First Division League Champions - CLL - 1962 (joint with Stockport), 1964, 2012, 2013
Lancashire League Champions - LL - 2018
Wood Cup Winners - CLL - 1954, 1962, 1975, 1995, 2004, 2016
Ron Singleton Trophy - LL - 2019
Second Division League Champions - CLL - 1898, 1915, 2003, 2007, 2013
Second Division League Champions - LL - 2018
Second Division Telegraph Cup Winners - LL - 2018
Third Division League Champions - LL - 2018
Third Division League Champion - CLL - 2004, 2007, 2012
Third Division Cup Winners - CLL - 2002, 2012
Whittaker Cup (U18) League -1971, 1972, 1974, 1999, 2001, 2013 (Joint)
Taylor Cup (U18) Cup -1998, 2001, 2002, 2003
Officials – CLL Presidents - A.Stuttard (2003-5) J.R.Napier (1892-94)
CLL Presidents Trophy (Services to Club Cricket) - C.Anker (2005) C.Barker (2015)
Leading League Amateur Wicket Takers (Clifford Pickup Trophy)
1968 - S Boam - 65 wickets
1978 - D Lord - 93 wickets
Leading League Amateur Run Scorers (Sir Frank Worrell Trophy)
1987 - G Toshack - 851 runs
2003 - M.Hooson - 807 runs2006 - D.Blake - 1210 runs
Leading League All Rounder (Littleborough Supporters Trophy)
2004 - M.Hooson - 785 runs 32 wickets
Walsden Cricket & Bowling Club – Cricket Statistics
Lowest Score – Completed Innings
34 v Littleborough - 17th May, 1987 (A) WCI
39 v Littleborough -1st June, 1980 (A)
Highest Score – Professional
210 P Koortzen v Stand - 26th August 2001 (H)
183* M.Khan v Stockport - 25th August 1984 (H)
Highest Scores – Amateur
160 Josh Gale v Bacup - 9th June 2018 (A)
148* Joe Gale v Formby (LCB Cup) - 20th May 2018 (H)
146* J.Rawlinson v Royton (Wood Cup) - 27th May 2017 (H)
141* J.Hooson v Glodwick - 4th June 2016 (H)
137 J.Rawlinson v Monton & Weaste - 2010
127 J.Rawlinson v Ashton - June 2009 (H)
125* A Ross v Royton - 24th June 1976 (H)
125* W Barker v Oldham - 17th May, 1975 (H)
Highest Score – Overseas Amateur
133 M.Johnson V Unsworth - 20th August 2005
Highest Aggregate – Professional
1594 Jason Bakker - Season 1995
1378 Mohsin Khan - Season 1984
Highest Aggregate – Overseas Amateur
1206 M Austin - Season 1989
Highest Aggregate – Amateur
1376 J.Rawlinson - Season 2010
Limited Over Statistics - 1968 Onwards
337-3 v Glowick - 4th June 2016 (H)
335-8 v Royton (Wood Cup) - 27th May 2017 (H)
1206 D.Blake - Season 2006
Best Bowling – Professional
9-42 Jason Bakker v Norden -17th June, 1995 (A)
9-69 Ranil Dhammika V Middleton - 4th August 2012 (H)
9-50 Umesh Karunaratne V Clifton - 31st May 2014 (A)
Best Bowling – Amateur
9-46 S Boam v Ashton -17th August, 1968 (A)
Most Wickets – Professional
119 Ranil Dhammika - Season 2012
116 Ces Wright - Season 1969
Most Wickets – Amateur
93 D Lord - Season 1978
Most Wicket Keeping Dismissals
45 (Caught 16 Stumped 29) M Dawson - Season 2002
Highest Number of Catches - Professional
26 Paul Hutchison - Season 1996
The Professional Double - (1000 runs, 100 wickets)
Trevor Chapell - 1,268 runs 106 wickets - Season 1975
Deon Kruis -1,111 runs, 104 wickets - Season 1999
Walsden Cricket & Bowling Club – Cricket Statistics
Pre-Limited Overs Statistics: 1893-1967
340 v Moorside - 5th June, 1915 (H)
Lowest Score – Completed Innings
12 v Glossop - 10th May 1913 (A)
Highest Score – Professional
151* E Weekes v Middleton - 26th July, 1954 (A) WC/F
142 Crabtree v Crompton - 26th June, 1920 (H)
Highest Score – Amateur
205 H Smith v Moorside - 5th June, 1915 (H)
Highest Aggregate – Professional
915 C W Bartels - Season 1962
Highest Aggregate – Amateur
796 H Johnson - Season 1947
Best Bowling – Professional
9-24 (inc hat trick) Whittaker v Darwen - 7th July, 1894 (A)
Best Bowling – Amateur
10-86 F Scott v Middleton - 12th May, 1917 (A)
Most Wickets – Professional
123 Hatchman - Season 1937
Most Wickets – Amateur
71 J Coupe - Season 1964
Most Individual Fielding Dismissals
45 (Caught 22 Stumped 23) - A Connor - Season 1955
Highest Number of Catches - Professional
17 C W Bartels - Season 1962
League Champion - PCL: 2016, 2017
First Division League Champions - CLL - 1962 (Joint with Stockport), 1964, 2012, 2013
Wood Cup Winners - 1954, 1962, 1975, 1995, 2004, 2016
Aggregate Cup Winners - 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2016
THE DAVID BLAKE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AWARD
2017 – Jake Hooson For Scoring 3 Centuries In A Season
2018 - Nicola Gale for outstanding work in relation to bar and social matters
2019 - Michael Greenwood for outstanding work with our juniors
YEAR 1st X1 BATTING 1st X1 BOWLING 1st X1 ALL ROUNDER PLAYER OF YEAR 1st XI CAPTAIN
2020 COVID - NO AWARDS N.BARKER
2019 J.HOOSON J.SHACKLETON JOE GALE JOE GALE N.BARKER
2018 JOE GALE J.SHACKLETON J.HOOSON JOSH GALE N.BARKER
2017 J.HOOSON J.SHACKLETON JOSH GALE JOSH GALE N.BARKER
2016 N.BARKER J.SHACKLETON JOSH GALE N.BARKER J.RAWLINSON
2015 N.BARKER JOSH GALE S.BARKER S.BARKER J.RAWLINSON/N.BARKER
2014 JOE GALE JOSH GALE J.HOOSON JOE GALE J.RAWLINSON
2013 N BARKER JOE GALE J HOOSON N BARKER C DEWHIRST
2012 M DAWSON S BARKER M DAWSON M DAWSON C DEWHIRST
2011 M DAWSON J SHACKLETON M DAWSON S HANSON C DEWHIRST
2010 J RAWLINSON J SHACKLETON J RAWLINSON J RAWLINSON C DEWHIRST
2009 D BLAKE M HOOSON E GILFORD J RAWLINSON C DEWHIRST
2008 J RAWLINSON N BARKER M THOMSON J RAWLINSON D BLAKE
2007 D BLAKE C DEWHIRST M HOOSON P MARROW D BLAKE
2006 D BLAKE M HOOSON M HOOSON D BLAKE D BLAKE
2005 M HOOSON M HOOSON M HOOSON M HOOSON M HOOSON
2004 D BLAKE D BLAKE M HOOSON M HOOSON M HOOSON
2003 M HOOSON M HOOSON M HOOSON M BUTCHER A PLANE
2002 M HOOSON A PLANE M HOOSON M DAWSON A PLANE
2001 M DAWSON C DEWHIRST A PLANE D RUSHTON A PLANE
2000 J RAWLINSON A PLANE C HOWARD A PLANE A PLANE
1999 M HOOSON A PLANE M DAWSON P GALE M HOOSON
1998 M AUSTIN M AUSTIN M AUSTIN M AUSTIN M AUSTIN
1997 R EASTWOOD M AUSTIN M AUSTIN A PLANE K GALE
1996 R EASTWOOD M HOOSON M HOOSON C HODGINS K GALE
1995 R EASTWOOD M HOOSON M HOOSON M HOOSON T BAILEY
1994 R EASTWOOD H ALLEYNE M HOOSON N GABB T BAILEY
1993 M HOOSON A WOOD M HOOSON M HOOSON K GALE
1992 A E ROSS H ALLEYNE M HOOSON T BAILEY A E ROSS
1991 S HANSON M MALONE M HOOSON A E ROSS A E ROSS
1990 R EASTWOOD M MALONE R EASTWOOD R EASTWOOD R EASTWOOD
1989 M AUSTIN R EASTWOOD M AUSTIN C GREENWOOD K GALE
1988 S HANSON C J BARKER R EASTWOOD R EASTWOOD K GALE
1987 G TOSHACK C J BARKER G TOSHACK C J BARKER G TOSHACK
1986 G TOSHACK S BAILEY R EASTWOOD R EASTWOOD S BAILEY
1985 G TOSHACK S BAILEY G TOSHACK NO AWARD M KHAN
1984 R EASTWOOD D WALTERS S BAILEY S BAILEY C J BARKER
1983 S BAILEY C J BARKER S BAILEY T BAILEY T BAILEY
1982 S BAILEY M MALONE S BAILEY S BAILEY T BAILEY
1981 A E ROSS J D LORD A E ROSS C GREENWOOD W BARKER
1980 A E ROSS M MALONE A E ROSS E WINTER W BARKER
1979 A E ROSS J D LORD A E ROSS A E ROSS W BARKER
1978 A PARKER J D LORD A PARKER J D LORD W BARKER
1977 W CONNOR J D LORD C W BARTELS D HARTLEY A E ROSS
1976 A E ROSS J D LORD W BARKER P J GREEN A E ROSS
1975 R LEVER C J BARKER R LEVER - W BARKER
1974 A E ROSS C J BARKER R LEVER - W BARKER
1973 A E ROSS A E ROSS A E ROSS - W BARKER
1972 E WINTER J D LORD D LORD - W BARKER
1971 W BARKER J D LORD S BOAM - W BARKER
1970 T BAILEY P J GREEN R LEVER - W BARKER
1969 W BARKER P J GREEN W BARKER - W BARKER
1968 W BARKER S BOAM S BOAM - A CONNOR
1967 M BAILEY J COUPE A L MOSS - W BARKER
1966 A L MOSS P J GREEN J COUPE - W BARKER
1965 W BARKER D HARTLEY J COUPE - W BARKER
1964 W BARKER J COUPE W BARKER - W BARKER
1963 W BARKER S BOAMP J GREEN - W BARKER
1962 W BARKER J COUPE A L MOSS - W BARKER
1961 A L MOSS J COUPE A L MOSS - W BARKER
1960 W BARKER A L MOSS W BARKER - W BARKER
1959 A L MOSS A L MOSS A L MOSS - W BARKER
1958 K WALKER A L MOSS A L MOSS - W BARKER
1957 A SUTCLIFFE A L MOSS J COUPE - A L MOSS
1956 A L MOSS J COUPE A L MOSS - A L MOSS
1955 A L MOSS A L MOSS A CORDINGLEY - A L MOSS
1954 A L MOSS J COUPE A L MOSS - A L MOSS
1953 J T CONNOR A L MOSS A L MOSS - A L MOSS
1952 C POTTS A L MOSS A L MOSS - F HEATON
1951 A L MOSS J COUPE A L MOSS - H WALKER
CENTRAL LANCASHIRE LEAGUE WINNERS 2012
Expectations for 2012 at the club were relatively high. Mid table finishes in the previous 2 seasons showed that the club had the basis of a strong side. However with the return of James Rawlinson after a one season stint as professional at Settle CC and the Barker brothers from Todmorden it meant that the amateur strength was good. Coupled with this was the first time visit of young Kiwi quickie Hamish Kyne from Wellington as overseas amateur, and most important of all the recruitment of professional Ranil Dhammika, a left arm spinner who could also bat from Sri Lanka.
