The summer of 2011 will live long in the memory of players, members and committee of Greenmount Cricket Club as they secured a remarkable ‘treble’ of Bolton League Championship, Hamer Cup and the much-coveted Lancashire Knockout.
While the success was a team achievement in every sense of the word, there were a number of individual performances that stood out throughout the campaign.
Andy Kerr won the dual accolade of Bolton League Batsman of the Season and Player of the Year for his exploits in which he broke the league amateur batting record with an incredible 1,477 runs including five centuries and seven 50s. He was also the leading run scorer in the Lancashire Knockout culminating in an unbeaten 100 in the final against Walkden that won him the man of the match award.
The league’s Bowler of the Season went to the Mount’s Phil Heaton who took 105 wickets throughout the campaign and who – in tandem with Mark Stewart (78 wickets) – formed a formidable combination that few teams could deal with throughout the summer.
And to round off a clean sweep of the league awards, Richard Hevingham took the Wicketkeeper prize with an impressive 43 victims.
The treble achievement was also due in no small part to skipper Stewart who – as always – led by example and built in the side a winning mentality that proved crucial to the season’s success.
Pakistan professional Asif Zakir proved his worth scoring 1,017 runs as well as taking 36 wickets at an average of 17.14 and there were sterling contributions with the bat from Andy Bowker (534 runs at an average of 44.50), Anthony Harris with 707 runs and Danny Metcalfe 409 runs.
The club’s only previous Bolton League championship season came in 1988 when a young Aussie by the name of Mark Taylor was professional, so a 23-year wait for a second title was long overdue.
It duly arrived on the first weekend in September on a rain-soaked day at Little Lever when the abandonment ensured the chasing pack consisting of Horwich, Walkden and Farnworth Social Circle could no long catch Stewart’s men.
For the skipper it was just – and an overdue – reward for some fantastic seasons with the club and no-one in the Bolton League fraternity could deny him a champions medal his displays so richly deserved.
A fourth Hamer Cup win was secure in early August. After disposing of Farnworth by 39 runs at Bridgeman Park in the first round, the club duly saw off their neighbours Farnworth Social Circle in the quarter-finals with a 122 run triumph at the Log Cabin thanks for a five-wicket haul from Heaton.
Little Lever were put to the sword on their own ground in the semi-final and the five wicket triumph set up a final against Kearsley, also at Little Lever.
Danny Metcalfe proved to be the hero of the hour for the Mount with an unbeaten 85 as they ran up 199 for 8 from their 40 overs.
That total was always going to prove too much for Kearsley and thanks to five wickets from Heaton and four for professional Zakir they slumped to 151 all out.
The icing on the 2011 cake came via the Lancashire Cricket Board Knockout, the final of which was played at Old Trafford.
In the first round the villagers were drawn against Vernon Carus from the Palace Shield and ran out eight-wicket victors before being drawn against Cronkbourne CC from the Isle of Man in the second round.
As the fixture against the islanders was unable to be played, Greenmount were awarded a bye into the third round when they took on Northern League giants Blackpool at the Log Cabin.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, however it proved to be a losing decision as they were 151 all out, a total that the Mount overhauled for the loss of four batsmen in a six wicket triumph.
In the quarter finals the club travelled to Denton St Lawrence of the Lancashire County League, bowling them out for 111, a total that – thanks to an unbeaten 59 from Kerr – Greenmount reached with only one wicket down.
A strong Norden team from the Central Lancashire League were their semi-final opponents at the Log Cabin but there was to be no denying the Greenmount steamroller and they were Old Trafford bound thanks to a 4 wicket win.
In the final against Bolton League rivals Walkden, man-of-the-match Kerr was in fine form hitting an unbeaten 100 as the club ended on 211 all out. It was a target that their opponents fell 60 runs short of thanks mainly to a fine four wicket display from Danny Hornby.
2011 SEASON’S RESULTS & SCOREBOARDS
23 Heaton (away) won by 7 wickets – SCOREBOARD
30 Horwich (home) won by 1 wicket – SCOREBOARD
1 Kearsley (away) won by 22 runs – SCOREBOARD
7 Egerton (home) won by 41 runs – SCOREBOARD
14 Farnworth SC (away) Abandoned
21 Walkden (home) won by 8 wickets – SCOREBOARD
28 Bradshaw (away) lost by 5 wickets – SCOREBOARD
4 Astley Bridge (home) won by 75 runs – SCOREBOARD
11 Eagley (away) won by 9 wickets – SCOREBOARD
18 Little Lever (home) won by 174 runs – SCOREBOARD
25 Farnworth (away) won by 16 runs
2 Tonge (home) won by 264 runs – SCOREBOARD
9 Westhoughton (away) won by 10 wickets – SCOREBOARD
16 Heaton (home) won by 101 runs – SCOREBOARD
23 Horwich (away) won by 4 wickets – SCOREBOARD
30 Kearsley (home) won by 1 run – SCOREBOARD
31 Egerton (away) won by 8 wickets – SCOREBOARD
6 Farnworth SC (home) lost by 40 runs – SCOREBOARD
13 Walkden (away) lost by 53 runs – SCOREBOARD
20 Bradshaw (home) Abandoned
21 Astley Bridge (away) won by 59 runs – SCOREBOARD
27 Eagley (home) won by 129 runs – SCOREBOARD
3 Little Lever (away) Abandoned
4 Farnworth (home) lost by 46 runs – SCOREBOARD
10 Tonge (away) won by 9 wickets – SCOREBOARD
19 Westhoughton (home) Abandoned
29 Farnworth (away) Round One won by 39 runs – SCOREBOARD
19 Farnworth SC (home) Quarter-final won by 122 runs – SCOREBOARD
24 Little Lever (away) Semi-final won by 5 wickets – SCOREBOARD
7 Kearsley (at Little Lever) Final won by 48 runs – SCOREBOARD
8 Vernon Carus (home) won by 8 wickets – SCOREBOARD
Bye in Round Two
3 Blackpool (home) Round Three won by 6 wickets – SCOREBOARD
24 Denton St Lawrence (away) Quarter-final won by 9 wickets – SCOREBOARD
14 Norden (home) Semi-final won by 4 wickets – SCOREBOARD
11 Walkden (at Old Trafford) won by 60 runs