Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Haslingden CC 1st XI  – 11 September 2022

RCC 117 all out (43.1 overs) HCC 63 all out (25.3 overs)

Scorecard here and live feed here

All’s well that ends well

Our final game of the season saw us entertain local rivals Haslingden and although neither side was in for league honours it was nevertheless an opportunity for bragging rights. 

This has been an outstanding summer weather wise and we have been blessed with some magnificent surfaces which have resulted in high scoring games. On Sunday, following heavy midweek rain which always manages to get under the covers, we knew we would be facing a different type of track. 

However, having decided to take first knock, our top three amateur batsmen fell to strokes they would not have been proud of, leaving us struggling at 21 for 3. 

When Harry joined our pro Ashen at the wicket a lot of repair work needed to be done. The pair batted more circumspectly in view of the conditions but with the score on 45 Harry was bowled. Ashen then took the responsibility of being the main run maker and he appeared to be the only batter at ease with the opposition bowling. He had reached 32 and looked in no trouble when he mistimed a pull and was comfortably caught on the midwicket boundary. 

At 64 for 7 we were in deep trouble with Jake and Pykey at the wicket, two batters who had been given little opportunity to show their prowess this summer. In difficult batting conditions they defended well and took advantage of the odd loose delivery in taking our score to 100 before Jake fell to a fine diving catch a deep mid on. Pykey then took over the main scoring mantel with young Toby, managing to take the score to 117 before our last two wickets fell. 

Returning to my car carrying a somewhat glum expression Stuart Storey shouted to me saying “they will not get these Mick, we will spin them out”. Prophetic words in a certain way. 

To be honest I did think that our best bet of challenging the opposition was, as Stuart said, by opening with our spinners. However Grimmy, not one to shirk a challenge, and probably mad at his batting dismissal, took the new ball and proceeded to put in his best performance of the season. He ripped out five of the top seven Haslingden top order, clean bowling two and having three LBW and with Ashen bowling tight and picking up two wickets himself Haslingden were reduced to 37 for 7.

We were now in a situation that if we bowled out Hassy for less than 67 we would overtake them in the final league standings. Unfortunately Gary Sudworth must have realised this as well as he started to open up. He brought about a change in our attack, Grimmy replacing himself with Josh. He soon picked up the wicket of the opposition skipper Shannon and with the score on 57 took an amazing caught and bowled off Sudworth, thus enhancing his reputation of having the safest pair of hands in the team.

Another 6 runs later Ashen bowled Lord to end our season in 6th place. A very creditable effort considering we were looking at relegation in May and June. Add to this our Worsley Cup triumph and all in all it has proved to be a very good season.

Amateur Man of the Match – Grimmy for his best bowling performance of 5 for 37 but got to mention Pykey (25) and Jake (15) for vital contributions in the late order and Josh for his 2 for 5 and sensational catch

 Footnote – it seems inevitable that Grimmy will be leaving us to join the professional ranks in 2023. He is tough, single minded character with a massive amount of talent and self belief which should serve him well wherever goes. I am sure that all the Rammy faithful wish him all the best. He has provided us with some wonderful moments, in particular his performances in this year’s Worsley Cup matches. His innings against Lowerhouse in the semi final was the best I have seen by an amateur in my time. We will also miss the support provided by his family who have been a constant during the season. Hopefully when the opportunity arises they will continue to visit us.

On another subject I would like to offer thanks to the ground staff of Phil, Roger, their apprentice Chris and the staff who have helped during match days for their sterling work they have done on the ground. The sight of Acre Bottom on Cup Final day was joy to behold. Surely there is no better ground in Lancashire,

Also well done to our team managers Rob & Chris. Both have worked hard with the lads at the nets and have offered good encouragement and advice during the games. There seems a great feeling of friendship amongst all the lads and we wish them well for 2023.