SATURDAY 27th MAY
3rd XI vs Rawtenstall CC (h)
Rawtenstall 103 – GHCC 104-5
Report by Wayne Fitzharris
Great Harwood’s solid batting line up secured a 5 wicket win with over twelve overs to spare to defeat a 9 man Rawtenstall line up, Great Harwood secured an impressive victory, with an undefeated Leach and Allen at the crease.
Allen won the toss, elected to field, and opened the bowling with Mark Leach and Ammar Ali. Leach opened with pacey accurate swing bowling, three failed LBW shouts later and some very strict wide decisions, Leach finally got his wicket with a swinging half volley well caught behind by Freddie Timmins.
At the other end, Spinner Ammar failed to get the accuracy he normally commands and was replaced by Aftab “Tabby” Hussain, whose variety of bowling options finally opened the game up.
Leach was replaced by schoolboy, Ethan Houldsworth, whose first bowl was a nervous large wide followed by a short pitched long hop, which hit the opening Batsman plumb on the back foot… a slowly raised finger and Houldsworth had his man and went on to bowl 5 overs for 9 runs putting the breaks on Rawtenstall’s batting effort with some accurate seam bowling.
Tabby continued with his bowling variety at the other end. Unperturbed by some loud vocal advice, Tabby persisted and took 3 wickets, 2 bowled and one caught behind by Freddie Timmins. After a brief torrential downpour and thunderstorm, covers on, covers off and lot of water dropped on the pitch, the umpires decided to continue without delay, Tabby continued and gratefully collected another wicket.
Joel Bentham replaced Houldsworth, and although quicker in pace, lacked accuracy at times. Yet he bowled well and was rewarded with a deserved LBW.
Geoff Allen came on to wrap up the Rawtenstall innings, All out for 103. Job Well done by Great Harwood.
In reply, Great Harwood were reduced to 48-3, off 11 overs, with Niall (Holt), Zeain (Ali) and Phil Aspinall out cheaply due to some very accurate sling pace bowling from Rawtenstall’s under 14 Bowler S Khan. Freddie Timmins made a welcome return contribution of 39 runs, with some splendid counter attacking shots and excellent defensive play. He was out and replaced by Mark Leach who continued with the defence and attacking shots, taking Great Harwood from 67-5 to 103–5, Leach scoring 23 and Allen scoring 17 with over ten overs left.
The game was good humoured and well fought with good camaraderie. High praise must go to the Rawtenstall Umpire Jim, for his ability to umpire on a neutral playing field, whilst coaching and praising his team throughout game with cigarette in hand. It’s just part of the peculiarity of our beautiful game.
Umpires Man of the Match would have been Freddie Timmins for two fine catches and an attacking batting display which set the foundation for our win.
SUNDAY 28th MAY
1st XI vs Clitheroe CC (h)
Clitheroe 254-4 – GHCC 175
Report by Andrew Law-Riding
Following last week’s rain affected loss at Bacup, our 1st XI took on familiar opposition in league leaders Clitheroe. Despite their fine start, we had grounds for optimism, recent games have been quite close between the two sides, last year’s Ramsbottom Cup Final being one such example.
Despite the early wicket of Charlie Dewhurst, and GHCC thinking they had followed this up soon after with the key wicket of his brother Jack when a HUGE appeal for caught behind was turned down, Clitheroe built a significant score. Ross (40) Dewhurst (91) and professionalo Fawad Alam (76*) combined as they posted 254-4.
In response, Great Harwood started steadily, before both openers Allan Armer and Mas Ahmed fell with the score on 17.
Clitheroe’s strength, aside from their ability to post large scores, lies firmly with Marcus Sharp’s accuracy. He ties up an end for 15 overs meaning any run chase is hindered and must focus predominantly on the remaining overs. Professional Ashen Silva took heed of this, and saw off the threat of Sharp, ably supported by out middle order, whilst accumulating where possible on his way to a classy 70.
As the run rate increased, Clitheroe introduced professional Fawad Alam. He decimated our middle and lower order, ending up with remarkable figures of 6-19, remarkable in that three of the six wickets were taken caught at long on and two stumped as we looked to mount a challenge.
In the end we were all out for 175, 79 short meaning Clitheroe took all 12 points and remain top of the table.
On to the next one.
2nd XI vs Clitheroe CC (a)
GHCC 184 – Clitheroe 186-6
Report by Tim Holden
An entertaining game at Chatburn Road saw second eleven captain Solo Ali lose his unbeaten record.
GHCC lost the toss and were asked to bat first by Clitheroe. Some tight bowling from Clitheroe saw the run rate restricted early on, although, as usual E. Xtras contributed a handy amount to just about keep the scoreboard ticking. Things didn’t really get going until the last twenty overs when, with wickets in hand, Harwood were able to score with a little more freedom. Haris Masood wisely decided to run Tim Holden out and Clitheroe were soon regretting this decision as they were forced to chase some leather around a dangerous looking outfield. Masood hit five boundaries for his 28 runs. He was joined by Ammar Malik who took a real liking to Clitheroe’s spinners.With four sixes and two fours Malik raced to a 31-ball fifty clearing the clubhouse on at least two occasions and sending the momentum of the game in Great Harwood’s favour.
However, Clitheroe’s seconds set about the run chase in a positive fashion. Returning wicketkeeper, Freddie Timmins, took a smart legside catch off Ali as Harwood made an early breakthrough. After this though wickets proved hard to come by. Harry Lang, after picking up three wickets in the first innings, played well with the bat scoring regularly and rarely offering a chance. Timmins again thought he had a legside catch when Lang was on 27 but it was not to be as the only signal coming from the umpire was for a wide off Aftab Hussain. A deflated Harwood found it hard to apply any pressure as Lang was well supported by Mulligan (26). He rarely looked troubled throughout the rest of his knock eventually bringing up an undefeated century. In fairness, the victory for Clitheroe rarely looked in doubt.
Teas were good.
On to the next one!
MONDAY 29th MAY
3rd XI vs Rishton CC (a)
Rishton 254-4 – GHCC 190-9
Report by Wayne Fitzharris (and adapted by ALR)
Great Harwood won the toss and elected to field on what had been a rainy overcast gloomy day, the pitch was bone dry and our bowlers competed with a saturated outfield and extremely wet ball. Any hope of swing bowling was soon forgotten.
The Rishton openers put up a stand of 162 in 29 overs, with some aggressive hitting from J Hilton, Great Harwood struggled to bowl anything competitive and nearly every delivery was met with a clean hard hit, with balls leaving the ground once or twice every over.
Joel Bentham removed his wicket keeping pads to bowl 4 overs and take 3 late wickets, allowing for 2 enormous sixes. Rishton finished on 254 runs.
After a tea break spent assessing what had just happened, Great Harwood began the chase with skipper Richard Law-Riding (28) and Matthew Oddie (13), scoring over 8 an over in the first 4 overs. A majestic 45 from Jason Kayley and a quick scoring 35 from (Ammar) Malik gave us great hope, however, a middle order collapse and a debatable run out ensured we would struggle in what was becoming a one sided drama.
On the field, the final ten overs were played out by Joel Houldsworth and Ammar Ali, whose impressive hard hitting and steadfast defence brought at least some cheer to Great Harwood supporters as Rishton were denied their final bowling points. Great Harwood finished on a respectable 190-9.
Game over and time for a drink. Many lessons to learn from this one, but congratulations to Hilton for his remarkable 169 which left us with simply too much to do.
On to the next one.