Jack Harrison became Greenmount’s first ever centurion in the Lancashire League when he scored 120 in the first eleven’s Worsley Cup match away at holders Darwen.
Unfortunately Jack’s knock from 146 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes in a score of 222 for 8 from50 overs, wasn’t quite enough as Darwen’s sub professional, Neil Hornbuckle, hit 99 off 70 balls to lead the Towers to a four wicket victory despite Matthew Senior’s 4 for 31 off 7 overs.
Having dismissed England international Samit Patel for his first ever Lancashire League wicket last week, Senior add four more wickets this week to slow Darwen’s chase, but Hornbuckle’s innings ultimately proved to be a match-winning one and we wish Darwen all the best in the next round as they look to defend their crown.
The seconds played host to their Darwen counterparts in a corresponding JW Lees Cup match which swung both ways before Darwen ultimately progressed to the second round.
Skipper Alex Bullen had a monumental day taking 5 for 29 in his 10 overs as Darwen’s last wicket partnership of 61 between Chris Lowe (58) and Jordan Shaw (8 no) proved to be decisive taking them from 167 for 9 to a competitive 228.
In fading light and murky conditions, the skipper promoted himself in an attempt to keep ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis score, and his 60 off 35 balls with two fours and seven sixes certainly did that.
Unfortunately with the exception of Owen Halstead (22) and Dave Willetts (17) the other batsman struggled against Darwen’s attack and the seconds were eventually out for 151 with 24 overs left.
The seconds were also left to rue another bad day for leg side wides, cut those out and there’s no reason why they can’t be a very good side indeed.
Sunday’s Cup matches followed a washout on Saturday as the monsoon which hit the North West saw both the first and second team league matches against Rawtenstall called off early on Saturday morning.
Having spent much of Saturday under water it was good to see that the drainage work that was undertaken at the end of last season on the square and outfield had worked.
That – coupled with a morning of hard slog by Andy Skinner and his team of groundstaff – meant that Sunday’s match started on time in unbelievably dry conditions, something that simply wouldn’t have been possible last year.
It is pleasing to see the investment in the ground paying off.
Attention turns back to the League in week five with the thirds hosting Todmorden on Saturday and the firsts hosting Church on Sunday while the seconds travel to Church.
We’ll be hoping that Greenmount’s injury list starts to subside as the weather, hopefully, starts to warm up!