Orrell’s first team got back to winning ways with a 123 run victory over Hightown St. Mary’s at Winstanley Road. After the visitors won the toss and chose to field, Orrell openers Matthew Morgan and Andrew Mottram got the innings off to a positive start. It became clear that Morgan was in very good form as he applied his sound technique with judicious shot selection. Captain Mottram, meanwhile, hit a number of fours on the legside that were as good as you will see at any level. However, there was a feeling that there was assistance in the pitch early on for the Hightown opening bowlers. That proved to be the case as first Mottram (27) and then Richard Everett fell (to an outstanding catch from the Hightown wicketkeeper) to leave the score 49-2.
If Hightown then had notions of running through the Orrell batting order, the door was shut in their face by an excellent 110 run partnership between Morgan and Jake Brown. Morgan brought up his half century with a minimum of fuss whilst Brown hit a number of outstanding cover drives as he moved towards his own half century. Brown was then unluckily dismissed for an elegant 40 when he savagely pulled a short ball straight into the hands of the mid-wicket fielder who took an impressive catch. This brought Steve Unsworth to the crease as Orrell looked to reach maximum batting points at 220 as quickly as possible. He did not disappoint as he hit a quickfire 17 in 7 balls but then holed out to deep mid-wicket. This setback was compounded when on the very next ball Morgan, who had been moving serenely to a deserved century, gave a routine catch to mid-off via a leading edge. Morgan making 79 runs.
Pleasingly, the new batting pair of Sid Patel and Andy Ackers carried on where Unsworth had left off as they flayed the Hightown bowling to all parts of the ground. Ackers in particular displayed an expansive side to his game that hasn’t been seen often. Such was the onslaught that Mottram was able to declare on 220-5 from 45.2 overs. Ackers finishing 29 not out and Patel 13 not out.
When Orrell took to the field after the tea break, they included 14 year old debutant Matthew Hayes. The opening bowling pair of Patel and Gareth Houghton soon made inroads into the visitors batting line up and Hightown were 32-4 with a lot of overs still to face. A determined 5th wicket partnership between Hightown youngsters Joe Smith and Daniel McCann frustrated the home team until eventually McCann chipped a routine caught and bowled chance back to Mottram. Hightown were eventually bowled out for 97 in 42.2 overs- with over 18 overs of the days play still to go. Smith carried his bat for a brilliant 44- an excellent effort from such a young player. Houghton was the star Orrell bowler with 4-12 from 9.2 overs. Patel (1-26) Ali Sartaj (2-16) and Mottram (2-23) were also amongst the wickets.
Orrell’s second team strengthened their position at the top of their league with a key win away at neighbours Spring View. Batting first, the hosts were 118 all out in 35.1 overs. Orrell knocked the required total off in 29.2 overs with5 wickets to spare. The focus turns to the first teams of both clubs next Sunday 3rd September when they contest the Ray Tyler Cup Final at Winstanley Road with a midday start.