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S&B cursed by the brilliance of Caunce

Caunce steps in as Captain and shines from start to finish

Ormskirk Cricket Club - Nicky Caunce

With Ian Robinson, Andy Baybutt and Gavin Griffiths all unavailable for the home fixture against Southport and Birkdale the match was set to test the strength and depth of Ormskirk’s squad in the challenge for the championship.

Simon Kerrigan, on release from Lancashire, replaced Robinson, Owen Griffiths filled the place of his brother Gavin and Jonny Glayzer stood in for the missing Baybutt.

The captaincy void, left by Robinson’s absence, was filled by Nicky Caunce.

Caunce, in his first duty as captain, won the toss and elected to bat.

Openers John Armstrong and Michael Jones opened comfortably with Jones reaching 31 before losing his wicket, caught behind, with the score on 41.

Simon Kerrigan came to the crease only to suffer the same fate as Jones, being caught behind but without adding a run.

Gary Knight was the next to go just 20 runs later leaving the score at 60-3. Armstrong, shortly afterwards, reached his personal tally of 500 runs for the season before being bowled for 21 runs leaving the score at 73-4.

This left the Glayzer brothers Matty and Jonny to steady what had become a potentially perilous position.

They responded magnificently with Matty peppering the boundary with eleven 4s to reach his half century and Jonny backing him up every inch of the way.

The pair put on 86 runs for the 5th wicket when Jonny was given out lbw (32) with the score at 151.

Owen Griffiths lost his wicket when caught and bowled by S&B skipper Chris Firth and after a sterling performance Matty Glayzer lost his wicket, having reached 76, leaving the score at 181-7.

The tail end batsmen needed to take the score to 220 to gain maximum points and with acting captain knocking a lively 21 not out, ably supported by Martyn Farrell (12 not out), Ormskirk declared at 220-9.

It wasn’t long before the S&B batsmen became acutely aware of how much Nicky Caunce was to further punish them following on from his tail end swirl with the bat.

He opened the bowling with Liam Hurt and, in his first over, clean bowled Ian Sutcliffe, sending him back to the pavilion without scoring.

He then caught and bowled Mark Fletcher leaving the visitors shell shocked at 19-2.

More was to come from Caunce as he claimed the wickets of Doonan and Hine with a sustained spell of fast accurate bowling.

In between Caunce’s bowling exploits Ormskirk’s top fielder, Liam Hurt, had Nicholas Devlin run out with a direct hit of the stumps.

This explosive episode of play left the visitors reeling at 45-6 and Ormskirk heading for victory with maximum points.

It was at this stage the spin of Kerrigan, Farrell and Currency was called upon to secure the anticipated victory.

Simon Kerrigan took three wickets, the prize one being that of Chris Firth the S&B skipper, who had defiantly progressed to 41, when he tempted him to attack the bowling and had him stumped by Gary Knight.

The finale rightfully fell to Caunce who brought himself back into the attack to clean bowl Andrew Warhurst to polish off the innings.

Two aspects of play enabled Ormskirk to remain unbeaten and maintain top of the league position.

The batting partnership of the Glayzer brothers was a crucial element of the victory along with the outstanding bowling of Caunce who finished with the remarkable figures of 10.1 overs 3 maidens 5 wickets for 9 runs.

Next Saturday Ormskirk visit Wallasey whilst on Friday evening they entertain Leigh in the National T20 competition starting at 6pm.

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