1st XI vs Church (a)

Our 1st XI travel to Blackburn Road to take on Church in a Lancashire Cricket League fixture.

1st XI vs Church (h)

Church CC are the visitors to Cliffe Park, to take on our 1st XI in the Lancashire League for the first time in a couple of years, following their relegation from Division 1 last year.

Whilst there was no league fixture between our clubs in 2019, Church came out on top in the T20 fixture played between the clubs last year

T20 vs Church (a)

Our T20 group campaign continues with a Friday evening trip to Church’s Blackburn Road ground.  The game is scheduled to start at 6:15pm.

Match Report – 2nd XI vs Church CC – Home – 9th June 2019

After a washout yesterday where the 1st and 3rd team games were postponed due to waterlogged pitches, we welcome our near neighbours Church to The Cliffe.

I don’t believe there is anything more I can tell you about Church that you all already don’t know from my previous encounters with this club this season to date (I make it 6 including Hyndburn District games). My views of Church haven’t “Altered” though…….we have “congregated” at the ground so……..let’s “Christen” the weekend with a win……..and “Pray” we get a result….and hope “Aah Men” work well as a team. Anyway, enough of that.

The weather is fine and looking forward to a good game.

We are batting…..missed the toss so not sure who won.


1st Innings:

Hamza and Ben to open the innings. First couple of overs not much to report in runs but this is soon changed as….Wicket:- Hamza caught. Score 10-1.

In comes Dr Zeain at 3….not dressed in his white coat this week but playing instead.

Shot for 4:- nice shot Ben. Zeain also joins the party with a 4 & 6. The 6 managed to take one bounce then hit Hamza’s car….which sources at the ground tell me it has just been put up for sale. Anyway, comes with an added feature now……a dent!

Incident Alert:- a nice shot for 4 is stopped by their fielder by his foot….great piece of fielding stopping the ball inches from the boundary rope…apart from when he returned to pick the ball up his foot was grounded outside the rope….surely a 4? 2 runs signalled, and the fielder remains very quiet…..great sportsmanship.

Wicket:- Zeain out LBW playing an aggressive shot. Score 27-2. Ethan Houldsworth in at 4

Car Park Announcement:-

Hamza moves car from where Zeain struck it to another part of the car park……..is it only me that finds it funny that he moves it in front of “Cars parked at Own Risk” sign.

Wicket:- Ben caught behind. 37-3. Unlucky as was batting well and looked set. Harris Masood in at 5….albeit doesn’t last long as is run out. 37-4 Captain Russ in next.

Newsflash:- Dobbo is here….must be free to get on today.

Ethan hits a single resulting in Captain Russ “sprinting” to make ground. Russ duly turns to what seems to be thanking Ethan for the run, stating……”what you doing you numpty”.

Wicket:- Russ caught. Score moved on to 46-5.

Paul Houldsworth in next. Father and Son partnership can hopefully stabilise proceedings and get us out of trouble.

Unfortunately not…..Wicket:- Ethan run out (don’t want to be part of the debate in the Houldsworth household later!). 47-6. Shovey in next, but doesn’t last long…Wicket:- Shovey out. 48-7.

An order reshuffle by the captain sends Alex Kennedy in next. Need someone to stay with Paul. This is also a first with Alex batting with his Coach for the first time in a competitive match.

Shot:- 6…Paul nearly takes his daughter out with a great shot…but great family teamwork as Ethan plucks the ball out of the air before it hits his sister….Well done Ethan.

Score on 59-7.

Paul and Alex seem to have stopped the wicket fall with some nice shots from Paul and some good defensive batting from Alex. After putting on a decent partnership (for today anyway)…..Wicket:- Alex caught behind final ball before drinks. Score 77-8.

MC Ammer in next – with clear instructions from the captain to stay there. Unfortunately,……Wicket:- Ammer bowled. Score 78-9. Must state at this point later in the day at Rishton Ammer did say that if the bat had hit the ball it would have gone for a 6….but as Paul reminded him……it didn’t!!

Bottom Whiteheads in last to try and get us to 100…….nice time in report for a Sponsorship mention and thanks for supporting the club……

Quite factual really as today probably doesn’t need to stay open that late as we will be finished early!

Wicket:- Tanny caught. We finish on 90 all out.

