It was almost a carbon copy of the previous weekend’s game at Norden as Littleborough racked up an enormous 273-6 on the small Scott Street ground. Under rain threatening skies Walsden skipper Trevor Bailey had no hesitation asking the visitors to bat.
Littleborough’s opening pair the two Chris’ Dearden and Schofield scored at an excellent rate and looked in little trouble. However at 43 Schofield edged a delivery from Walsden Professional Jason Bakker and the prolific Dexter Fitton joined Dearden, no doubt hoping for a repeat of
last weekend’s fireworks at Norden.
Both batsmen offered no chances and Dearden reached his century off only 124 deliveries containing 14×4 and 2×6. However he was out soon after with the score on 213 after scoring 101 and a partnership of 170 in 27 overs. Mark Whiteley carried on where Dearden had left off and gave fine support to Fitton and took the score to 248 when Fitton departed for “Nelson” caught by skipper Bailey off Mark Hooson. His innings of 111 was off only 81 balls with 16 boundaries and 3 sixes.
Whiteley was joined by Williamson but departed for 17 and on the same score Williamson was out for 10. Peter Jones was run out for 4 at 267 and Hunter 5* and Mark Hernon 1* safely saw Littleborough to the tea interval.
Walsden needed to score at nearly a run a ball which even on such a small ground would be a tall order. Things began badly for the home team as they lost four wickets in the first fifteen overs. Eastwood 12 offered a catch to bowler Lee Kelly and this was gratefully taken. Bakker joined Hooson and the score reached 47 mainly thanks to Hooson, as Bakker was not getting much of the strike. Perhaps in desperation Bakker clipped a ball to Whiteley who took a smart catch. And when Gale was out with no addition to the score Walsden were in trouble.
It got worse when Hooson holed out to Hunter and it was now 58-4. A Dearden / Fitton type partnership was definitely needed and Hanson and Horsford began to bat with confidence and aggression. No batsman were spared as they punished bad deliveries with venom. They had added a valuable 96 when partnership breaker Dearden took a fine return catch and Horsford was out for 34.
Hanson was out later in the over caught by Schofield for 56 and any thoughts of a dramatic victory dissipated. Wickets fell at 156 as former Milnrow bowler Alan Wood was dismissed for 2 and Bailey made 5. Ross and Parkinson added 12 as Walsden ended on 187-8 and Littleborough won by 86 runs. All bowlers performed well and each took wickets to end a satisfactory day at Scott Street