Professional Dexter Fitton ended his fantastic Littleborough career with yet another man of the match performance as Littleborough ended the season with victory against Ashton at Rayner Lane.
Winning the toss and batting, the home side got off to a steady if not spectacular start as openers Overseas player Matt O’Brien and veteran David Leighton pitted their wits against Brendan Miskella and Lee Kelly.
The openers were in little trouble when at 16 Leighton 5 was run out by O’Brien who was a little too quick for his partner. Aussie professional Luke Hodgson joined his fellow countryman and aimed to build momentum, but at 27 O’Brien edged a delivery from Miskella to Hernon who took a fine catch. The next wicket wasn’t far away as Hodgson gave wicketkeeper Jones a catch to give Miskella his second wicket and it was 30-3 and Ashton were now in trouble.
The home side needed a partnership to give the visitors a target to bowl at and David Gandy and Dominic Ball granted the home supporters wishes with a valuable 66 partnership in 18 overs. They looked comfortable against the attack and punished anything even an inch off line.
Dearden made the crucial breakthrough at 96 when he took a smart catch off his own bowling to dismiss Ball for 43. Trevor Gane 4 fell at 105 but Selby joined Gandy and a quick 40 partnership made the score more respectable. Hunter trapped Gandy LBW one short of a well deserved half century.
Unfortunately for Ashton they lost late wickets as they aimed to build a challenging total but lost wickets at 145, 152 and 154, finally ending up on a disappointing 155-9.
The wickets were shared with Miskella 2-38, Fitton 3-33 and one each for Dearden and Hunter with only Lee Kelly wicketless but bowled a fine miserly spell, only conceding 25 runs in his 10 overs l
Despite losing the early wicket of Whiteley for 11 Littleborough were soon in complete control and reached the required target with a dozen overs to spare. Dominic Ball was a thorn in the visitors side as he took the wickets of Dearden 26, Williamson 24 and Hunter 28.
Dexter Fitton remained unbeaten on 57 and ended his Hare Hill career on a high, as Littleborough ended on 156-4 and ended the season in third behind Rochdale and Middleton.
Dexter departed for near neighbours Milnrow and Littleborough would welcome Hamish Anthony to Hare Hill in 1996