In summary not one of our best batting performances bar runs from Paul Houldsworth and a too brief partnership between Alex and Paul. Some silly run outs also added to our woes.


2nd Innings:

Tanny to open bowling from the Dog and Otter end. Paul to open from the Scoreboard end….hoping we get off to a good start with a couple of early wickets.

Early exchanges are tight albeit we can’t seem to find a breakthrough. Change of bowler as Ethan comes on for Tanny.

Score is 17-0 off 9 overs.

Change of bowler at the other end as Alex replaces Paul who has bowled excellently with 5 overs, 0 wickets for 2 runs. Score is creeping up at 24-0 off 11 overs.

Some more tight exchanges between bowlers and batters sees score move on to 46-0….off 17 overs. We desperately need a wicket but doesn’t look like we will get one.

Anyway we do……Wicket:- bowled Alex caught Harris. Score 47-1.

Change bowler as Zeain replaces Ethan. The captain is mixing the bowling up to either try and get a breakthrough or realising the game is slipping share the workload around.

Change bowler as Ammer comes on for Alex…..(to bring some Gas…still don’t know what this means or whether he works in a petrol station……anyway lets “pump” it up Ammer!. Score moved on to 68–1.


Don’t know what’s worse, watching our team struggle like this……or sitting with Mr Happy!! Actually, looks kind of happy in this photo….or he has wind!

Unfortunately, the game moves on to 27 overs and Church need 1 to win. Shortly after…..Game Over.

Summary – we didn’t seem to get going today with either bat or ball.

Player of Match

Has to be Paul Houldsworth for his batting performance of 36 not out and then bowling figures of 5 overs 0 for 2.

On to the next one…..you’ll be pleased to know not before another visit to Church next Friday in the T20 game…..will report back whether the Sky Sports Shed is open or the bar.

Neil Kennedy

Match Report – 3rd XI vs Church CC – Cliffe Park – Saturday 1st June

Following a week off with a well-earned family break, aligning nicely with a weekend break for our 3rd Team, I am back to report on our match with Church CC at home.

A busy morning of assisting our Club Chairman putting up blinds……and then putting covers on with Captain Ste……things I do for this club….I am pleased to see that we are here and not at Church…..bet you it is lovely there today….unless you want to watch Sky……have a drink….see people….not be depressed….I could go on.

As I arrive at the ground, it looks like we may get a wet start to proceedings as the skies are overcast…fingers crossed.

Before we commence proceedings a massive congratulations to Captain Ste on the birth of his first child Toby…….Mum and baby doing well. Congratulations to you all.

Ste wins the toss and we are batting. The players take to the field…..

1st Innings:

Joel Houldsworth and Joel Bentham to open.

Big thanks again to Umpire Shak for supporting this fixture. Looks good in a white coat…..not as good as Dr Zeain though….


Wicket:- 1st over wicket as Joel Bentham bowled. Seb Whalley in at 3. 0-1.

Seb and Joel get us off the mark….Seb with a nice shot for 4.

Unfortunately, proceedings come to a halt as the rain clouds gather above us.

Rain stops play….score on 21-1

Action Shot:- as the players take to the field to put the covers on…..Fine bunch…

Weather Forecast Update!

I must admit I can’t believe they have come off……hardly a monsoon. Church requested to come off….they must not want to play.

Great………Darryl is here……..should be well behaved today as has new girlfriend in tow.

Players back on….

we have only lost 5 overs so now a 35 over game. Our score quickly moves on to 41-1.

Change of bowler for Church as on comes our ex-player Aftab….

Chance!- catch dropped by fielder – lucky Joel. Unfortunately, this is followed by a…..

Wicket:- Seb out bowled for 28. Well batted Seb.

Thomas Newton in next. Score 48-2.

Wicket!- Joel H out caught for 33. 66-3. Andy Brown in next

4 – shot Thomas. 99-3. 8 overs left

Wicket:- Thomas out LBW. 126-4

Batting change as in comes MC Ammer instead of Alex.

Milestone!- 50 for Andy Brown. Played some great attacking cricket. Well done Andy. Score moves to 149-4.

Wicket!- Andy caught out but a good innings. Score 158-5

Alex Kennedy in next with just 2 balls remaining.

