Its Never over Until the Fat Lady Sings
Ramsbottom 1st Team v Todmorden 1st team – (H) 19 June 2022
RCC 202 for 9 (50 overs) TCC 193 all out(49.4 overs)
The Rams pulled off a remarkable victory against Todmorden to ensure a semi-final spot in the Worsley Cup.
Tod won the toss and surprisingly asked the Rams to bat on that looked like another run laden wicket. Their decision appeared to have paid off when we slipped to 28 for 3 with the previous day’s hero Tom and captain Grimmy both out to injudicious shots after both looking in good order.
This left our pro Sen at the wicket with relative newcomer to the 1st XI Jason Pyke. Jason had impressed in the 2nds last year but had found senior cricket a bit more of a challenge.
After a nervous start he seemed to grow in confidence and helped by batting with Sen he produced some lovely drives as the pair set about repairing the damage. They took the score to 116 before Sen got a leading edge to a ball from Sutcliffe and was caught by the Tod paid man Bosisto. Jason reached his 50 shortly after with a massive six over midwicket before falling with the score on 137 for a fine 58.
When Harry Caton fell for a boundary catch for 12 we needed our tail to wag. Alex Olpin took it on himself to provide some impetus and he made a fine 36 not out to edge us past the 200 mark. Despite his late heroics a target of 203 appeared to be an easy task for the visitors.
Early wickets were essential and Harry produced another great piece of glove work to get rid of the dangerous Noah Priestley with the score on 7. This left the Sutcliffes, Ben and Andrew, at the wicket.
Although neither looked in trouble it appeared they thought the game was over and done with, displaying no urgency what’s so ever and showing a lack of commitment by poor running between the wickets.
When Ben Sutcliffe fell bowled by Dan Pike for 50 the score was on 104 with only 15 overs left. This brought the bang in form Tod pro Bosisto to the wicket. He saw the need to increase the tempo and set off like a house on fire.
By this time both our spinners were bowling in tandem and by slowing down their deliveries and giving them a bit more air they started to get a little bit out of the track.
Despite this Bosisto had raced to 28 from 23 deliveries before he made the fatal mistake of setting off down the track to Sen who saw him coming, dropped the ball in shorter and got him stumped by a country mile. 140 for 3 with just over 10 overs left.
Two runs later Andy Sutcliffe on 49, attempted to smash Denty out of the ground and only succeeded in skying the ball to Sen who took a comfortable catch.
By this time a certain level of panic had set in the Tod ranks and although they still had the Heywood ex-professional Ullah and the talented Freddie Priestley at the wicket the run rate was mounting. Both Sen and Josh were hitting the right spots and causing the batters concern. With the score on 152 Ullah tried to hit Josh over the top only for TP to pull off a magnificent over the shoulder catch.
Wickets then started to fall on a regular basis with Sen proving a handful for the later order batsmen and when Jake Walker caught Priestley at deep mid on, making a pressure catch look very easy, the Rams were for first time favourites. In the penultimate over, Grimmy, who had replaced Josh (who had returned the excellent figures of 2 for 25 in his 10 overs) trapped Garland LBW leaving Tod’s final pair facing the last over from Sen. A brilliant bit of boundary fielding by Jake saved 2 runs off the first ball of the over and with 3 balls remaining 10 runs were required to win. Graham Lalor did his best to smash the next ball over cover but Grimmy took a great running catch to send the crowd in raptures and the fat lady bursting out in song.
This was an excellent win for the Rams but in fairness a target of 203 was totally inadequate on this wicket. Our main batsmen got out to shots they will not be happy with but our bowling and fielding was more like the standard required.
Tod’s failure to chase down the target must be down to both Sutcliffe’s who wasted over 34 overs of their allotted 50 and scoring only 99 runs between them and missing out on countless opportunities to score by poor running between the wickets.
Amateur Man of the Match – Jason Pyke who registered his maiden senior 50 and earned his baggy green cap.
Credit must be given to all our ground staff for the standard of the wickets they prepare even though some had been played on previously.