Only two inspirational bowling performances from William Brown and Wilfred Bowden prevented Middleton winning by a large margin at Towncroft on Saturday.

An opening stand of over 70 was ended after openers J. Ogden and Edwin Kay has left the Littleborough side chasing shadows. Thanks to Bowden the avalanche eventually subsided as he sent them both packing in the same over to end this extremely dangerous partnership, with Ogden making 32 and Kay 33

McDougall went in the same over for a duck as the ball struck his pads with a resenating thud and it was now 70-3 and Bowden had turned the game completely on its head. Middleton Professional and future Littleborough player Lionel Cranfield and Smithies added a quick fire 25 partnership as Middleton neared the century, but as soon as they tried to accelerate the run rate Bowden struck again as Cranfield was bowled for 11

Smithies couldn’t find a partner to form a lasting partnership with as none of the following players could hang around., and from being 70-0 Middleton lost 10-55 and subsided to 125-10. Littleborough tried five bowlers with Wilkinson, Whipp and Massey unsuccessful. However Brown 21.0-6-37-4 and Bowden 15.0-4-30-6 they had the potent combo to send the Moonrakers packing.

Any thoughts the visitors had in winning this particular match dissipated within the first half hour as Cranfield took control. Ably assisted by Ogden and Hall they managed to dismiss Littleborough for 118 to win by the narrowest of margins.

In total contrast to the first innings wickets fell early as Leach 6, Wilkinson 5 and the prize wicket of Brown for only 2 as Littleborough were 20-3 and in deep trouble. Smith joined opener Massey and brought things back to a more sensible footing with an obdurate but valuable stand of 35 before Massey was caught by Kay off Hall for 23

Whipp joined Smith and played a well constructed stand to take Littleborough to the verge of victory. But when the score reached 106 disaster struck as Cranfield bowled Smith for a fine 30. In identical fashion to the Middleton innings the tail failed to wag as Clegg 1, Wilfred Bowden 5, Simpson 0, Hurst 0 and Potter 2 offered no assistance to Whipp who was unbeaten on 36 as Littleborough were dismissed for the aforementioned 118 with Cranfield’s magnificent 18.2-4-48-7 the difference in the second innings.