Mixed Weekend at Stag Park

A home double-header for Norden produced one win and one defeat, with The Stags knocked out of the Worsley Cup in the first round but bouncing back to record a second league win of the season.

After last week’s washout, the cup tie with Greenmount was played in the glorious sunshine on Saturday and Norden opted to have first use of a flat looking surface. Scott Butterworth, promoted to open in the absence of Josh Tolley, looked to take advantage of the powerplay and he struck 5 boundaries in a quick-fire 27. Mitch Owen and Jack Taylor put on 81 for the 3rd wicket and with those 2 at the crease it looked like Norden would cruise to a score up around 280. Owen reached his second half-century of the season, but Taylor fell just short for 41 when he chipped visiting skipper Travis Townsend to long-off. Townsend was also involved in the next 2 wickets to fall, taking a fine catch at slip to dismiss Greg Butterworth and then picking up the crucial wicket of Owen, caught at point. 140 for 2 with plenty of overs remaining and 2 set batters looking untroubled, had soon become a scramble to bat the overs and post something around a par score. A good 9th wicket partnership between Haris Hussain and Spencer Allen was ended when Allen was run-out by a direct hit and Norden were bowled out for 238, crucially with 22 balls unused.

It was Dean Lord who got the first wicket in the reply, cleaning up opener Dan Stevens, and then Greg Butterworth struck what many believed would be the decisive blow, when he had the explosive Greenmount pro, Jacques Snyman, neatly stumped by Crabtree for 25. The experienced pair of Townsend and Andy Kerr came together and Townsend took it upon himself to be the aggressor. Recognising that Norden might be a bowler short with Owen still unable to bowl under instruction from his state side in Australia, Townsend attacked the off-spin of Taylor and reverse-swept and paddled to such good effect that Butterworth was forced to go straight back to his frontline bowlers. Kerr fell for 37, quickly followed by Gavin Nicholl and Callum Hunter, but Townsnd was playing a gem of a knock at the other end. Danny Hornby was able to give him good support and the former Heywood and Littleborough pro brought up his century from just 80 balls. Butterworth felt he had no choice but to bowl his 4 main bowlers out in the hope of picking up enough wickets to get the job done, and Lord and Scott took another each. When those 40 overs had been bowled, though, Greenmount needed just 12 more to win. Oli Holt came back into the attack and showed good character after a tough opening spell, and he opened the game up again by forcing Townsend to mistime a cut shot into the hands of Dom Humphreys. Norden sensed one final opportunity, with 8 wickets down and uncertainty about whether Greenmount’s last man, Tom Heaton, would be able to bat after sustaining a hand injury whilst bowling. Another experienced head in the Greenmount side, Amal Dalugoda, was able to stay calm and he struck 3 boundaries in the penultimate over to seal the win in an excellent game of league cricket.
Worsley Cup Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6081855

Newly-promoted Church were the visitors on Sunday and again, GB won the toss and elected to bat. With Josh Tolley restored at the top of the order, the Stags got off to a flyer and raced to 60 without loss in just 8 overs. The arrival of Owen to the crease was never going to slow the run-rate and he and Tolley took the score to 121 before Owen was superbly caught in the covers by Church sub-pro, Michael Copeland. Tolley had already reached his 50 by that point and there was another 50 partnership between him and Greg Butterworth as Norden looked to correct the mistakes of Saturday and turn a good start into a big total. Butterworth made 34 and it seemed inevitable that Tolley would reach his century, but it was not to be as Josh Dentith trapped him LBW for an excellent 98. Nick Brierley, back in the 1st team after runs in the 2s last week, and Dom Humphreys came together at 201 for 7 and with Norden wobbling a little bit. Brierley’s calmness and Humphreys’ aggression proved to be the perfect combination, though, and the pair combined for a partnership of 82 in just 9 overs. Humphreys’ unbeaten 46 contained 5 sixes and most felt at tea that 288 for 8 would be enough for the victory.

