Orrell’s first team welcomed newly promoted Skelmersdale CC to the YMCA ground as they looked to build on the previous weeks opening win of the season.
Skipper Andrew Mottram won the toss and chose to bat on a cold spring day. The Orrell innings got off to a steady start as the visiting opening bowlers were let down by a number of drops from their slip cordon. With the score on 74-3, the Orrell innings was given impetus from a fantastic fourth wicket partnership of 110 between Mottram (47) and Matt Morgan (61). Disaster struck with both batters out with the score on 184. This exposed two new batters to the game at a key time and in the 2016 season would have been the cue for an Orrell collapse. However a stunning 58 run seventh wicket partnership between Sid Patel (36 from 34 balls) and Ali Sartaj (24 not out from 16 balls) saw Orrell motor to 258-7 declared in 54.4 overs. That Orrell saw both batters who were ‘set’ get out at the same time is something they must address for the stiffer challenges ahead.
In reply, after a brisk opening spell from Patel aided by Joe Lyth, the visitors innings never looked like troubling the victory total or saving the match. Skelmersdale were eventually all out for 128 in 30.5 overs and will be left to rue the early dropped catches in the first innings. For Orrell, the wickets were shared between the 4 bowlers used- Patel (4-40), Lyth (1-28),Gareth Houghton (2-34) and Sartaj (3-26). Houghton in particular bowled with added pace during his spell possibly freed up from the pressure of new ball duties.
It was a double winning weekend for Orrell’s second team. A facile victory was achieved at Alder away on the Saturday. The hosts were skittled for 51 in 15.3 overs. Phil Taberner (3-15) and Chris Kirby (2-21) were amongst the wickets. A fantastic spell from Harry Burrows (4-11) wrapped things up. Orrell sailed to victory finishing 55-1 in 13.1 overs. Andrew Ackers (22) and Matthew Wareing (27 not out) getting the runs.
On Sunday, Orrell’s second team welcomed Fleetwood Hesketh to Winstanley Road. The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first. A disciplined Orrell bowling performance from saw Fleetwood all out for 138 from 38.4 overs. Phil Taberner (2-23), Chris Kirby (3-45), Terry Leaford (2-22) and Paul Mottram (106) with the wickets. Orrell cruised to victory as they finished 139-2 in 23.1 overs. Steve Tickle (48) and Richard Smith with an unbeaten 63 leading the way.