Back to Winning Ways for Orrell
Orrell’s first team successfully overcame a large run chase at home against Birkenhead Park to get back to winning ways after recent frustrating draws.
Stand in skipper, Gareth Houghton, won the toss and chose to bowl first. The visitors made largely untroubled progress and looked to be on course for a very large score with Bangladeshi Test Star Naeem Islam at the crease. When Houghton removed Islam to make the score 133-2, the Orrell bowlers started to impose a grip onto the innings and the visitors scoring slowed down significantly as further wickets fell. When the visitors batted on after tea, it was clear that they felt that they needed a score of over 220 to stop an Orrell victory. Birkenhead Park eventually declared on 234-5 from 60 overs.
The Orrell reply got off to a very positive start as Matt Morgan and Sid Patel (53) put on 97 for the first wicket at a good rate. Morgan then found support from the old master Richard Smith and the Orrell momentum continued. When Morgan was out for an excellent 80 to make the score 177-3, there was still work to be done. Steve Unsworth then came to the crease and there was no slowing in the Orrell charge. A 7 wicket victory was achieved by Orrell in the 45th over (with 2.5 overs left) with Smith unbeaten on 55 and Unsworth on 34. This was a very pleasing victory for an Orrell team missing key batters Andrew Mottram and Jake Brown. It should give them confidence for the rest of the season.
Orrell’s seconds were victorious away at Rainhill- defending a low total in the process. Orrell batted first and were all out for 118 in 46.2 overs- David Cheetham top scoring with 28. Rainhill were then all out for 83 in 27 overs. Chris Kirby took 5-22 and Lee Martinus 5-42. The other highlight being an amazing one handed slip catch by David Cheetham.
The Thirds failed yet again in the face of stiff opposition, with league leaders Spring View making the trip to Winstanley road. Batting first, Andy Ackers (97*), Payton Berry (30) and George Mushahwar (25) took Orrell to maximum batting points although more doggedness from the top order could have seen them set a more formidable total.
Spring View set about their task in a steady manner and with Orrell’s attack struggling to make inroads into their batting were secure in the knowledge that they’d be able to hit out later in the innings. And so it proved, Wilkinson (63) and Mulvey (36) providing a perfect platform for Speakman (40) to finish the job with the next to last ball.
With all results possible until late in the game, this was a great day’s cricket that may go a long way to deciding the league title come September.
Orrell’s fourth team saw rain deprive them of a strong position away at Little Hulton. Having lost the toss and being asked to bowl, skipper David Cheetham led the charge as the hosts were bowled out for 117. Cheetham finished with figures of 3-19 aided by Mark Crumpton 3-16 with Alex and Callum Martlew also taking a wicket apiece. The bowlers were supported by a strong fielding performance including an impressive run out by Emily James. Unfortunately, rain fell during the tea interval and the teams never got back on the field. The match was therefore a draw.