We finish on 166-5. Well batted Ammer with a quickfire score.


Rain was heavier at the end of the innings than when we went off at the start of the innings with “driving” rain…good time to mention one of our Club Sponsors…..

…..luckily we finished the innings. All round decent batting performance on what must be a tricky, wet wicket. Hopefully we have enough to finish the job.


2nd Innings:

Hopefully the weather holds out as rain has stopped…….

Ste to open from the scoreboard end, whilst Abid opens from Dog and Otter end

Church move to 11-0 off 5 overs. Good news though as…….Wicket!- bowled Ste caught Joel Bentham. Score now 14-1. This is swiftly followed by another….Wicket!- Caught and Bowled Abid. 14-2.

Church manage to stabilise proceedings and move on to 18-2 off 9 overs.

Change of bowler – young Ishmael replaces Ste.

Wicket!- Bowled Ish LBW….30-3. Well bowled young man. Ishmael claims the LBW from the umpire who quickly gives the batsman out. Funny really as am sure Ishmael claimed “Owzat” before he even released the ball…..good decision “Dad”…..sorry I mean Umpire!

Weather holding off and looks quite bright now….looks like we will get our match to completion….

Change of bowler as Alex comes on for Abid. Chance!- Joel Houldsworth dropped catch from Alex….Joel doesn’t look happy (that doesn’t make much of a difference as he is always that miserable to be honest).

Change bowler Joel H for Ishmael. Wicket:- bowled Joel. 45-4. This quickly followed by another…..Wicket!- bowled Alex LBW. Score on 48-5.

Not sure if the ball is turning a lot today whilst Alex bowling but there is a lot of head holding going on…..i later find out that he nearly bowled the batsman around his legs as Captain Ste let out a frustrated groan from slip.

Church move the score on to 60-5.

Change of bowler as Marcus Hamer comes on for Alex. A change also at the other end as “Gas” replaces Joel. Score now on 71-5.

Wicket!- Bowled Ammer. 81-6. Another change of bowler as Alex comes back on for Marcus.

Wicket!- bowled with a pee roller. 91-7.

Wicket!- bowled Alex caught Ammer. 103-8.

Game Over. Church finish their run chase on 117-8. Win for Great Harwood.


good result for Captain Ste and our 3rd team maintain their winning streak. A good all round performance from the team with some good fielding supporting our batting and bowling. Good batting performances from Andy Brown with his half century, and good knocks from Seb and Joel Houldsworth. Wickets again for Abid, Alex, Ste, Joel and Ammer.

Player of the Match – Andy Brown with a half century. Well done Andy and have a good holiday.