This seemed to be a fair assessment as the Butterworth brothers took the first 3 wickets and the required run-rate began to climb. Copeland, though, came to the crease and chose violence. A couple of huge blows and some more classical drives started to make things interesting. With the weather closing in, the paid man looked like he might have a sniff of doing something remarkable as he raced to 99* with 8 fours and 6 sixes. At that point, with Church needing a further 100 from 15 overs, the light became too dark, and the umpires took the players off. Norden were ahead by just 7 runs on DLS. Very soon after, the storms came in force and no more play was possible. Another over or two of Copeland, and the outcome may have been different, but Norden took 10 points from the game and ended the weekend on a high note.
1st XI Sunday Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6107812

In 2nd team news Colne won the toss and elected to bat first on Sunday. The Stags got off to a dream start in the first over with some sharp fielding from skipper Booth running out Tilotson for 1. In the next over Oli Yates clean bowled Braithwaite for 0 and Colne were reduced to 2-2. Yates was struggling with his footing on the Colne slope and was replaced by Zeeshan, who clean bowled Wiaczek for 11. Kirkby bowled well, without picking up any wickets, and after his spell of six overs was replaced by Yates who had an immediate impact picking up Windle (14) with a regulation caught behind for Devine.
This brought the enigmatic skipper Matin Kegg to the crease. He went on the attack from ball one. Zeeshan continued to bowl well, without any luck. He had White dropped by Devine behind the stumps, followed by Kegg dropped at first slip by Collin. White (33) and Kegg (45) put on 53 before Booth got the breakthrough enticing an edge through to Devine. Yates then got the dangerous Kegg, again caught by Devine. At 127-6 the Stags fancied their chances of wrapping things up early. However Mathew Clarke (71) and Daniel keg (40) had other ideas, putting on 106 for the 7th wicket and taking the hosts to 233-6 at the end of the 45 overs. Kirkby was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 0-32 from his 10 overs.

The Stags got off to a poor start in reply with Malik (5) and Bebb (5) going cheaply. This left opener Kirkby and Allen at the crease with a rebuilding job to do. Kirkby was the more aggressive of the two, but both batted sensible and added 72 for the third wicket. Kirkby (41) edged behind to the impressive Braithwaite, who finished with 12 overs 1-20. Allen (23) then chipped one straight to cover and the Stags had two new men in Yates and Collin at the crease. Yates looked to be a positive and a bullet straight drive was half stopped by Aslam, who managed to ricochet the ball on to the stumps, leaving the forlorn Collin short of his ground, run out for 0. Yates (4) then chipped one to deep cover and any realistic chance of chasing the large total was gone. Devine (16) knocked one out of the ground and on to the road before being stumped. The tail hen wagged, with Booth (22), Omar (25) and Tattersall (22*) which at least saw the Stags get to 184-9 and claim a batting bonus point.
2nd XI Scorecard : https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6110273

The 3rds managed to record their first win of the season at Church on Saturday. A very young side (and Beamer) performed fantastically with the ball to bowl Church out for 67. Under 15’s Mohsin Umar and Seb Howard took 5 of the wickets to fall and there was a wicket on debut for 13 year-old James Frankish. Beamer got the job done with the bat, making 44 as Norden needed only half their overs to chase the runs.
3rd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/6109974

On Friday night the U11’s played Accrington in the first round of the cup.

A superb team performance saw Norden record a convincing win and progress to the next round of the cup. All the batting pairs played their part in amassing our total with a steady start being followed by some good ball striking in the middle overs and some excellent running between the wickets towards the end. 

Norden bowled superbly throughout picking wickets up at regular intervals and delivering only 3 wides and 1 no ball in the entire innings. The fielding was top notch in particular the backing up and overall awareness. 

Coach Andrew Chadwick said “I’m not singling out any one performance as this was a superb team display. A great way to start the season, well done everyone! Finally, many thanks to every parent who came to watch and to James’s dad, Dave, for scoring.”

Norden U11’s : 262 Accrington U11’s : 194