Stags Lose Grip on Top Spot

Defending champions Burnley came to Stag Park on Sunday and put in an excellent all-round performance to hand Norden their 3rd league defeat of the season and push them down to 3rd in the Lancashire League table. Hashum Malik elected to bat first but there was assistance for the bowlers from the outset and the home side struggled early on against the accurate medium-pace of Fergus Bailey and the off-spin of professional Ockert Erasmus. The hosts were unable to put a meaningful partnership together as wickets fell regularly throughout the innings. Greg Butterworth worked hard for his 44 only to be on the wrong end, not for the first time this season, of what seemed to be a pretty average L.B.W. decision as he appeared to get a big inside edge onto his pad but there was a rare failure for Ashar Zaidi as Erasmus found a thin edge through to the keeper. It looked like the Stags might struggle to post anything like a competitive score but Dom Humphreys showed the form that everyone knows he’s capable of with the bat and he took the fight back to Burnley. His half-century came at virtually a run-a-ball as he guided Norden past the 150 mark and up to 175 before being dismissed from the penultimate ball of the innings. Opinion on the boundary seemed split as to whether that would prove a challenging target but the Burnley openers, Mathew Roberts and Joe Marshall, got off to a solid start and added 50 for the first wicket before Butterworth got the breakthrough having Roberts caught at slip. Chris Holt joined Marshall and they moved the score up towards 100 but Humphreys returned for a second spell and removed both set batsmen in quick succession to give Norden a sniff. Unfortunately that didn’t last long as Erasmus and Chris Burton took the sting out of the situation before moving up a gear. There were plenty of confident appeals from the home bowlers but nothing went their way and an unbroken partnership of 75 led Burnley to a comfortable 7 wicket win with 7 overs to spare. Norden now sit 2 points behind joint leaders Walsden and Clitheroe and will have the opportunity to bounce back at home to Lowerhouse on Saturday.

1st XI Scorecard

1st XI Highlights

There was better news on Friday night as Norden scraped through to the quarter-finals of the t20 competition. A comfortable home win against Bacup coupled with Littleborough’s tie at Haslingden meant that the Stags went through in 2nd place in their group and will travel to Walsden this coming Friday for the chance to reach finals day. Friday saw Josh Tolley, Zaidi and Lee Crabtree put in good performances with the bat as Norden set the visitors 187 to win and they never threatened to get close as all 5 of Norden’s bowlers got something in the wicket column to complete an 86 run victory.

T20 Scorecard

T20 Highlights

The 2nd and 3rd teams both suffered defeats on the road. The 2nds were soundly beaten at Burnley with the only real highlight in a 9 wicket defeat being a first 2nd XI wicket for promising young off-spinner Charlie Gooding. The 3rds were also bowled out cheaply at Clitheroe on Saturday despite good battling knocks from Gooding and fellow junior Joseph Golden. A remarkable opening spell of 5 for 4 from Matthew Findlow left the hosts in trouble but they were able to stumble over the line. The match marked Simon Wystawnoha’s final game as 3rd XI captain and the club would like to place on record their thanks for Simon’s hard work and commitment to a very difficult job at any club.

2nd XI Scorecard

3rd XI Scorecard