The season began at Rochdale on a cold cloudy day. Dhammika was unable to get a flight for the first match and so Azar Zaidi, Accrington's Pakistani spinner all-rounder was engaged. Rochdale also has a sub pro South African Gary Park and it was he who top scored with 88 in Rochdale’s challenging total of 203. Wickets were shared between Kyne with 3, Zaidi 3 and Stevie Barker 2. Walsden's replay began well with Rawlinson initially with Jake Hooson and then Matt Dawson advancing the score to 128. Unfortunately Zaidi failed and when Rawlinson was out for 68 the pressure of the run chase proved too much and Walsden collapsed to 173 all out. Not a great start.
Walsden’s next game was at Ashton who have propped up the league in recent seasons. Walsden again started well with Rawlinson scoring a superb 76, Hooson 27 and Dhammika 28 all contributing well. Unfortunately the tail didn’t wag and a total of 165 was challenging but certainly not unattainable. As it happens the total was far too big with Shackleton 5 - 19 and Dhammika 4 - 41 blowing Ashton away for 91.
When the rain relented, early May saw Littleborough visit Walsden. All Walsden’s top order contributed but a rapid partnership of 107 between Dhammika 85 not out and Nick Barker 39 not out took Walsden to a very good score of 255 for 3. Walsden made early in roads into the Littleborough innings when overseas amateur Williams was brilliantly run out by keeper Dawson and then possibly the catch of the season saw Shackleton catch Australian professional Clinton Perren off his own bowling for 20. Littleborough never recovered from these early setbacks and were eventually 129 all out. Shackleton taking 3 - 19 and Dhammika 4 - 12 off ten overs.
Walsden then visited the unpredictable Unsworth. Walsden won the toss and elected to bat on a damp wicket and were quickly in big trouble at 14 for 4. For the first time of many during the season Walsden’s strength in depth showed with a match winning partnership between Kristian Halstead 54 and Nick Barker 49 taking the score to 136 before some late hitting advanced the score to 150 – 8. Unsworth were quite simply blitzed by Dhammika 5 – 18 and Stevie Barker 4 – 29 and were bowled out for 48 off 24 overs.
Royton who had started well were the next visitors to Scott Street. Captain Dewhirst again won the toss (as he did for most of the season) and elected to bat. A good start by Rawlinson 76 and Hooson 43 and good contributions from Dawson 27, Nick Barker 23 not out and Halstead 22 not out meant that Walsden set a challenging 217 – 4. Again Dhammika 3 – 59 and Stevie Barker 5 – 25 were the principal reason that Royton fell away to be 161 all out after a promising start.
The first round of the Wood Cup at Walsden saw Walsden demolish a poor Ashton side. Walsden scored a mammoth 268 with 17 year old Jake Hooson scoring a chanceless superb 110 not out. Kyne was the leading Walsden bowler with 4 – 19 and Ashton were 100 all out.
Another tricky league fixture followed with Clifton visiting Scott Street. A good team batting effort with Rawlinson top scoring with 65, Dawson 49 and Hooson 42 saw that Walsden again achieved a good total of 233 – 9. Good bowling from all Walsden’s senior bowlers saw Clifton dismissed for 110. Shackleton took 3 wickets, with Kyne, S Barker and Dhammika 2 apiece.
Unpredictable Oldham were the first visitors to Walsden in June. They won the toss and started quite well, but the introduction of Dhammika to the attack charged things quickly and his 6 – 38 off 16 overs meant that Oldham were restricted to 168.
The loss of both Walsden openers put a bit of early pressure on, but Dawson with 78 not out and Josh Gale an excellent 29 not out saw Walsden home to nervy finish after Dhammika had run himself out 2nd ball, and both Barkers had gone cheaply.
Another Wood cup interlude saw reigning champions Norden visit Scott Street. Walsden slumped to 17 – 3 but Nick Barker with 70 and good contributions from Dhammika 29, Halstead 30 and
Stevie Barker 22 not out led Walsden to a reasonable 202. Unfortunately Walsden could not remove Nordens South African pro Mark Price until very late in the game and his 109 was the main reason that Norden won in the last over of the game.
With only the league now left Walsden’s next game was on the low slow track of Monton. Walsden’s very slow innings was dominated by a very patient 47 from Dawson and 31 from Hooson, with important late runs coming from Shackleton and Kyne. This total proved to be far too much for Monton with Dhammika taking 6 – 27 off 12 overs well supported by Shackleton with 3 – 32 off 10 overs. Monton were 64 all out.
The last match in June saw Crompton visit Scott Street. Skipper Dewhirst invited Crompton to bat. Kyne who was starting to show real promise as the wickets slowly improved sadly dislocated his shoulder and was forced to return home to New Zealand. His injury meant a long spell for Dhammika who bowled 24 overs and picked up 6 – 54. Crompton scored a challenging 186. Walsden were again in big trouble at 20 – 3 but another superb partnership, this time between Nick Barker 71 and Dhammika 62 not out saw Walsden to victory in the gathering gloom.
Walsden now topped the league but with no overseas amateur going on to win the league would be a real challenge. The loss of Kyne meant a change in tactics with Dhammika opening the bowling in most games and being supported principally by Shackleton and Stevie Barker.
The first game in July saw Unsworth visit Walsden. Another superb spell from Dhammika, 20 overs 6 – 36 well supported by S Barker 17 overs 3 – 50 saw Unsworth bowled out for only 104. Walsden were cruising at 78 – 2 but the loss of Dawson and Nick Barker brought about a collapse of mega proportions and saw Walden reduced to 86 – 9. Cue the Gale brothers, Joe batting at No. 11 scored a magnificent 17 not out, whilst brother Josh played patiently for a crucial 4 not out. This win again proved the value of strength in depth.
Mid July on another cloudy day (when weren’t they) at Walsden saw the second half of the season start with the return fixture against Rochdale, this time at Walsden. Rochdale scored a useful 170 with Sri Lankan pro Warnapura top scoring with 43. Dhammika taking 5 – 64 off his 18 overs. Walsden had a steady but slow start against a very accurate Rochdale attack. Rawlinson 35 and Hooson 24 set a platform but the planned increase in run rate never happened and Walsden lost wickets steadily to be dismissed for 148. This was only their second loss of the season (and their last loss), both to Rochdale.
The return fixture at Littleborough’s Hare Hill ground was a painstaking batting effort by Littleborough. Stevie Barker removed the dangerous Perren for only 1 and Littleborough then batted 50 overs to reach 99 – 9. The only highlight was Dhammika’s first hat trick in senior cricket. Walsden’s reply was relatively straight forward with Dawson 36, Hooson 12 and then Nick Barker 16 not out and Josh Gale 9 not out seeing Walsden home with 23 overs to spare. Doing the double over Littleborough is always something to celebrate and the clubhouse was a happy place that night.
