MAWDESLEY CC endured a frustrating afternoon at The Rectory Field as they ended up on the wrong end of tight affair against Whittingham & Goosnargh.
Always a keenly-contested fixture, the visitors chose to bat first and shot out of the blocks as they raced to 40 without loss after four overs.
Home skipper Darren LeMarinel immediately made a double bowling change, bringing spin duo Neil O’Malley and Martin Williams into the attack.
The pair soon accounted for openers Safraz Patel (24) and Hussain Yusuf (39) as they wrestled some control back for the home side. Such was their efficiency that they bowled unchanged for the remainder of the innings, sharing 38 overs between them.
Whittingham skipper Hillal Abbas batted sensibly for his 49 before he fell at the hands of O’Malley – one of seven dismissals for the left-armer.
Williams claimed the other three wickets to fall as Whittingham closed on 165 all out.
Young opener Michael Greenaway departed early to bring Matt Watkinson to the crease alongside Alex Berry. The pair put together a stand of 51 for the second wicket to put Mawdesley in the driving seat.
However, a middle order collapse saw five wickets fall for 37 runs, Watkinson departing for a well crafted 48.
At 96-6 the game could have gone either way but a partnership of 31 between Williams and James Butler seemed to give the hosts the advantage. Another quick burst of wickets left Williams batting with the tail and he manipulated the strike excellently to leave six required off the final two overs. The dismissal of Louis Rothwell (4) in the penultimate over increased the tension, leaving last man Neil O’Malley to partner Williams. With three required for victory, Williams (48) was clean bowled by Uresh Patel off the fifth ball of the final over to leave Mawdesley 163 all out.
MAWDESLEY’S second XI continued their fine recent form with a two-wicket victory at Blackpool’s fourth XI.
Alex Thompson was the hero with the ball, claiming 5-42 from 12 overs as the hosts closed on 163-7 from 45 overs.
James Bethell (62) struck his second successive half century to provide the backbone of the reply.
Carl Bromley (28) and Nathan Trengrove (24) also chipped in with useful contributions and it was left to captain Paul Steadman (18 not out) to see his side home in the 44th over.
BOTH Mawdesley sides take on New Longton this weekend with crucial contests in their respective divisions.
The first XI travel to Chapel Lane to tackle New Longton first XI at the bottom of Division One whilst the second XI host New Longton third XI in a clash of the promotion-chasers at the top of Division Six.