Nelson victory for Walsden

Nick Barker, in action for Walsden Cricket Club
Nick Barker, in action for Walsden Cricket Club

UNBEATEN Walsden stayed firmly on course for title success in their first season in the Lancashire League with their second away victory of the weekend.

The Scott Street men were seven-wicket winners at Nelson yesterday in a 23 overs per side contest on a day when six matches failed to start after morning rain but chasing pair Lowerhouse and Ramsbottom also won.

Nick Barker’s side had beaten Accrington, another side from the top half of the table, on Saturday and they again bowled first with success.

Nelson were limited to 94-7 with sub professional Usman Tariq (27) faring best of the home batsmen as Stevie Barker and Umesh Karunaratne picked up two wickets each.

Walsden lost Jake Hooson with the total on four but Nick Barker hit an unbeaten 41 from 39 balls and Josh Gale made 30 to secure a 10 point win in the 20th over.

Walsden lead by 16 points with four games left.

Todmorden were beaten at home by opponents below them in the table for the second day running to hit their hopes of a place in the top section next season.

They also played a 23 overs per side game yesterday, against Colne, and lost by seven runs.

Colne made 142-5 with professional James Price striking 80 from 60 balls, Matt Collins picking up a couple of wickets.

Price’s Todmorden counterpart Chris Schofield hit 68 from 60 balls but he also lacked support with Thomas Stansfield’s 16 not out the next best contribution in a total of 135-6.

LIGHTCLIFFE were unable to follow up Saturday’s win over East Bierley in the Bradford League’s top flight, going down by four wickets against much tougher opponents in title contenders New Farnley.

They struggled against the Leeds side’s medium pace attack, in which former Yorkshire and England player Ajmal Shazhad took five wickets.

Only Suleiman Khan, with 54, batted with any conviction until, at 89 for seven, Sam Gardner, better known as a bowler, struck six fours in his 32. That ensured a batting bonus point for the visitors as they reached 141 all out.

This total looked unlikely to be sufficient to trouble the free-scoring home batsmen, but Gardner and Yasir Abbas had other ideas.

Gardner had two early wickets and Yasir one to reduce the opposition to 27 for three.

This brought together Andy Hodd, the recently retired Yorkshire wicket keeper batsman, and captain Lee Goddard.

They were cautious for some time, but gradually the tension lifted as they took advantage of loose deliveries.

The score had reached 106 when Hodd was bowled by Khan. Two further wickets reduced New Farnley to 122 for six, but Goddard guided his side home without further loss.