Another interesting fixture towards the end of July saw Walsden travel to Clifton without the Barker brothers and Harlow who were at a wedding. Clifton won the toss and batted, but another magnificent spell of bowling by Dhammika of 23 overs 4 - 23 restricted Clifton to 124 with Shackleton claiming 3 wickets and Dewhirst and Hanson one apiece. In reply the openers did the trick for Walsden with an opening stand of 73. Hooson scored 31 and Rawlinson an excellent 40 before Josh Gale 15, Dhammika and Halstead completed the job.
Third placed Milnrow visited Scott Street for the penultimate game in July. Left arm spinner Barbar Naeem was at this stage the leading wicket taker in the league, but he was dominated by a magnificent knock of 99 by Matt Dawson (who sadly ran himself out going for his hundred), well supported by Rawlingson 50 and Dhammika 37 gave Walsden a very useful total of 226. Without Shackleton on holiday the attack was carried by Dhammika and Stevie Barker and both performed well. Dhammika bowled 20 overs 7 – 45 and Barker 18 overs 3 – 87. Milnrow never threatened Walsden’s total after Naeem was well caught by Nick Barker and were dismissed for 165.
29 July 2012 was arguably the first time when the championship became a real possibility. Both Heywood and Norden were well within reach of Walsden’s points total at this stage and so the game at Norden was of critical importance. Another rain affected start meant a 22 over per side game. Norden won the toss and professional Price and ex Lancs player Fitton smashed the Walsden attack to all parts of the ground. It was only when Price was brilliantly caught by Dan Howley off Nick Barker that Walsden exerted some control. Norden however still scored 179 off their 22 overs with Nick Barker and Dhammika both claiming 3 expensive wickets apiece.
Walsden’s reply started disastrously when Dhammika who was promoted to open was bowled off the first ball he received. Rawlinson played a very useful innings for 29 which brought together Dawson and Nick Barker. A circumspect start looked as though Walsden would be hoping to achieve 1 point by scoring 134 or 75% of Norden’s score. After 15 overs Walsden were 101 for 2 and after 18 were 126 for 2. The explosion then began with Barker hitting 4 sixes and 5 fours and Dawson 2 sixes and 9 fours. The nineteenth over went for 18, the twentieth for 16 and the twenty first over for 23. Walsden had incredibly won without needing the last over. Dawson scored 79 not out off 55 balls and Nick Barker 61 not out off 33 balls. Moving into August the league was now a real possibility with only Heywood being realistic rivals.
Middleton who had started the season well were the first visitors in August on another cloudy day at Scott Street. Middleton’s innings revolved around South African professional Mike Smith who scored 84 out of Middleton’s all out innings of 190. Dhammika bowled a brilliant 24 overs and took an amazing 9 – 69 with Harlow taking the other wicket. Rawlinson and Hooson began well and after Hooson had departed Rawlinson 40 and Dhammika 52 not out and Josh Gale 11 not out saw Walsden home in 39 overs.
Walsden’s next visited lowly Werneth at the Coppice. After a sound but slow start by Rawlinson 50 and Hooson 25, the acceleration came initially – from Dawson 21 and then Dhammika 60 not out off 58 balls and Nick Barker 43 not out off 34 balls to set a challenging 225 – 3. Werneth had no answer to Dhammika who bowled 21 overs 6 – 44 and were eventually dismissed for 123.
Walsden then entertained Monton and Weaste in Mid-August who won the toss and decided to bat. Dhammika bowled well with 4 – 44 off 20 overs and Jake Hooson made his first real contribution with the ball taking an excellent 4 – 15 off 6 overs. Monton batted 40 overs and were eventually bowled out for 137. After both Walsden openers were dismissed early Dawson played a magnificent innings of 81 not out well supported by Dhammika 31 and Walsden won within 33 overs.
After the top of the table clash at Heywood had been rained off another crucial game saw Walsden entertain Norden who were seeking to obtain revenge for the recent defeat. Norden batted first and when Dhammika dismissed Price for 27 Norden’s hopes of a really big score evaporated and they managed to score 165 all out off 49 overs. Dhammika taking 7 – 63 off 25 overs and Stevie Barker 3 – 75 off 17.5 overs. Rain early in Walsden’s reply meant that Walsden needed to score 118 off 23 overs. Both openers went relatively cheaply but a superb 53 not out by Dawson well supported by some brilliant hitting by Joe Gale who quickly scored 16 not out saw Walsden home as darkness approached.
Due to the poor weather two of the first games of the season had been rained off and rearranged for the last 2 weekends of the season meaning that going into September Walsden still unusually had 5 games to negotiate, the last one being Heywood who at this stage were only 8 points behind Walsden. The title for them was still very much a reality.
The first game in September saw a revamped Ashton visit Walsden. Ashton managed 113 all out off 38 overs with Dhammika taking his mandatory 5 wickets, well supported by Shackleton and Hooson with 2 wickets apiece. Ashton bowled well and after Rawlinson and Dawson had scored good 20s the team had a bit of a wobble losing 4 cheap wickets. Fortunately Nick Barker hung around for a resolute 22 not out to see Walsden home for the loss of 7 wickets.
Walsden then visited Oldham, another revamped side at the Pollards ground. Oldham got off to a flyer and were 80 for 2 off only 14 overs. Dhammika slowly took control and his 15 overs 7 – 42 meant Walsden were chasing 164. Fortunately Rawlinson 32, Dawson 68 and Dhammika 41 not out all batted superbly for Walsden to see them home in 40 overs for the loss of 5 wickets.
With three games to play and Heywood still only 8 points behind, Walsden visited Radcliffe who during the season have had a very good bowling attack spearheaded by Cheetham the ex-Lancashire bowler, but also a poor batting side. Fortunately this was also the case again on a sunny (yes sunny) day at Radcliffe on 9 September 2012. Dewhirst won the toss again and batted. Unfortunately at 28 – 4 and 41 – 5 this looked as though it might not be the right decision. However not for the first time in the season Walsden showed themselves to be a team with real depth and fight. Halstead with 21, Josh Gale 16, Stevie Barker 13 and then a brilliant belligerent 44 not out off 44 balls by Joe Gale well supported by skipper Dewhirst saw Walsden to a decent total of 144. Two early wickets from Shackleton and then 5 – 32 by Dhammika and a miserly 3 – 9 off 8 overs by Stevie Barker saw Radcliffe dismissed for 73.
Walsden now needed 1 win from the final 2 games of the season. As chance would have it Walsden again played Radcliffe but at Walsden on another sunny day in Mid-September. Dewhirst inserted the opponents and Dhammika demolished the early order to leave Radcliffe reeling at 20 – 5. Some lusty hitting from Ben Johnson saw a brief recovery but after he was bowled by
Stevie Barker, Dhammika took complete control to end with the brilliant figures of 11 overs 8 – 39 with Barker taking the other 2 wickets. Walsden needed 95 runs to win the league for the first time since 1964.
After an early scare when Hooson was dismissed by the pacey Cheetham for nought, Rawlingson 29 and Dawson 22 saw the score to 63 before Dhammika 17 not out and Nick Barker 11 not out saw Walsden to the championship off 31.4 overs. The celebrations then began.
The final match at Walsden on 16 September 2012 against Heywood who finished runners up was rained off when Heywood who chose to bat first were 74 – 1 off 10 overs. Nobody cared. The title and the trophy were by this time Walsden’s and a few days of memorable celebrations followed for players, ex-players and supporters. The title victory was made all the more credible by the fact that all 10 players other then the pro and Kyne who played only a third of the season were born and brought up within sight of Walsden’s ground.
The statistics for the season make good reading, Walsden played 23 out of the 30 scheduled league games and won 21 of them with only 2 losses through the entire league season. Their final points total of 118 beat runners up Heywood by 8 and third place Milnrow by 20.
On the batting front Matt Dawson scored 812 runs at an average of 40.6 runs per visit, Nick Barker 495 at an average of 38.1, Ranil Dhammika 589 at 34.6, James Rawlinson 738 runs at 29.5 and Jake Hooson 537 at 24.4. All figured prominently in the league averages with Dawson and Barker finishing 3rd and 4th respectively in the amateur batting averages.
On the bowling front Ranil Dhammika was easily the best bowler in the league taking a remarkable 119 wickets at 7.91 runs per wicket. This is a Walsden club record in overs cricket beating
Ces Wright’s 116. Stevie Barker was well placed in the league averages with 45 wickets at 19.1 and Jamie Shackleton also had an excellent season taking 30 wickets at 20.2.
As impressive as these stats are it was the strength of Walsden’s entire team lead superbly by the astute and selfless Dewhirst that brought the title to Walsden. Walsden were staring down the barrel on several occasions during the season but the lower order held their nerves to hold on and win the game. Walsden were also fortunate to have some very good second xi players to bring in when occasionally they were needed. This was demonstrated by the fact that Walsden also won the aggregate trophy in 2012 for the highest number of points by the first and second xi’s combined. Amazingly the 3rd xi also did the double. The club were also fortunate to have a hard working ground staff who worked tirelessly throughout the year in covering wickets and then getting the ground ready for play in often inclement weather. More games would have been lost to the weather without them.
Finally special mention must be made to Walsden’s catching and fielding which was of the highest quality throughout. Catches win matches is an old cricketing adage and in this season Walsden fielded brilliantly and did not drop many catches. They deserved their title of Central Lancashire League Champions for 2012.
