SATURDAY 20th MAY
1st XI vs Bacup CC (a)
GHCC 143-7 – Bacup 145-5
The much anticipated trip to the so-called ‘Coldest Ground in the World’ did not disappoint in many ways, with the bright blue skies of Saturday morning swiftly replaced – just as we set off to the match – by incessant rain and drizzle. For once the forecasters had got it spot on and we hung around until the umpires decided it as fit for play at 4.15 p.m. and we commenced a 22 over game.
Skipper Swanney again proved he is an unlucky tosser as we were invited to bat by our hosts Bacup. Matt Oddie making his season debut in the 1st XI opened with Allan Armer in a new look batting line-up. After some early impetus both openers were out and it was left to the middle order to start to build a competitive score. Decent contributions from Paul and Ash got us moving before they fell in quick succession, and we were in a spot of bother at 70-odd for 5.
But then in walked Hamim Miah. After a gentle start getting to grips with the surface, he tore apart the Bacup attack, taking a particular liking to Bacup professional Kemm. 32 were to come off his second over as Hamim’s explosive hitting got us up to 143-7 from our 22 overs.
But a good lesson was learned by Mr Miah. Oh, Mr Miah. An edged drive for two down to third man, and some lazy running led the umpire to call ‘one short’. And when a further edged drive in the last over, was caught at 3rd man, it left him agonisingly short of a maiden Lancashire League 50, his 49 coming off only 18 balls.
After sampling the unusual but quite magnificent teas of soup, warm beef sandwich and roasted potatoes, followed by cakes and biscuits (a 3 course meal in anyone’s eyes) we looked to take the field. However the umpires spotted that it was raining and the covers were brought on.
Now – this is where this match report becomes difficult to write. Well difficult without invoking a charge for social media offences from the League’s eagle-eyed disciplinary team. So – diplomacy overload in the paragraphs that follow.
We were disappointed but accepted the umpires decision that the ground was fit for play the instant the rain had stopped falling, having spent quite some time before the start of the match mopping up the square and bowlers run-ups. Very slippery conditions for all and a wet ball made it difficult for the bowlers.
But – and here’s the bit I can provide an open an honest opinion on – we were faced with the first time with the farcical and quite-frankly stupid rules relating to heavily rain affected matches. As the umpires dictated that play could recommence at 7.12 pm with a further 16 overs left to bowl, Bacup could elect to chase the full target of 144. If they got the runs, fair play to them – they win. But if they didn’t get the runs, we would win. Oh no, that’s not how it works. If they didn’t get the runs – we didn’t win – it would be a no result, unless we were successful in bowling them all out in just 16 overs.
So we took the field somewhat bemused, and the conditions were made more difficult by restricted views from some areas of the field, and a quite farcicial run chase began. And fair play to Bacup for keeping up with the run rate of nearly ten an over. When Paul Houldsworth was given the bowl for the last over, they required 7 to win. Then the last ball, when they needed 3 to win.
An inside edge for 4 gave Bacup a win, and were understandably upset at losing. But then it dawned on us. We had only actually lost two points, as if they hadn’t have won the most we could have got was three. One bonus point was the outcome of the truncated day.
Indeed the most farcicial of scenarios was thankfully avoided. If Bacup had been 8 or 9 wickets down, and needing 3 to win off the last ball, it would have been in our own interests to deliberately lose the game as we would have earned more points in doing so. And they say we’ve come out of the chip shop league…………
In the end were glad to get out of the game with no serious injuries, particularly with some worrying moments for the professional, captain and MVP Miah slipping in the outfield. Nonetheless, no harm done.
On to the next one…………..
2nd XI vs Bacup CC (h)
No Result – Rain
Report by Richard Law-Riding
We turned up after a sunny morning to persistent rain and dark clouds everywhere. Covers were on, wicket ends were drenched and the run ups politely dangerous. There were no real prospects of doing anything but sitting sulking about “waiting all week for a game just for it to do this” with the interlude of a few of Geoff’s jokes lightening the mood if not the clouds.
