An unprecedented number of player cry-offs on Sunday played a big part in both Greenmount first and second teams suffering defeats that neither could afford – albeit for differing reasons.
Holidays, injuries and a Cumbrian county call-up for Evan Williams combined to give the cricket committee a tricky job to put two competitive teams together so full credit to the lads who answered an eleventh hour call to play.
Ryan Senior’s first team entertained Haslingden at the Log Cabin knowing that some victories are going to be needed in the final games if they are to pull away from the relegation zone.
But contrary to Greenmount, the visitors – who were promoted with the Mount last season – have adjusted to the top flight well and are comfortably placed in the top half of the table.
The toss was won by the Mount who chose to put the visitors in to bat and Haslingden’s openers – Matt Griffin (83) and Mini Bhada (60) gave the home side plenty to think about, putting on 151 for the first wicket before Bhada became the first of Ryan Senior’s two victims.
Hassy sub professional Sehan Weerasinghe then went on to score 82 as his side racked up 351 for 5 to give the villagers a mountain to climb.
In the reply, Haslingden bowler Garry Sudworth proved to be in superb form and his 6 for 31 from 10.1 overs was the overwhelming reason the home side fell well short.
Tom Heaton’s 39 and Callum Hunter’s 34 were the best the Mount batsmen could muster as they slumped to 130 all out in 31.1 overs.
Meanwhile, the second team’s hopes of making further progress at the top of their table went awry when they travelled to Church & Oswaldtwistle.
Church won the toss and elected to bat but the omens weren’t good for Greenmount when bowler Rick Catterall had to limp from the field in the third over after suffering a recurrence of an ankle injury.
The home side scored 212 for 6 from their 45 overs with Alex Bullen taking 4 for 45 from 11 while there was a wicket apiece for Adam Clarke and skipper Oli Dixon.
Bullen then top-scored with 46 in the reply as Dixon’s depleted side could only chalk up 152 (Franklin 33) and Church ran out comfortable 60 run victors.
The third team’s home game against Colne on Saturday was postponed due to the inclement weather.
Mount’s Evan Williams hit 20 when opening for Cumbria in their Showcase game against Lancashire at Sedburgh School on Sunday.
However, in a rain-affected clash that was reduced to 22 overs, it was the Red Rose county who emerged victorious.
Lancashire batted first and posted a total of 186 for 6 from their allotted overs. It was a total that proved too much for Cumbria who were restricted to 142 for 5 with former Ramsbottom player JJ Fielding top scoring with 42.