The detailed statistics as compiled by Mick Watson the Walsden scorer are as follows:
NAME INS NO HS RUNS AVE
M Dawson 24 4 99 812 40.60
N Barker 21 8 71 495 38.08
R Dhammika 24 7 85 no 589 34.65
J Rawlinson 25 0 76 738 29.52
J Hooson 23 1 110 no 537 24.41
K Halstead 13 3 54 155 15.50
Josh Gale 16 6 29 no 124 12.40
S Barker 12 3 22 no 68 7.56
Joe Gale 7 3 44 no 98 24.50
J Shackleton 6 1 15 no 32 6.40
C Dewhirst 7 6 4 no 8 8.00
H Kyne 6 1 12 25 5.00
M Harlow 5 0 11 23 4.60
S Hanson 1 1 0 0 0.00
A Zaidi 1 0 15 15 15.00
NAME OVERS MAIDENS RUNS WKTS AVE RPO
R Dhammika 391.1 86 951 119 7.99 2.43
S Barker 236.2 29 840 45 19.12 3.55
J Shackleton 166.5 30 646 30 20.19 3.88
H Kyne 56.5 8 206 12 17.17 3.65
J Hooson 35.2 3 229 7 32.71 6.51
C Dewhirst 15.0 1 76 2 38.00 5.07
N Barker 28.4 0 151 7 21.57 5.32
A Zaidi 16.5 2 75 3 25.00 4.55
Joe Gale 19.0 0 96 3 32.00 5.05
S Hanson 5.0 3 15 1 15.00 3.00
M Harlow 22.0 0 85 1 85.00 3.86
The highest wicket partnerships were as follows:
WKT RUNS BATSMEN OPPONENTS
1st 95 J Hooson J Rawlinson Ashton H Cup
2nd 106 J Rawlinson M Dawson Milnrow H
3rd 144 M Dawson N Barker Norden A Unbroken
4th 131 R Dhammika N Barker Crompton H
5th 122 N Barker K Halstead Unsworth A
6th 60 M Dawson S Barker Oldham H
7th 18 N Barker S Barker Norden H Cup
8th 26 S Barker Joe Gale Radcliffe A
9th 35 Joe Gale C Dewhirst Radcliffe A
10th 22 Josh Gale Joe Gale Unsworth H
With the bat James Rawlinson, Matt Dawson and Ranil Dhammika all scored 5 half centuries apiece, whilst Jake Hooson scored the only century with 110 not out in the cup versus Ashton. Nick Barker and Matt Dawson hit 14 sixes apiece whilst Ranil Dhammika hit 12.
On the bowling front the best figures of the season were 9-69 by Dhammika versus Middleton at home and he took 5 wickets or more in an astonishing 15 of the 25 matches (including cup) played. He also did the hat trick versus Littleborough away.
On the catching front Ranil Dhammika caught 14 catches with Nick Barker and James Rawlinson 10 each. Matt Dawson had 26 catches and 12 stumpings behind the wicket.
Finally the highest score of the season was 268 for 5 versus Ashton at home in the Wood Cup and 255 for 3 versus Littleborough at home in the league.
C Barker (November 2012)
ARTICAL BY DONALD RIGG, SEPTEMBER 2012
I would like to congratulate the players and officials of Walsden Cricket and Bowling Club on becoming champions of the Central Lancashire League this season by a margin of eight points.
This is a magnificent achievement by a village club against much larger towns, such as Rochdale, Middleton, Ashton and Oldham.
What is even more remarkable, and a credit to the committee and coaches at the club, is that this has been achieved by players who, with the exception of the club professional, are all local, who were born, or live, within one mile of the club, including three players under the age of 18.
Unlike other clubs they have achieved this without the benefit of an overseas amateur.
Every player on the side has contributed to the success and has played an important role when the occasion has demanded it.
The first six batsmen have contributed nearly 3,000 runs and have backed up a top quality professional bowler, who has taken 119 wickets. The coaches deserve a pat on the back for the many successes achieved this year.
The impetus of the last league win, in 1964, enabled the club to prosper with a new bar and changing facilities, and it is hoped that this year’s achievement will provide a further stimulus.
While the club has several loyal sponsors the financial demands on the club, to enable necessary ground improvements and practice facilities to be provided, means more financial support is needed. If anyone wishes to help in any way please do not hesitate to contact me or the club. The cost of running a club is not cheap and any contribution would be welcome.
The club provides extensive junior coaching and puts out teams at under 11, under 13, under 15 and under 18 age levels, in addition to a first, second and third eleven, and new players are always welcome.
I feel that this is an immense contribution to the local community.
Donald Rigg, Walsden CC
president, Blenheim Street,
CENTRAL LANCASHIRE LEAGUE WINNERS 2013
After the superb summer of 2012 for Walsden Cricket Club the winter of 2012/13 was totally the opposite. A HMRC investigation into the club’s affairs meant a very worrying winter for club officials. As it happens the investigation was eventually concluded just prior to the 2013 season with no cost to the club. However these worries during the winter resulted in the difficult decision being made not to retain the services of the hugely popular Sri Lankan Ranil Dhammika who had served the club so superbly in 2012, and instead to opt for a home based player with the related cost savings. The club were very fortunate to secure the services of Richard Sladdin, a 44 year old left arm spinner who had played country cricket with distinction for both Derbyshire and Somerset.
The 2013 season saw the introduction within the Central Lancashire League of the new 2 tier league basis with 8 premier league teams and 8 second division teams. This meant that Walsden’s chances of retaining the premier championship would be more difficult given that the best 8 teams in the league would play one another 4 times in the season rather than just the 2 in previous years. This new format certainly raised the standards of cricket played in the Premier League with many closely contested games and very few walk overs!
Walsden started the season with the same strong amateur pool of players once again led by Chris Dewhirst. The team were joined by Shubham Harkal a 17 year old Indian batsman, leg spinner as overseas amateur on the recommendation of Matt Dawson.
The season got underway on 14 April 2013 at a cloudy and cold Clifton for whom Australian Cameron Murray was professional and former Lancashire pace bowler Steve Cheetham was opening the bowling. Cheetham made things extremely difficult for the Walsden top order, however a resolute 57 from opener Kris Halstead, 25 from Nick Barker and a last wicket partnership of 26 between Dewhirst and Shackleton set a reasonably challenging total of 177 all out. In the absence of the injured Stevie Barker, Jamie Shackleton and Jake Hooson made a superb start and quickly reduced Clifton to 69-6 with Shackleton dismissing Murray for 0. A rear guard action was eventually extinguished by Joe Gale 2 wickets and pro Sladdin 3 wickets saw Clifton dismissed for 140. A good start!
The first visitors to Scott Street were arch rivals Littleborough captained by Ex England player Chris Schofield with former Sheffield Shield cricket of the year Clinton Perren as professional. A rapid start by the ‘boro’ openers resulted in the early introduction of both Joe Gale and professional Sladdin into the attack which had an immediate effect as both openers were removed. A brilliant diving catch by Dewhirst to remove Perren coupled with a good running catch by Josh Gale to dismiss Schofield turned the game on its head. Littleborough slumped from 63-0 to 125-9 before a last wicket partnership took them to 149. Sladdin took 6-42 off 19.4 overs and Joe Gale 3-18 off 7 overs. Walsden’s innings began slowly in drizzle. Jake Hooson was dismissed for 7 with the score on 13. After a rain interruption which left Walsden needing 103 runs off 25 overs, Matt Dawson batting at 3 then played a spectacular innings smashing the ball to all parts in the gathering gloom to end on 62 not out off only 55 balls. James Rawlinson finished with 11 not out as Walsden achieved the required target off 24.4 overs.
The last weekend in April saw the 2012 league runners up Heywood visit Scott Street. The weather was again poor and after Walsden had struggled to 102-6 thanks to 47 from Kris Halstead the game was abandoned.
The weather improved the following weekend when Walsden visited Milnrow for whom the talented all round Pakistani Barbar Naeem was professional. A superb 8-60 off 17 overs by pro Sladdin restricted Milnrow to a challenging total of 173. A poor start by Walsden with only Jake Hooson 31 offering any resistance saw Walsden slump to 60-5. Useful scores of 22 from Sladdin and 25 from Joe Gale gave Walsden hope but Naeem’s nagging leg spin proved too challenging and Walsden were dismissed for 133.
Another cloudy day in early May saw Norden with South African pro Michael Price visit Walsden. Norden’s bowlers well marshalled by ex-Lancashire player Dexter Fitton bowled tightly and only Rawlinson with 43, Sladdin with 34 and a breezy knock of 37 by Shackleton provided Norden with the not too daunting target of 189. If Walsden could dismiss Price then they had a chance but as usual they couldn’t! Price, as was the norm against Walsden batted very well for a patient 84 not out and was well supported by Gregg Tattersall with 46 to see Norden home for the loss of only 5 wickets.
A strong Rochdale side were the next visitors to Scott Street. Overnight rain meant a 4.00 pm start and a 25 over per side game. A superb 64 by Jake Hooson supported by Harkal with 25 and 19 from Joe Gale resulted in a target of 140 for Rochdale. A steady but very slow start from the Rochdale openers put pressure on Rochdale’s middle order and when Dewhirst caught South African pro Wes Lansdale off Joe Gale panic set in and some excellent bowling at the death by Hooson (3 wickets) and Jo gale (2 wickets) meant that Rochdale ended 8 runs short of their target on 132 for 6. A good win for Walsden.
Rain in mid-May resulted in Walsden’s visit to Norden being washed out without a ball being bowled.