After a couple of hours of sitting around, and the odd game of indoor cricket, the rain eased a bit, enough to motivate us to put the rope out in the faint optimism that this was for anything other than making sure the 1st team didn’t have to do this ahead of their cup game the day after.
Despite the performance of the drainage, and Aftab’s commentary from afar that because it looked “a bit less grey” out of his bedroom window in Blackburn, prospects of play were not improving whatsoever.
After an early tea, and a number of the opposition from Bacup winning a few quid on the 3:25 at Newbury despite betting on the wrong horse, we decided to move the covers to “have a look” at the wicket we weren’t going to play on. The wicket itself was alright. Of course it was, it had been covered. It was everywhere else in Hyndburn that was wet through, not just our outfield.
Game off. 3 points each. Boring.
In fact, wet and boring, which is not a pair of words often used together.
Onto next week where we travel to Clitheroe #getforward
SUNDAY 21st MAY
3rd XI vs Accrington CC (a)
GHCC 105 all out – Accrington 109-6
Reported by Jason Kayley
The third team’s trip to Thorneyholme Road for the first game against Accrington was a tale of dropped catches and missed opportunities.
Harwood shelled seven catches in a low-scoring affair that ultimately cost them all the points.
Accrington won the toss and put Harwood in on a very green track, and it looked to be a good decision as took wickets at regular intervals.
But skipper Richard Law-Riding steadied the ship with 21, with Jason Kayley (14) and Harris Masood (11) the only batsmen to get into double figures on a very slow outfield with extras adding 37 to a modest total of 105 all out.
With Harwood needing early wickets, the visitors spurned a whole host of chances as opening bowlers returned good figures for no reward.
But that changed as Ammer Ali (3-16) and Masood (2-22) dragged Harwood back into the game. There was also a wicket for Ethan Houldsworth, making his debut in senior cricket, as he chipped in with his first wicket at this level.
But more dropped catches proved to be Harwood’s downfall as the home side reached their target with 14 balls to spare and took 12 points.
1st XI vs Lowerhouse CC (h)
Lowerhouse 239-9 – GHCC 86 all out
Report by Andrew Law-Riding
So on to Sunday, and a Lancashire cup game brought about by our 3rd place finish in the Ribblesdale League last season.
We named a young side to welcome Lowerhouse to the Cliffe, Mas Ahmed, Paul Houldsworth, Allan Armer and Paul Newton all rested and in came Adam Masood, Matthew Bunn and, for the first time this season, David Kendall and Hamza Qayoom.
Lowerhouse were asked to bat by Patrick Swanney and this initially looked to be a good decision as two early wickets reduced Lowerhouse to 34-2. However a partnership of 88 between professional Ockert Erasmus and former Padiham pro Ben Heap steadied the ship as Lowerhouse began to build a significant total.
Heap passed 50, but was then brilliantly stumped by first-time wicketkeeper Hamim Miah. From here, wickets came at regular intervals, but Erasmus remained steadfast, accumulating consistently without ever forcing the issue. He reached 100 with 3 balls left in the innings and finished 103* as Lowehouse posted 239-9.
So to the run chase. This was always going to be a tall order with our side missing many of the more experienced players. Matthew Bunn opened with debutant Hamza Qayoom and we set about the task. Despite a few signs of promise, Bunn fell, quickly followed by Matthew Oddie.
By the time a fine spell of bowling from our ex-professional Joe Hawke took the wickets of Paddy, Ash and Hamim, we were reeling at 32-5, and there was no way back, each of our young players showing reasonable resistance but never really looking as though we could mount a game winning fightback.
We were all out for 86. A heavy defeat but not one without positives to take. The tenacity of Qayoom’s innings, overs under the belt and a few wickets for our young bowlers and perhaps most of all, two catches and a stumping for Miah on his wicketkeeping debut leave us with points to ponder ahead of next week’s selection.
Not a great weekend overall, but we dust off and go again next week