Ramsbottom CC 2nd XI v Burnley 2nd XI June 12th 2021
BCC 258 for 8 (45 overs) RCC 132 All out (35.1 overs)
BACK DOWN TO EARTH WITH A BUMP
Match Day Nine, as the Millennials say, turned out to be the day the top six faced off against each other. The league was starting to take shape after a few months and we would know where we all stood at the end of the day, they said. Well, we do now: there’s a top three and we’re not part it as Burnley proved way too strong for our young shavers and joined Haslingden and Clitheroe at the summit with seven wins and one loss each.
It had started so well. Burnley won the toss and elected to bat and after three overs Matt Burdaky (2-50) had reduced them to 5-2 but it proved to be a false dawn as Owen Collinge, pumped up from a seering 20/20 display at the Log Cabin the night before, pulled up lame shortly after. It soon became clear that half the team seemed to be limping. Jamie Pilling had a knee the size of a football, Ryan (Gimme, Gimme, Gimme some codeine after midnight) Storey an ankle about the same size and Jonny Dack, still having to fill in as emergency keeper, looking like everything ached all at the same time. At one point they were all gurning around like something from a Monty Python sketch. I felt quite at home.
At three down, Joe McCluskie strode to the wicket, newly arrived from COVID free New Zealand and announced his class immediately. When faced with a quality player it’s crucial to stick your bowling plans and don’t give anything away in the field. Unfortunately, the bowlers lost their lines and the fielding fell to pieces. Good as he is, and some of his sixes were as clean as it’s possible to be, he was still rusty and offered a handful of chances all of which were spurned. When we finally managed to catch him for 90 Burnley still had plenty of overs left and Brad Wilson (1-29) did well to slow them down.
Chasing 258 at just shy of six an over is a challenge but not insurmountable on a decent pitch with a short boundary. So, the newly appointed team managers Clough and Taylor marched over to the huddle to earn their corn and instil the necessary self-belief. “Look in the mirror son, you’re a flaming tiger”; that sort of thing. Once at the wicket however the last person you want to see is Graham Lalor. Especially not a recently dropped, fairly grumpy Graham Lalor with a point to prove. At the end of his twelve overs he had 4-18 including a beauty that pitched middle and clipped the top off to see off Pilling. Dack (25) played him as well as anyone, batting two yards outside his crease and advancing occasionally but it’s one thing to nullify the threat, quite another to milk the old master. With the rate now at nine the tail had no choice but to have a go with Josh Dentith, following up his 2-60 earlier in the day, top scoring with 28 and looking very assured.
And so that’s how I want to end. It was no disgrace to lose to these. They were older, wiser and better than us and well deserved the win. They will we go on to contest the title no doubt. But if we think about the first five overs and the last five and commit to trying to improve every game, I firmly believe we can compete at their level
Back by popular demand – Running Total of Extras Conceded* by
RCC 2nd XI 226
Opposition 2nd XIs 171
* 8 league & 1 Cup matches