A Wood Cup interlude in round 1 at second division Radcliffe resulted in an easy win for the champions. Walsden after a shaky start scored 191 all out with Harkal 42, Joe Gale 46, Rawlinson 26 and a very useful 21 not out from number ten Dewhirst setting Radcliffe a challenging target. Radcliffe never threatened Walsden’s target and were dismissed for only 88 with Sladdin and Harkal taking 3 wickets apiece and Harkal deservedly taking the man of the match award.
A disastrous late May T20 visit to Milnrow resulted not only in defeat but a serious finger injury to pro Sladdin which would keep him out of cricket for at least 6 weeks. This meant the club going through the hugely difficult process of obtaining decent sub pros for all of June and most of July - not good! Coupled with this was the fact that the top of the batting order was certainly not firing on all cylinders and only the depth of the batting was keeping the team in contention for the league at this stage. Expectations in late May were probably a mid-table finish.
The last game in May saw Middleton visit Scott Street. Amazingly Sladdin was persuaded to play with a “bandaged up” broken finger and he did not disappoint. A marathon spell from him of 18 overs 5-45 restricted Middleton to 190-9 off their 50 overs. Walsden again had a shaky start against the pacey Mahmood and at 77-5 were looking down the barrel. Fortunately the late middle order came to the rescue with Harkal 20, Josh Gale 16, Joe Gale 34 and then a superb partnership of 67 between Stevie Barker 36 and skipper Dewhirst 33 not out saw Walsden home for the loss of 7 wickets – a real nail biter.
As the summer improved a sunny Saturday on 1 June saw Walsden visit title contenders Heywood at their Crimble ground. Walsden had recruited Todmorden professional Sri Lankan Geeth Alwis for this key fixture. Walsden as was the norm for most of the early part of the season began poorly and when Alwis was dismissed for nought Walsden were 27-3. Fortunately Nick Barker returned to form and hit a superb 81 well supported by Rawlinson batting at No. 6 who scored 24 and some superb hitting from Joe Gale 19 and Josh Gale 21 saw Walsden to a challenging 202 all out. Heywood reply was threating and they moved comfortably to 66-2, but when Hooson bowled Cross and Alwis dismissed Pawson Heywood fell away badly and were dismissed for only 135, with Alwis 3 wickets and Joe Gale 3 wickets wrapping things up quickly.
The next visitors to Walsden were Milnrow. Walden had recruited the superb Accrington pro Ashar Zaidi for this game and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Milnrow’s innings was based around a knock of 56 from pro Naeem, but tight bowling from Zaidi with 16 overs 2 for 41 and a superb late spell of 8 overs 5 for 40 from Harkal restricted Milnrow to 190 all out. The early loss of Rawlinson and Dawson gave Milnrow some hope but a magnificent partnership of 162 between Jake Hooson 56 not out and the brilliant Zaidi 108 saw Walsden home off only 34 overs. Expectations were on the up!
A Lancashire trophy interlude on 9 June 2013 saw Barnoldswick visit Walsden who were without a professional for this game due to replacements not being allowed in this competition. Walsden amassed a daunting total of 279 off their 45 overs thanks to a superb partnership of 211 between Hooson 97 and Dawson 105. Unfortunately a magnificent 141 by Barnoldswick professional Pakistani Imran Khalil saw them home in the last over of the game.
Walsden next visited Rochdale’s Redbrook ground for what was sure to be another tough encounter. Walsden batted first and good contributions from Hooson 30, Victorian Dan Salpietro 32 and Harkal 26 saw Walsden to a reasonable 169 all out. Rochdale’s reply began badly with 2 early wickets each for Stevie Barker and Jamie Shackleton who reduced them to 52-4. Salpietro then turned the screw and when he eventually dismissed the young Australian Wornes for 68 Rochdale were all out for 157. Another very good win for the battling Walsden team.
In the second round of the Wood Cup Milnrow were the visitors to Walsden. Sub pro Tasmanian John Wells sealed the game early on with a superb exhibition of swing bowling for Walsden taking 5 wickets for 11 runs off his ten overs. Josh Gale chipped in with 5 overs 3 for 20 and Milnrow were dismissed for only 90. After an early wobble when Walsden were 20-3 Nick Barker 29 not out, Wells 26 and Harkal 14 not out saw Walsden home off only 25 overs.
Next was a visit to Middleton’s Towncroft ground where unfortunately Ashar Zaidi was deputising this time for Middleton whilst Walsden had again recruited the Victorian Dan Salpietro. Walsden had a terrible start with Rawlinson and Dawson both being dismissed for ducks. Fortunately a good innings of 71 from Hooson supported by Salpietro 29, Harkal 29 and Joe Gale 23 saw Walsden progress to 185-8 off their 50 overs. Walsden bowled poorly with only Shackleton with 3 wickets having any success. Zaidi 82 not out well supported by Davey 62 not out smashed Walsden’s bowlers to all parts of the ground to win easily for the loss of only 3 wickets.
Salpietro again deputised for the visit of Clifton to Scott Street. Walsden had another poor start and when Cheetham bowled Salpietro for 0 Walsden were 78-5. Fortunately Dawson 39, Josh Gale’s maiden half century 58 not out and 33 from Stevie Barker saw Walsden to 201 all out. Excellent bowling from Walsden with Salpietro 19 overs 3-40 and Stevie Barker and Joe Gale each taking 3 wickets saw that Clifton were dismissed for only 124.
Luke Proctor the Lancashire County player was sub pro for Walsden in the key fixture versus Littleborough at Hare Hill on a lovely day on the last day of June. Unfortunately for Walsden after a poor start when the hosts were 23-2 professional Perren and skipper Schofield both scored centuries in a partnership of 224 to take Littleborough to the very demanding total of 258-3 off their 50 overs. Walsden’s reply started very well with an opening partnership of 121 between Hooson 68 and Rawlinson 53, but after the run out of Proctor for 12 Walsden’s reply tailed away and they were 210-9 at the end of the overs.
This game marked the halfway stage of the league and with all the top sides taking points off one another, Walsden were still in with a shout of retaining the title but would need to up their game to do so.
Unfortunately Norden with pro Mark Price were the next visitors to Scott Street. Walsden’s Pakistani sub pro Raza tried hard with the new ball without success and an unbeaten 128 from Price and 58 from Simon North saw Norden to a sizeable 255-4 off 50 overs. After the early loss of Hooson, Rawlinson with 48, Dawson 28, Raza 28, Harkal 40 and Josh Gale 21 gave Walsden hope but the pressure of the run rate proved too much and Walsden were dismissed for 206. Two consecutive losses was something Walsden had not suffered since 2011 and they needed to bounce back quickly.
The semi-final of the Wood Cup at 2nd division Monton was a good opportunity for the club to return to winning ways, which they did thrashing Monton, who were dismissed for only 96 on a beautiful summers day. Nick Barker having a rare bowl took the man of the match award for his 10 overs 4-20 well supported by ex Todmorden pro Qaiser Abbas 2-15 with Joe Gale and Shackleton also taking 2 wickets each. Twenties for Hooson, Rawlinson, Dawson and 17 not out for Abbas saw Walsden reach their target off only 21 overs.
New found confidence, then saw Walsden thrash Middleton in the league at their Towncroft ground. Walker with 52 gave Middleton hope but the introduction of Nick Barker and Harkal who took 3 wickets each saw Middleton slump to 163 all out. Walsden’s reply remarkably took only 19 overs to win. Rawlinson scored 41 before sub pro Chesney Hughes from Derbyshire CC with 64 off 36 balls and Dawson with 39 not out off only 21 balls saw Walsden home with consumate ease.
What was now extremely encouraging was the fact that Walsden’s top order were now returning to the form of 2012 and Sladdin was now fit to resume as pro. This certainly proved to be the case as Heywood’s visit to Scott Street on Saturday 20 July illustrated. A superb 90 from Rawlinson well supported with 20s from Hooson, Dawson and Nick Barker and a late 19 not out from Stevie Barker saw Walsden to 226 all out. Heywood had a steady reply but a 17 over spell from the ever green Sladdin who took 5-62 resulted in Heywood being dismissed for 182.
Walsden were now on a ‘roll’. A cloudy day at Clifton saw the hosts post a challenging total of 218-9 with Sladdin 3 wickets and Nick Barker 4 wickets both bowling well. Walsden lost Hooson for 1 and Dawson for 12 but then a brilliant partnership off 191 between Rawlinson 110 and Nick Barker 73 not out saw Walsden coast home with 6 overs to spare. Both played extremely well against a very testing attack.
The rains returned in late July for Littleborough’s visit to Walsden which resulted in a 20 over game with Littleborough getting off to a flyer, and quickly amassing a very challenging 160-5 off their 20 overs. A brilliant 81 not out from Hooson saw Walsden to the verge of victory but a torrential downpour with Walsden needing 19 runs off 2 overs with 5 wickets left finished things off as a draw. Both teams of course thought they would have won!
The second visit of the season to Rochdale’s Redbrook ground on the first weekend in August saw Walsden off to a terrible start with both Hooson and Dawson back in the pavilion without a run on the board. Rawlinson and Nick Barker dug in against some good Rochdale bowling but after Rawlinson was dismissed for 29 Walsden slumped to 60-7. Not for this first time this year 17 year old Joe Gale who joined the resolute Nick Barker played a superb innings and between them they added exactly 100 runs before Gale was dismissed for his maiden half century on 52. Nick Barker batted through the innings for 76 not out and Walsden total of 191 overs was now challenging. Accurate Walsden bowling kept up the pressure on all the Rochdale players and wickets fell at regular intervals. Once Dewhirst caught pro Lansdale off Hooson the Rochdale reply tailed away to 130 all out with Sladdin and Joe Gale taking 3 wickets each.
