Mawdesley CC narrowly fell short of the victory target against Vernon Carus second XI as the 2013 Division One Champions held on for a seven run win.
The game didn’t get underway until 4pm thanks to the persistent drizzle which affected most games across the league, but credit must be given to both umpires for persevering when most may have taken the easy option to abandon the game.
When play did finally begin in the 29 over contest, Mawdesley won the toss and invited the hosts to bat first.
Andrew Tate (34) got them off to a brisk start until he was undone by Chris Gibirdi to be caught behind. Mark Hardiker (25), Bob Bridges (19) and skipper Ben Duerden (29) made the most of three shortened boundaries to maintain a run rate at 5 an over.
Mawdesley kept plugging away and picked up wickets at regularly intervals with Darren LeMarinel the pick of the attack with 3 for 29 from his 7 overs, as the home side closed the innings on 161-8.
A 74 run partnership inside 10 overs between Ben Ward and Chris Gibirdi got the run chase of to the best possible start.
Both men were slightly fortuitous initially but made the most of their chances to put Mawdesley ahead of the required rate.
However, the dismissal of Ward for 39 from 34 balls, bowled by Daniel Cairns, prompted a run of wickets to leave Mawdesely 85-3, including Gibirdi for 26.
Darren LeMarinel steadied the ship and kept his side in contention with a knock of 29 but struggled to find support from the rest of the middle order.
LeMarinel departed with the score on 130-6, clean bowled by Ali Shabnan leaving 32 required from 5 overs.
Shaban repeated the trick 2 balls later to send Ian Caunce back to the pavilion but former Vernons man David Wilson (16) made sure the fight wasn’t over.
Going into the final over, Mawdesley required 12 runs for victory but it wasn’t to be the fairy tale return for Wilson as he couldn’t find a way of beating the home fielders.
The visitors finished the game on 154-9 and claimed 5 points from the contest to leave them fifth in the Division One standings at close of play.
The second XI fixture at home to St. Joseph’s was abandoned without a ball being bowled thanks to several damp patches in the outfield but they remain top of Division Six.