PRESTWICH CC: Knockout blow for Heys men against Bamford Fieldhouse

PRESTWICH remain in the hunt for the league title but their Lancashire Cup ambitions were shot down by big-game hunters Bamford Fieldhouse.

Saturday’s eight-wicket victory against Thornham consolidated second-place in the Lancashire County League.

But their winning trail ran cold in their re-scheduled Lancashire Cup quarter-final tie on Sunday against their star-studded Saddleworth League opponents.

The Heys side put up another valiant show, having posted a near-identical score of 183 to their abandoned game seven days earlier.

And there were other striking similarities; a steady start which saw them progress to 101-1 before a mini-collapse; Carl Hey made another determined half century, striking 67 to form the backbone of the innings; and a late flourish to boost the total to the 180-plus mark, as Tom Scott cracked the last four balls to the boundary in an unbeaten 27.

James Wharmby had earlier made a solid 47 in partnership with Hey following the loss of Danny Jones for four, while Lewis Smith smashed a six in a brief cameo of 12. Babar Khan was the main Bamford wicket-taker, with 4-27. Bamford opener Grant Hodnett, for the second successive week, saw his poles rocked back, with Jones doing the damage.

But that was where the script changed, as the previous week, Bamford found themselves at 15-2.

But it was not until they had 138 on the board that they suffered the indignity of losing another wicket.

Paddy McKeown was lucky to survive a confident caught-behind appeal to Wharmby before he had scored a run, the doubt lying with whether the ball had carried. The umpires remained unbudged, and McKeown went on to make 53. Opener Josh Tolley nearly fell to a wonder catch from Tousuf Miran, but after that, cracked 69. Scott picked up the scalps of both batsmen in the same over, but they comfortably passed the target with seven overs to spare. Prestwich can take a lot of heart from a gritty display, especially with two enforced changes – Sam Holden and Steve Orrell absent due to work commitments. Their cause was further hindered by an injury to opening bowler Wilf Reeve.

Twenty-four hours earlier, the Heys side had overhauled a target of 145 set by visitors Thornham to record a five-point victory. Jones returned 4-34 and captain Andy Bradley 3-37, with Scott (2-8) removing top scorer James Scott (55).

Jones made 12 as the home side lost their first wicket on 16, but Wharmby showed a welcome return to form and forged a fruitful partnership with Hey to take the score to 94.

Wharmby was dismissed for 48, but Hey remained 44 not out and Holden, unbeaten on a run-a-ball 27, completed the chase.

Prestwich visit third-placed Woodbank on Saturday and host Cheetham Hill on Sunday.

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