The first Sunday in August is always Wood Cup final day and Walsden visited Heywood Crimble ground to face a Heywood team who were still very much in the mix for the league title. Walsden won the toss and elected to bat. A promising start with Hooson 17 and Rawlinson 25 soon turned to a struggle and at 50-4 Walsden were in trouble. A partnership of 70 between Nick Barker 38 and Josh Gale 28 gave Walsden hope but when they were both dismissed the team struggled to a total of 163 all out.
Rain at the end of Walsden’s innings and on Monday meant a Tuesday night resumption. Walsden’s bowlers began well and with Joe Gale brilliantly running out Zelem and Stevie Barker removing Heywood’s South African pro Travis Townsend things were in the balance. Heywood had advanced to 72-2 when a superb over form Josh Gale saw Heywood slump to 72-5 and at this stage give Walsden real hope. Unfortunately Bobby Cross played a superb captains innings and saw Heywood home with a brilliant 88 not out to see Heywood win for the loss of 6 wickets.
A return to league action in mid-August saw Walsden thrash Middleton at Walsden. Rawlinson 64 and Nick Barker 63 not out who were both now in excellent form laid the foundations and quick runs from the Gale brothers saw Walsden to a very challenging 237. Once Stevie Barker had removed both Middleton openers Stanworth and Walker, wickets fell at regular intervals and the away team were dismissed for a poor 86 with Stevie Barker taking 5 for 31 off his 11 overs.
Torrential rain the following weekend meant that only 1 over was bowled by Walsden at Littleborough. At this stage the league was very tight with Walsden just ahead of Littleborough, Heywood, Rochdale and Norden. All 5 teams could still win the title.
A potentially tricky fixture against Clifton at Scott Street on 18 August proved to be anything but. A superb 76 from Hooson well supported by Nick Barker 34, Josh Gale 42 and a late contribution of 14 not out by skipper Dewhirst resulted in challenging 217 for 9. The accurate Walsden bowlers again turned the screw on Clifton’s batters and wickets fell at regular intervals. Sladdin and Joe Gale with 3 wickets and Hooson with 2 dismissed Clifton for 122. Another good result.
In the penultimate league game in August relegation bound Milnrow again visited Walsden. Walsden again batted. Walsden’s top order was now functioning very well and Hooson 29, Rawlinson 51 and Nick Barker 45 again laid the foundations. Late runs from Joe Gale 23 and Dewhirst and Sladdin resulted in another challenging score of 216-8. Again Walsden’s bowlers were superb. Shackleton’s opening spell was excellent, well supported by Hooson and Milnrow were in big trouble at 38-6. Another 3 wicket haul for Sladdin resulted in Milnrow being dismissed for 79. Another 5 points.
In 2012 Walsden’s late season win at Norden was the first time that the title became a real possibility and things were no different in 2013. A terrible start for Walsden saw them 0 for 2 off 2 balls. Fortunately these days Walsden’s batting is made of stern stuff. Rawlinson and the resolute Nick Barker again dug in against some excellent Norden bowling. Barker batted for a long time for what proved to be a critical 53 runs and again a late onslaught from Harkal 18 and then Joe Gale 29 including three sixes in one over resulted in a reasonable but certainly not unattainable 179 all out.
Norden’s reply began well with professional Price and Harvey Fitton looking pretty untroubled. The key moment in the game was when Price advanced down the wickets to Sladdin and keeper Brown whipped off the bails to dismiss Walsden’s nemesis Price for 29. Unfortunately Norden’s Kiwi overseas amateur Pimm also played very well and at 141 for 3 Norden were cruising. Skipper Dewhirst not for the first time in desperation invited Nick Barker to ply his mixture of dibbly dobblies, leg cutters and quicker balls. When Pimm inexplicably tried to slog Sladdin out of the ground and was caught by Joe Gale the wobbles set in for Norden’s batsman. Nick well supported by brother Stevie bowled a match winning spell of 10.4 overs 6 for 20. Norden slumped from 141 for 3 to 161 all out. An unbelievable game and the fact that Heywood lost at Clifton meant that Walsden were top and only Littleborough could now catch them with, in theory 3 games to play.
On the last Saturday in August Walsden accepted Todmorden's invitation to compete in a newly formed T20 competition involving 4 local teams. Todmorden easily beat Bacup in round 1 whilst Walsden beat Littleborough in hugely entertaining game. Littleborough scored a very respectable 160 off their 20 overs and at half time were pretty confident of victory. A steady start paved the way for Nick Barker 74 and Dawson 35 to take Walsden to a very narrow victory in a superb game.
The T20 final was a relatively poor game with Walsden dismissing Todmorden for only 84. Harlow bowled the dangerous Newbitt early on and when Todmorden pro Alwiss was caught Josh Gale bowled Sladdin the Todmorden innings was a procession. After a good start by Rawlinson and Hooson a slight wobble saw Walsden reduced to 70-5, but with Nick Barker still at the crease and Harkal quickly ending the game Walsden had won their first trophy of the season with Nick Barker being named man of the tournament.
On the first Sunday of September Walsden were schedule to play Heywood in what would have been a critical game. Unfortunately for all concerned Heywood decided to concentrate on their own Lancashire Trophy semi-final game and conceded the game to Walsden (much furore and correspondence between both clubs and the league executive followed) but Heywood’s decision gave Walsden the 5 points they needed to become inaugural champions of the new CLL premiership for 2013.
With the title now decided Walsden’s last visit to relegated Milnrow saw another rampant batting display to amass 235-6. Kristian Halstead again deputising at the top of the order scored an excellent 43 well supported by Stevie Barker with 38. Dawson, Harkal and Joe Gale then decided to despatch the ball to all parts of the ground with extremely entertaining “hitting”. Again Milnrow had no answer to Walsden’s pressure bowling. Shackleton with 4 wickets was well supported by Nick Barker 2 wickets, Stevie Barker and Joe Gale one wicket each and when Milnrow had progressed to 146-8 with no prospect of winning the rains ensured a 4 point win for Walsden on run rate.
With the title race now over and the Walsden team wanting to commence with their end of season celebrations the rains kindly ensured that not a ball would be bowled in the last game of the season versus Rochdale at Walsden. The celebrations began with Walsden winning the league by a healthy margin of 14 points from their nearest challengers Littleborough.
Walsden won 18 off their 28 games, drawing 5 and losing 5. In 2012 they had lost only 2 games but this was still a fantastic effort considering the fact that the new Premier league had certainly resulted in tougher cricket. Second placed Littleborough had won 16 of their 28 games, with Rochdale in third place and Heywood who had challenged for much of the season in 4th place.
The statistics below as complied by scorer Mick Watson illustrated the strength in depth of both Walsden’s batting and bowling. Skipper Dewhirst who began the season batting at number 10 averages over 25 for the season whilst Stevie Barker who started batting at number 9 also averaged over 20. Similarly Nick Barker who didn’t bowl in the first half of the seasons took 24 wickets at just under 11 runs per wicket. The first team were also very fortunate to have some very capable stand ins from the second team when required and Kristian Halstead in particular didn’t disappoint.
The overall statistics make very impressive reading. Nick Barker who was named player of the year scored 584 runs at an average of 34.3 and finished 3rd overall in the league amateur batting averages, whilst both Rawlinson 771 runs at 28.5 and Hooson 716 runs at 27.5 also figured prominently in the league averages. (Hooson was also named young player of the year in the C.L.L.). Every player with the exception of pro Sladdin and Shackleton scored over 180 runs and every player in the team played a key innings at some stage in the season.
On the bowling front pro Sladdin had a superb season with 50 wickets at 13.7 (and missed 8 games due to injury), as did the irrepressible Joe Gale who won the amateur bowling averages aged 17 with 32 wickets at 18.75 well supported by Jamie Shackleton 30 wickets at 26.7. Other important contributions came from Nick and Stevie Barker with 24 wickets apiece and Josh Gale, Hooson and Harkal. As the stats below reveal all the players could bat and bowl.
Special mention must be made for all 4 juniors in the team. Jake Hooson, Joe Gale, brother Josh and Harkal are without doubt some of the best young players in the league and all made important contributions during the season. It was the blend of talented youngsters coupled with some of the best senior players in the league that has resulted in successive championships for Walsden.
