Bootle came to Brook Lane very much as underdogs which was understandable considering the large gulf in league positions, with Ormskirk riding high at the top of the league and Bootle languishing in the relegation area.
After winning the toss and electing to bat hopes were high as John Armstrong and Andy Baybutt opened the innings.
The first problem came with only seven runs on the board when Armstrong was dismissed to catch by Bootle captain, David Snellgrove, off the bowling of Kaine Balwagon.
Michael Jones joined Baybutt to put on 25 runs before Jones lost his wicket when he was on 15, being bowled by William Purser.
It was not the best of starts and things went from bad to worse.
Baybutt lost three partners in quick succession. Matty Glayzer (4), James Illingworth (2) and Jonny Glayzer (0) all fell to catches off Purser’s bowling, leaving Ormskirk at 53-5.
The innings had a familiar ring to it, following a recent pattern of the top order batting failing to produce the goods and a reliance on the lower order to bring respectability to the score.
Baybutt was greatly relieved to find a reliable partner in Simon Kerrigan and they put on 58 runs before Kerrigan was caught behind the wicket, having made a very valuable 37 runs, to take the score to 11l-6.
By this stage Baybutt was still batting with confidence and had scored 40 runs when joined by last week’s hero Gavin Griffiths who faced 31 balls scoring 9 runs before going to yet another catch, this time off the bowling of Greg Butterworth.
Skipper for the day, Nicky Caunce joined Baybutt for the partnership to add 38 runs when Baybutt ‘s wicket was lost to a catch by Jordon Evans when he had scored an excellent 84 and the total had reached 188-7.
Baybutt had played extremely well in difficult circumstances and without his sterling efforts Ormskirk would have been in serious disarray. Nicky Caunce stuck around to make 36 creditable runs and eventually the innings closed at 219 after Dane Currency had been victim of the eighth catch of the innings and Martyn Farrell was run out.
The most significant events of the Ormskirk innings were the resolute batting of Andy Baybutt and the excellent fielding of the Bootle side which yielded eight catches.
In reply Bootle lost David Snellgrove when he was trapped lbw by Nicky Caunce with 12 runs on the scoreboard.
Craig Prince was joined by Michael Gill and they put on a further 51 runs when Prince was caught behind off the bowling of Gavin Griffiths.
Just 9 runs later with the score on 72 Dane Currency bowled Gill and took his second wicket when he had Greg Butterworth out lbw to leave the score at 105-4.
The game looked finely poised when Bootle’s number 6 batsman, Jonny Hine, came to the crease and it was then that things went rapidly downhill for Ormskirk.
He set about some indifferent bowling, not helped by poor fielding, to accelerate the Bootle chase for runs in search of a much needed victory to ease relegation worries.
In all he faced 73 balls, hitting four 4s and seven 6s to amass 79 runs in double quick time.
Of the seven 6s hit five were dispatched down the wicket over the bowlers head, which tells its own story.
During his quick fire innings he was dropped at square leg when he had scored 10, in the slips when he was 51, at deep extra cover when 64 and at deep mid wicket when 73.
By the time he was eventually caught the Bootle innings had gone from 105-5 to 200-5.
With plenty of time Bootle then cruised to victory with 10 overs to spare.
Bootle claimed the game by taking no less than eight catches to dismiss Ormskirk.
On the other hand it could be argued that Ormskirk lost the game by dropping at least 4 clear-cut catches to dismiss top scorer Hine.
It really does go to prove that the term “Catches Win Matches” is more than just sound-bite, it is reality.
It was Ormskirk’s first loss in this year’s championship games. They remain top of the league but have second place New Brighton catching up rather menacingly.
OCC now have two away games in the League before returning to play New Brighton at Brook Lane on August 16 for what might well be a defining game in the championship race.
Next Sunday West Houghton CC visits Brook Lane to play Ormskirk in a quarter final game of the Lancashire Knockout Cup.
The game starts at 1pm with the promise of highly entertaining cricket which the limited over format always provides.