PRESTWICH CC: Heys men dump leaders Denton West out of Walkden Cup

First published in Sport

LEAGUE leaders Denton West felt the full force of a backlash from Prestwich who successfully chased a 173-run target – without losing a wicket.

Centurion Danny Jones and opening partner James Wharmby majestically ensured a smooth passage into the second round of the Walkden Cup.

The emphatic victory came 24 hours after Prestwich saw their chances of chalking up a league victory over Stretford fizzle in the drizzle.

Persistent light rain meant the game was finally abandoned without a ball being bowled, and meant rivals Denton West stole a march by playing and beating their local rivals Denton.

So the Heys team were doubly determined to beat their visitors on Sunday, but in no way imagined they would do it so convincingly, with 17 overs to spare.

Andy Bradley won the toss and invited West to bat first, and it proved a wise move as Mike Schofield was caught by Carl Hey for a duck off the skipper’s bowling in the second over.

The visitors found it difficult to adjust to the conditions, and Hey was the next to strike in similar fashion, dismissing Hamish Dunlop for nine with a smart catch by Sam Holden at short gully.

Andy O’Brien had struck four powerful boundaries before gloving a rising legside delivery from Tom Gibson to wicketkeeper Wharmby for 18. At 81-3, Damon Montgomery struck a vital blow, bowling West skipper Mike Berry for 37, and wickets began to tumble at regular intervals, with Phil Kyle twice getting in on the act, claiming John McAllister for 18, followed by a nonchalant one-handed caught and bowled.

Jones uprooted the stumps of John Barnett for a duck, but John Foreman survived a close run-out call to put West back on course for a good total.

He was joined by pro Steve Oddy with the scoreboard showing 130-8 and an unbeaten stand of 43 saw them finish on 173.

With the experienced duo of pro Oddy and Dave Morrell opening the bowling, Jones and Wharmby not only survived the initial barrage, but rattled up 50 by the 11th over.

Jones was particularly brutal, especially on the short-pitched deliveries, and raced to his half century in just 56 balls.

The left-hander survived a couple of chances, and Wharmby was given a life late on, but these were isolated hiccups in their rapid progression to the target.

They passed the 100 mark in the 23rd over, and the only point of interest at the end whether Jones would be able to reach three figures.

He was on 97 with two runs required and hit a six into the trees to finish on 103 not out.

His 99-ball century included 13 fours and four sixes, while Wharmby’s innings of 61 not out included seven boundaries, and three sixes.

A home tie against Woodhouses is the quarter-final reward, but it is back to league action this Saturday when Prestwich travel to Thornham.

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