Statistics for the season were as follows:-
WALSDEN CC 1ST XI
Includes LCB trophy
NAME INNS NO H/S RUNS AVE
N Barker 23 6 81 584 34.36
K Halstead 7 1 57 178 29.67
J Rawlinson 29 2 110 771 28.56
J Hooson 28 2 97 716 27.54
C Dewhirst 17 10 33 no 181 25.86
M Dawson 25 3 105 479 21.78
S Barker 16 6 38 201 20.10
Joe Gale 23 2 52 384 18.29
Josh Gale 24 4 58 no 337 16.85
S Harkal 21 1 42 336 16.80
R Sladdin 13 3 34 116 11.60
J Shackleton 16 3 37 110 8.47
Includes LCB trophy
NAME OVERS MAIDENS RUNS WKTS AVE
R Sladdin 221.1 44 685 50 13.70
Joe Gale 148.2 17 560 31 18.07
J Shackleton 193.4 14 799 31 25.78
N Barker 75.4 8 257 24 10.71
Josh Gale 24.0 1 124 9 13.78
S Harkal 48.2 6 213 12 17.75
M Halstead 18.0 3 63 3 21.00
S Barker 151.4 10 661 24 27.55
J Hooson 137.3 14 441 17 28.30
C Dewhirst 6.0 0 51 1 51.00
HIGHEST WICKET PARTNERSHIPS
1ST J Hooson J Rawlinson 121 v Littleborough Away
2nd J Rawlinson C Hughes 86 v Middleton Away
3rd N Barker J Rawlinsion 191 v Clifton Away
4th N Barker S Harkal 84 v Littleborough Home
5th N Barker Josh Gale 70 v Heywood Away
6th N Barker Josh Gale 70 v Middleton Home
7th N Barker Joe Gale 100 v Rochdale Away
8th R Sladdin J Shackleton 59 v Norden Home
9th Joe Gale C Dewhirst 39 v Radcliffe Away
10th C Dewhirst J Shackleton 26 v Clifton Away
James Rawlinson scored 110 at Clifton which was the highest score of the season.
Matt Dawson also scored 105 in the Lancashire Trophy game at Walsden. Jake Hooson scored 6 half centuries whilst Nick Barker and Rawlinson scored 5 each. In six hitting Joe Gale and Matt Dawson lead the way with 15 each.
On the bowling front Richard Sladdin 8 for 60 at Milnrow was the best bowling of the season followed by Nick Barker 6 for 20 at Norden and John Wells 5 for 11 versus Milnrow in the Wood Cup at home.
Top catchers in the season were Dewhirst with 15, Rawlinson with 13 and Josh Gale and Harkal with 10 each. This team do not drop many catches which can often make a critical difference to the results of games. Wicket keeper Matt Dawson had another superb season (despite a bad back for many games) with 26 catches and 5 stumpings. Finally the highest score of the season was 237 for 8 against Middleton at home. This is not an unduly high score and again reflects the higher standard of the newly formed Premier League. Walsden can by very proud of their achievements to win this in its inaugural season.
The fact that Walsden second team also won the league and with the club winning the aggregate trophy in successive years together with both teams reaching the Wood Cup and Burton Cup finals made it a very special season for Walsden Cricket & Bowling Club and a great pool of players.
C Barker (November 2013)
Pennine Cricket League Premier Division Champions and Wood Cup Winners
‘The Double’ Season 2016
After an excellent but trophyless season in 2015, expectations were good for 2016 in the newly formed Pennine Cricket League (PCL), however both Littleborough and Norden looked on paper to have very useful teams as well.
Walsden’s open fixture was a tricky encounter against Monton and Weaste at Walsden in late April 2016. Walsden won the toss and skipper Rawlinson elected to field which looked like it may have been a mistake when Monton cruised to 97-2 with the hard hitting Chapman scoring 70. However, the introduction of pro Umesh quickly changed the game and Monton limped to 160 all out off 36 ones with Umesh and Stevie barker taking 3 wickets a piece and Josh Gale 2 wickets.
Walsden’s reply started badly when Matt Dawson was dismissed for 0, however, a solid 45 from Nick Barker, 30 from Umesh and 32 not out by Joe gale saw Walsden home off just 33 overs with 5 wickets down.
After the second weekend of the season being rained/snowed off the 2 games versus Rochdale and Norden were rearranged to the end of August/early September 16. Early may saw Walsden visit Royton’s Paddock Ground. Royton won the toss and elected to bat which quickly paid dividendsas professional Khurana scored a classy84 and Australian overseas Bongers 43. Late order runs meant that Walsden were chasing 229off their 50 overs. Josh gale and Stevie Barker were the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets each. A good start by Walsden’s openers Hoosen14 and Gale 46 was then consolidated by another solid innings from Nick Barker of 68. Unfortunately, with Walsden cruising rain intervened and Walsden’s target was reduced to 213 but with the loss of only 7 overs. An excellent run chase left Walsden needing only 6 off the last over bowled by pro Khurana. Unfortunately, an excellent over saw Walsden score only 5 runs with Umesh scoring 43 not out but not able to achieve the winning runs.
On the 8th May 2016 Werneth visited Scott Street in the first round of the Wood Cup. Werneth were dismissed for only 115 with Umesh taking 5 wickets and Jamie Shackleton 4. Walden cruised to victory off 23 ovwers with Nick barker 43 not out and James Rawlinson 33 not out.
The next league game for Walsden was at Saddleworth’s compact ground. Saddleworth batted and scored a challenging 169. Stevie barker and Umesh with 3 wickets each were the most successful bowlers.
Walsden’s reply started badly with Dawson falling for a duck and the steady 41 from Jake Hoosen with contributions from most of the top order saw walsden home off 30 overs.
A brief respite followed as Walsden visited Littleborough in the first round of the ntional ECB Cup. Littleborough scored 196 off their 45 overs with Chris Schofield constributing 72. A superb run chase saw Walsden home with only 2 balls to spare with Josh Gale 62 and Stevie Barker 51 not out being the main contributors.
On the 21st May 2016 Aisterlands visited Scott Street but rain finished the game with the Visitors on 47 for 2.
Walsden’s next game was at Crompton’s Glebe Street Ground. An excellent 70 by Josh Tolley was the main contributor in Crompton’s 169 with Josh gale being Walsden’s best bowler with 15 overs 4 for 49.
After a poor start Walsden were 7 for 2 but 36 from Josh Gale, 28 from Rawlinson, 35 from Umesh and an excellent 40 not out from Joe gale saw Walsden attain their target in the 42nd over.
On 29/5/16 Royton visited Walsden in the second round of the Wood Cup. Wxcellent bowling from Walsden restricted Royton to only 138, in particular Jamie Shackleton with a superb 10 overs 4-19. In reply Josh Gale with 66 and James Rawlinson 41 with a short cameo from Joe Gale saw Walsden win off just 29 overs.
Early June saw Glodwick at Walsden. A brilliant 141 not out from Jake Hoosen, 41 from Nick Barker and a quick fire 102 from Umesh meant that Walsden had scored their limited overs record score of 337-3 off their 50 overs. Jake’s score was the highest score by a Walsden amateur player in limited overs cricket. A superb knock from a very good young cricketer.
The excellent Shackleton with4-42, Umesh 3-66 and 2-6 at the end by Nick Barker ensured that Glodwick never got close and they were dismissed for 178 off 40 overs.
After their two semi final matches in the Lancashire Cricket Board Cup in recent years Walsden were hopeful of more success in 2016. Unfortunately, a rainy day at Ramsbottom and the dreaded bowl out meant the end of Walsden’s interest in this trophy for this year. The League game at Littleborough the day before was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Hyde Cricket Club were the next visitors in mid June to Walsden in the ECB National Cup Round 3. Some excellent batting from Walsden with Jake Hoosen 57, Josh Gale 44, Stevie barker 44and a brilliant late innings knock of 52 by Cameron Hanson sa Walsden to 256 off their 45 overs.
Hyde’s run chase was up with the rate right up until the last over which was bowled very well by Joe Gale leaving Hyde 13 short of their target. Josh Gale was the pick of Walsden’s bowlers with 3-33 off his 9 overs. A superb game of cricket played by 2 very good sides on a lovely sunny day (for a change).
The next visitors to Scott Street were Middleton who were bundled on for only 118 with Umesh taking 6-27 off his 10.5 overs. Walsden didn’t have it all their own way in reply and struggled to 121-7 with Nick barker scoring 16, James Rawlinson 22 and unbeaten 24 from Matt Dawson saw Walsden collect another 5 points.
Walsden visited Bamford on 19/6/16 in the Regional Final of the ECB Cup. Walsden were 119-7 with Nick Barker top scoring with 36 on a difficult wicket. Rain ended play for the day and because Walsden and Bamford couldn’t agree on an alternative date to play were forced to concede the tie. Late June saw Walsden visit Greenfield for another tricky game. Greenfield set what looked to be a challenging total of 202-6 off 40 overs with Aussie Pro James Muirhead scoring a very good 130 not out. However, a superb opening partnership of 176 between James Rawlinson 91, and Josh gale 88 not out saw Walsden home with 8 overs to spare.
Late June saw the main rivals Norden visit Walsden in the 2nd roundof the Wood Cup on another poor weather day. Walsden scored a very challenging 224-8 off their 50 oves with Nick Baker scoring an excellent 93 well supported by Matt Dawson 25, Umesh 25 and Cameron Hanson 23. Rain at teatime meant that Norden never started their run chase and the game was abandoned Walsden unusually won the bowl out, a rare event. Another rain affected game at Walsden in early July saw Walsden score a very good 162-3 off only 20 overs versus Monton with Jake Hoosen 50 not outand Umesh 58 not out being the main contributors. Monton were very much in the chase with their hard hitting Pro Jonkers on 89 not out off only 14 overs when more rain meant an end to the proceedings and another draw.
More rain in early July saw Norden@s League visit to Walsden again abandoned in the first innings with Norden on 107-3boff 20 overs.