Neil Kennedy

Match Report – 3rd XI vs Church CC – Away – 14th April 2019

Welcome back to the Lancashire League Cricket season. It soon comes back around.
Great Harwood Cricket Club’s first competitive game of the season brings me to Church CC to take in the delights of our 3rd team fixture. A sunny but cold day at what has become infamously my “favourite ground”. I am extra pleased as I have had the added pleasure of being here since 9am for Hyndburn District Trials. Love this place.
First observation……Nice to see the Sky Sports Shed still here…
Following a lunch interval in between District Trials and this game, at the A La Carte restaurant down the road….some Scottish chap called McDonald….i park up in anticipation (with my car facing the wicket just in case it gets to minus figures in the weather stakes.
Sad news reaches us a players start to arrive, unfortunately Leachy has to leave due to a family emergency. Thoughts with you mate.
After various phone calls and some strangely inquisitive looks towards my car….like I have any form of cricketer in it….decision made for umpire Danny Briggs to replace Leachy….Captain Houldsworth hiding in his car to avoid replacement Umpire duties.
Lost the toss – Church elect to bat first.
As I peruse the amazing facilities here (all closed), a capacity crowd of 9 people…and a dog….seem to be looking forward to an entertaining game. Good news as tea room opens….and before anyone asks no the bar isn’t….no surprise there then.
After handing out packets of B&M hand warmers to Newy Jr, Houldsworth Jr and Alex….game gets underway…
1st Innings:
It is absolutely freezing on the side of this hill, and the first batter for Church comes in well prepared;
Ethan Houldsworth to open bowling….from the car park end. Good first over and a slow start for Church. Joel Houldsworth opens at other end….are there any other Houldsworths I am missing from this report.
Early Wicket:-: A run out, bowled Joel and stumped Seb. 5 for 1. Good fielding (dint say that too much last season)
Another Wicket:- Bowled Joel LBW. 20-2. Good start to the season for the “Happy One”.
Change of bowler as Captain Ste replaces Ethan who bowled a good spell. Chance! – Direct hit for a run out from Ethan. Not Out…..27-2. Looked a tight decision from where I am stood watching them tee off on the 2nd tee at Accrington Golf Club!
Another change of bowler as MC Hammer replaces for Joel. Time for a bit of “Gas”. Great fielding by Joel stopping what looked a certain 4.
Family Moment Alert:- Lovely moment as Captain Ste’s Mum comes on to pitch to give him a kiss….whilst he is fielding at that position next toe the White Screens at the end of the ground……nice.
Wicket! MC Hammer clean bowls batsman. 42 – 3. Shortly after this drinks are taken with the score at 43-3. Nice to see the drinks are ice cold cordial – should go down well today with the arctic conditions. Personally wouldn’t have bothered unless it was a nice hot brew.
Change of bowler as Alex Kennedy comes on for MC Hammer. Wicket:- Bowled Alex caught Ethan. 45 – 4. The u15’s club working well together. Meanwhile there is a change bowler at the other end as Abid comes on for Ste. Welcome to Great Harwood CC Abid.
Wicket:- LBW bowled Abid. 77-5. Great start for one of our new team members.
Another Wicket:- bowled Alex and caught Ste. 81-6. Another quick Wicket:- bowled Abid caught Ethan. Another great catch. 82-7.
This spell of bowling is great to watch as we have Church on the rack. Wicket:- bowled Abid caught Ste. 86-8. Abid follows this up with his 4th Wicket:- batsman clean bowled Abid. 86-9.
Just one more wicket to go.
Wicket:- bowed Alex. 86 all out
Good bowling and fielding performance with all the lads chipping in.
As I take the ritual walk around the ground to keep arm, good to see these Church fans are a resilient lot as they crack open the cans in the grandstand overlooking the ground….I use the term grandstand loosely.
2nd Innings:
Hamza and Ethan open batting. Good to see Hamza back in the fold after his horror injury last season.
Hamza off the mark playing a nice shot round his legs to Square…Short…Long…3rd man….or something like that.
Looks like the Great Harwood players are taking turns in doing the Square Leg Umpire. Joel doing his stint in his shorts – the lad is mad!!
Wicket:- Ethan bowled out. 2 – 1. Seb in. Not a good start. Wicket:- Hamza is bowled LBW. 16 – 2. Exactly what Church needed a couple of early wickets and two of our danger men out.
Shak into the Attack next. We should see some shots played now. An expectant silence falls across the ground in anticipation……oh no sorry my mistake….there isn’t anyone here.
Wicket:- Seb out with a leading edge caught. 16 – 3. (I must admit I used the term “Leading Edge” as Paul Houldsworth said it…makes me sound like I know what I am talking about. MC Hammer in next.
Injury Alert:- Shak goes down with what looks like cramp. Replacement batsman needed….Joel in. Hopefully Shak recovers. 4 – nice shot Joel. 51-3
Wicket:- Joel played on. 54-4. Progress to our target is slow and feels a long way off….good news though as Shak is back…at the crease. Wicket:- MC Hammer out caught. 55-5.
Thomas Newton in next. Unfortunately doesn’t hang around too long as another Wicket:- falls. Thomas Out bowled LBW.
Danny Briggs enters the fray with score at 59-6. Wicket:- Shak out. 60-7. In comes Alex. We survive the next few overs but then Wicket:- Alex Out. 74-8. Abid in. Can the new boy get us over the line.
Great shot – 6! Shot Danny – just what was needed. Next ball – Wicket!- Danny out caught trying to hit another 6. 82-9
Captain Ste in as last batsman….need a Captains performance her Ste. A few balls faced and a couple of singles. 4! – good shot Ste…nearly there.
A nice shot sees us over the line. Game over – Great Harwood win!
Overall good team performance and a good start to season. We made life difficult in what was a cold day, but the lads stuck together and ground out the result.
Onwards to next week…..