Big scores by a fine Werneth batting side is the norm this season as the Oldham side were the next team to visit Hare Hill. Earlier in the season at The Coppice Werneth had convincingly beaten Littleborough by eight wickets and the home team needed to raise their game by several notches if they were to avoid a repeat performance.
But despite the best efforts of the Littleborough side Werneth posted 248-4 . The only consolation is that they managed to a certain extent to stem the run rate because at one point the visitors threatened to pass the 300 mark. From the outset opening Paul Entwistle and Steve O’Shaughnessy we’re scoring at four runs per over forcing Boro to switch to spin after only ten overs.
Entwistle when on 62 survived a sharp chance to keeper Pete Jones off Gar Hunter and gave another chance at 84 with Jones unable to hold the ball at full stretch this time off Miskella.
Littleborough were rewarded at 174 when O’Shaughnessy was bowled middle stump by Hunter for a hard hitting 88. In the soaring heat Littleborough were becoming frustrated and the fielding was becoming ragged. However Werneth lost their way a little after passing 200 and when Irfan Rana reacted late to a call for a second run he was easily dismissed for 13
Miskella returned and should have claimed the wicket of Punchard , but Hernon unfortunately misjudged a swirling ball. A smart piece of wicket keeping by Jones saw him stump the dangerous Errock 16 to give Miskella a well deserved wicket.
When the home side began their innings needing a brisk start to their reply , but the experiment of opening with David Thewlis didn’t work out as a delivery off Punchard spun back onto his stumps with only one run on the board. It was soon 19-2 as Dearden 16 edged to wicketkeeper Simon Webb and then at 43 Shimwell was caught by Teall off Punchard for 9.
That brought Hunter to the crease to join Fitton and together they attempted to repair the damage. They went on to share a partnership of 78 , this was not without incident as Hunter twisted his knee and Thewlis reappeared acting as a runner. Fitton survived a huge appeal for caught behind and after this they began to get a sniff of victory until Werneth skipper Steven Wild called Rana into the attack.
His second ball saw Hunter, was run out for 37 . Fitton followed at 121 for 54 and after a cracking drive to the boundary, Chris Schofield 4 was caught by Mottram off Rana to end an eventful over. Lee Kelly was mesmerised by a short delivery from Punchard treading on his stumps whilst attempting a pull shot. Punchard also accounted for Hernon 1 caught by Wild as Littleborough ended on 183 to lose by 65 runs.