge pressure, and with good support from David Bebb, Collin manipulated the field and was able to target the short boundary when required. His match-winning 44* came from just 32 balls as the Stags got home with 8 balls spare. Norden will host Accrington in the next round.
Junior Cup Scorecard:

Sunday saw Haslingden bat first at Stag Park. Zeeshan Tariq continued his good start to his Norden career with 2 more wickets and Jamie Taylor bowled with good pace and effort from the Woodhouse Lane end. A poor fielding display, with catches going down and runs being given away, contributed to Haslingden getting up above 200 when they really should not have been allowed to. The batting heroics of the previous day were not able to be repeated, and a good position at 68 for 1 with Yates and Bebb going well quickly disappeared. The experienced Richards bowled tightly from one end and the pressure he built allowed the wrist-spin of Lucas Bargh to do the wicket-taking damage at the other. His 6 for 39 meant Norden never got close, and it was a 99-run win for the visitors.
2nd XI Scorecard:
2nd XI Highlights:

A tough start to the season for the 3rds continued on Monday with a 7-wicket defeat at Middleton. Jimmy’s team has had to start the season missing a large number of last year’s key performers, but this always presents opportunities and youngsters Seb Howard and Tom Wild both acquitted themselves well with bat and ball. Michael Thorpe also returned to the side and top-scored with 21.
3rd XI Scorecard: