WOOD CUP QUARTER FINAL

Littleborough hosted Milnrow with no motivation needed against their nearest rivals with a spot in the semi finals up for grabs. The visitors side seemed to be saving their best performances for the Wood Cup as they were second from bottom and the cup was their only chance of silverware.

Everything seemed to go right for Milnrow as Norris seemed to have the Midas touch as everything seemed to turn to gold. Littleborough chose to bat but in the first ten overs could only reach 15-1 thanks to fine bowling by Fyfe and Abrahams. The wicket of Shimwell 4 the reward.

The fine start allowed Norris to hold back professional Erkhe but when introduced he was successful immediately as he took the wickets of Whiteley 6, Fitton 9 and Dearden 8 as Littleborough slumped to 29-4 The visitors were in a deep hole but Hunter and 16 year old Chris Schofield both batted intelligently and with growing authority with Littleborough reaching 67-4 at halfway.

They had posted a stand of 57 when Schofield 24 edged a ball to wicketkeeper Bamford off Astin, trying to score the second of successive sixes. Jones 7 fell at 98 caught by Norris. Hunter however was becoming a thorn in Milnrow’s side and deserved a fifty, but unfortunately fell four runs short after being bowled by a returning Erkhe.

Bamford the wicketkeeper became Bamford the bowler as he took the ball and captured the wicket of Hernon 11, caught by his replacement keeper Arnold. Littleborough finishing on a under par 153-9 with Erkhe claiming 10-2-32-5

Milnrow definitely held all the cards as 153 was going to be a difficult total to defend and needed early wickets but Arnold and Howard ensuring this would not happen. Howard was particularly belligerent as Milnrow stood at 37-0 off ten overs double the home sides earlier effort.

The addition of Gar Hunter to the attack proved dividends as he trapped Howard 28 LBW in his first over and Erkhe 4 with the score on 47-2 Miskella was brought back but Bamford hit successive boundaries and four overthrows made it an expensive return.

Dearden removed Bamford 28 but Arnold was a superb anchor and it was reaching the stage where Littleborough’s only hope was that Milnrow would throw it away. There was an anxious moment for the visiting supporters when with victory in sight Dearden removed Abrahams 10 and Arnold 63 in the same over. Hunter and Schofield bowled tight spells, but this only delaying the inevitable. Fittingly Norris was at the crease as Astin hit the winning runs as Milnrow booked a visit to Ashton and Littleborough’s grip on the Wood Cup was released.