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Coin flip plays major role in race for title

Ormskirk battle weather and Fleetwood Hesketh in rain delayed Premiership game

Ormskirk Cricket Club - Michael Jones

In the battle for the Premier League Championship the Ormskirk players travelled to Fleetwood Hesketh and found themselves battling two opponents - the home team and the weather.

The weather forecast was less than favourable but nevertheless a prompt start was on the cards until the heavens opened, leaving players languishing in the pavilion until play could get underway two and a half hours late.

After the rain it was a good toss to win and put the opposition in to bat on a predictably difficult wicket and a heavy wet outfield.

As luck would have it Ormskirk lost the toss and found themselves batting on a wicket greatly favouring the bowlers.

It wasn’t long before the conditions started to pay dividends for Fleetwood Hesketh when John Armstrong was bowled out with the score at 18 leaving fellow opener Michael Jones to be joined by Ian Robinson.

The first ball faced by Robinson flew unpredictably high off the wicket, nicking a top edge into the surprised and grateful wicket keeper, leaving the score at 18-2.

Gary Knight, who had been out injured made his return to the team and he joined the youngster Jones to put on a worthy stand of 49 before Jones was caught off a thin edge following a juggling act between the Fleetwood keeper and first slip.

With the maturing and ever improving Jones gone, having scored a very creditable 25 runs, the next three wickets went in rapid succession.

The first to go was Matty Glayzer (4) with the score on 79 and without any further runs being scored Gary Knight (29) was caught.

Jonny Glayzer faced two balls before being caught behind leaving the score at a perilous 79-5.

With clouds darkening and thunder rumbling in the background, Simon Kerrigan and Gavin Griffiths nursed the score along to 100 before the elements took control.

With lightning and rain joining the thunder the players left the field for a prolonged period of frustrating inactivity.

When the rain eventually stopped and the playing surface dried out somewhat Ormskirk batted on for two overs adding a further 20 runs to the score for the loss of Gavin Griffith’s wicket.

With Kerrigan on 19 not out and Nicky Caunce 7 not out Robinson declared, inviting Fleetwood Hesketh to chase down 121 runs in the 21 overs left for play.

With the Fleetwood Hesketh innings under way Ormskirk soon had them in trouble in what were still very difficult conditions.

Caunce and Griffiths opened the bowling and soon had the batsmen in disarray.

Wickets tumbled as they tore into the batting line up with Caunce dismissing the two openers with just 9 runs scored and Griffiths taking the third wicket with the score at 18.

As Caunce continued his rich vein of form he gave the batsmen no end of trouble and, before long, victory was in sight with the home side on 54-8 with spinners Martyn Farrell and Dane Currency having joined in the action taking one wicket each.

Griffiths took the 9th wicket and it all came down to the last over to take the last wicket but it was not to be as the two last batsmen held on to secure a draw.

The bowlers had done well with Caunce making an outstanding contribution taking 5 wickets for 22 runs.

In the final analysis it was the weather that won what was effectively a three way competition.

If only Ormskirk had won the toss and had been able to put Fleetwood Hesketh in to bat. If only!

The game on Sunday saw the Club cruise to a comfortable 7 wicket victory over Bolton League side Westhoughton to progress to the semi-finals of the Lancashire Knockout Cup.

It was fast bowling that secured the victory with Gavin Griffiths taking 5 for 21 and Caunce, continuing his brilliant run of form, taking 3 for 30.

The OCC batsmen comfortably reached the 95 run target with Michael Jones, consolidating his rapid progress in first team cricket, and Glayzer making an opening stand of 64.

The partnership was broken when Jones lost his wicket to an lbw decision when he was on 32.

Glayzer had progressed to score 38 when he was caught and the total had reached 82.

Skipper Ian Robinson came in to score 21, hitting the winning runs in the 21st over. Clitheroe Cricket Club will visit Brook Lane for the semi final tie to be played later this month.

Ormskirk Cricket Club - Nicky Caunce

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