Walsden’s next game was away at Rochdale. Walsden scored a challenging 145-7 off 36 overs (yes, rain affected again) with Nick Barker scoring 41, Stevie barker 22 not out and Josh Gale 20. Shackleton removed Aussie Pro Bosisto early on and Rochdale struggled to 116-6 off their allotted 36 overs with Shack taking 2 wickets and Umesh 4. Saddleworth entertained Walsden in the semi final of the Wood Cup on 17/7/16. Saddleworth batted first on a difficult wicket and excellent bowling saw them dismissed for only 103 for 43 overs. A superb bowling exhibition with Umesh and Stevie barker taking 3 wickets a piece. Saddleworth’s attack was very good with overseas player Akram and Pro Aslam, and at 49-6 Walsden’s chance of a final place looked very much in doubt until Joe Gale with a brilliant 33 not out and a cameo 10 not out from Callum Rushton saw Walsden to victory. A real nail biter.
A return to League action in late July 16 saw Royton visit Scott Street. Royton were largely dependent on Pro Khurana scoring runs and so when Josh Gale bowled him for 54 Royton managed to score 158 all out off 40.2 overs. Walsden’s bowling was excellent with Josh being the pick with 4-42. He carried on his excellent work with an unbeaten 77 as Walsden knocked off the required runs for the loss of 3 wickets off only 27 overs.
Next visitors to Scott Streest in the League were the high flying Saddleworth team. They posted a challenging 202 all out off 49.4 overs. Umesh was the pick of the bowlers with 6-45 followed by Joe Gale with 3-65. With Saddleworth’s excellent attack to cope with this was a challenging score and so it proved to be with Walsden managing to get the requiring 203 off 49.2 overs for the loss of 8 wickets. Jake Hoosen played an excellent anchor role scoring 79 with important contributions from Josh gale 39, Nick barker 21, James Rawlinson 24 and a superb 24 not out from Matt Dawson to see Walsden home, just.
Early August saw Walsden visit Austerland’s played in what could be politely called a ‘tricky wicket’. Austerlands batted first and pro Rana compiled an excellent 62 well supported by overseas player Fereira and his fellow opener Rashid. Austerlands were dismissed in the 45th over for 164 with Joe Gale picking up 4 wickets and Umesh 3. Walsden’s reply began disastrously with both openers, Josh and Jake being dismissed for 0. Stevie barker batting at 3 in place of his unavailable brother managed double figures of 14 as did Umesh 15 and Cameron Hanson 15. The tail didn’t wag and Walsden were dismissed for just 73 off 26.3 overs. A very poor display.
The Austerlands loss was not the ideal preparation for the Wood Cup Final the next day on 7/8/16 at Rochdale CC versus Rochdale who had beaten a very good Littleborough side in the other semi-final. On a cool cloudy but dry day Walsden won the toss and decided to bat on a well prepared(possibly over prepared) wicket. Rochdale’s attack with Bux, Harling and Pro Basisto to the fore bowled very well and early runs were at a premium. Josh Gale scored a very good 57 with early contributions from jake Hoosen 12, and Nick Barker 16. Umesh having survived a couple of early catching chances scored a useful 39 and late contributions from Stevie Barker 13 and Joe Gale 21 helped Walsden to a challenging 192 all out off the last ball of the innings.
Rochdale’s reply was looking very ominous at 62 for 0 but the introduction of Umesh and Nick Barkerinto the attack proved to be the turning point. Umesh dismissed opener Jack Avery for a good 26 but then Nick Barker’s slow ball accounted for Aussie Pro Bosisto for an excellent 51. At 148-7 Rochdale were struggling but late runs from Harling meant that Rochdale needed17 off the last nail biting over which was bowled by Umesh. Avery managed to score11 off the over in fading light but they ended up 6 runs off their target. Walsden’s bowling was excellent with Umesh 5-50 off his 10 and Nick Barker 1-27 off his 10 being the pick of the bowlers. A very good and exciting game played in an excellent spirit by both sides. Umesh was deservedly named man of the match.
A return to League action on 13/8/16 saw Crompton visit Scott Street. Crompton are always a dangerous side with some very good players. Opener Tolly set about the Walsden attack and scored an excellent 73 well supported by overseas amateur Louis 40 and Ste Wright 35. Late order runs took Crompton to 222 off their allotted 47 overs with Stevie Barker and Joe Gale picking up 3 wickets apiece. Walsden’s reply was a disaster. With Nick Barker again unavailable Walsden’s top order were blown away. Only Umesh managed double figures of 15 in the entire innings and Walsden were dismissed for only 63 0ff 16 overs. Si Wright had the excellent figures of 8-6-36 well supported by Zulfiqar 8-3-26. A very poor show with much improvement needed.
Another rainy day at Glodwich on 20/8/16 was abandoned with no play possible. Pre season favourites for the League , Littleborough visited Scott Street in late August but were without the outstanding Aussie batsman Clinton Perren who was on holiday. Walsden batted first and at 30-4 were in big trouble. However, a partnership of 144 between Nick Barker and Matt Dawson steadied the ship. After Dawson was dismissed by Chris Schofield for 103 Walsden had progressed to 226-6 off their 50 overs. Superb bowling from Shackleton saw him dismiss opener Taylor for 4 and then Schofield for 1. When Pro Serasinghe was run out or 4 the flood gates opened and Littleborough were dismissed for only 53. Walsden’s bowling was superb, Shackleton 6-2-9, Stevie barker 8-2-29, Umesh 5.5-3-5 and Josh Gale 3-2-4. A great win.
LANCASHIRE LEAGUE WINNERS 2018
Season 2018 was eagerly anticipated being Walsden’s first in the expanded Lancashire League with 24 teams playing one another once with the top 12 forming the top division and the other 12 the bottom division in 2019.
The first game of the season at Nelson was rained off as was the entire league program with the games being replayed in mid August.
Walsdens first game was a home encounter against Rishton which was won comfortably with Rishton being dismissed for only 78, Jamie Shackleton taking an amazing 6 for 9. The second game was expected to be an extremely tough encounter at Lowerhouse who were eventual runners up to Walsden. Umesh with 88 not out and Josh Gale 56 lead the way for Walsden setting a challenging total of 230. Three wickets apiece for Umesh, Joe Gale and Shack lead to Lowerhouse being dismissed for 127. A very good start.
Haslingden visited Scott St in early May and managed a reasonable total of 201, however 70 n.o. from Jake Hooson, 42 from Nick Barker and 56 n.o. from Umesh saw Walsden home in 42 overs. Next were Milnrow at home who were dismissed for only 35 with Shack and Stevie Barker taking 5 wickets apiece. Mid May saw Walsden have 3 games in a weekend which could is now termed the “Joe Gale Weekend”. Joe hit 102 n.o. off 45 balls in the T20 game at Milnrow which Walsden won on Friday evening, he then scored 62 not out in another tough game versus Rochdale on the Saturday before demolishing Formby in the Lancashire Cup on the Sunday with a superb 148 not out off just 92 balls. Rochdale set a challenging 229 in the Saturday game but 43 from Hooson, 59 from Matt Dawson and Joe's match wining knock saw Walsden home off 47 overs.
Sunday’s game against Formby was all but over at tea time after Joe had dispatched the ball all over the park to help Walsden set Formby 298 off 45 overs. They were dismissed for only 112 with Shack 4 wickets and Umesh 5 making short work of the opposition.
Late May saw Walsden visit the impressive Darwen team in the Worsley Cup. Darwen amassed an excellent 290. Walsden managed 262 in reply with Josh Gale contributing an excellent 98. This was the first of Walsdens 3 defeats in all games (excluding T20) during the entire season. Walsden had a comfortable league win at Enfield the day after, where Enfield scored 184-8. Excellent knocks from Hooson 67n.o., Nick Barker 47 and Umesh 39 n.o. saw Walsden home off 42 overs.
In early June Ramsbotton visited Scott St in another top of the table clash. Walsden were superb in the field and restricted Ramsbotton to 189. Josh Gale and Umesh taking 4 wickets apiece. A superb 106 n.o. from Josh Gale off 122 balls and 45 from Rawlinson saw Walsden home off 44 overs. This win meant that Walsden went to the top of the table where they remained for the rest of the season.
Saturday 9 June was a memorable day at Bacup when Josh Gale scored a punishing 160 off 151 balls which was the highest score by any Walsden amateur in limited overs (passing his brothers record of 148 achieved a few weeks earlier against Formby) and the highest ever score on Bacup’s Lanehead ground. A fantastic achievement by a very good cricketer. Walsden amassed 306 with Nick Barker also contributing 79. Umesh and Shack blew Bacup away for 143 with 5 wickets apiece.
An easy win in the Lancashire Cup at home v Greenfield followed before Norden visited Scott St for what traditionally has been a very difficult game. However not this time with Shack taking 5 for 38 in Nordens total of 75. Hooson 29 and Rawlinson 29 n.o. made short work of Norden’s total.
22 June 18 was Walsdens first competitive visit to Todmorden in the T20 competition. A large crowd saw Todmorden score 162 with Ben Pearson scoring a very good 85. In a nail biting finish Walsden scored the winning runs off the last ball of the game having lost 8 wickets.
Another large crowd watched Walsden’s first visit to Clitheroe on a glorious June day. 64 from Josh Gale and 51 from brother Joe were the main contributors in Walsdens 244-8. Walsden bowled very well to dismiss Clitheroe for 176 with Umesh taking 4 wickets including the key wicket of Pakistan international Fawad Alam.
Next visitors to Scott Street were East Lancs who were dismissed for only 76 with Shackleton bowling superbly to take 6-34. Walsden knocked off the runs for the loss of 3 wickets with Rawlinson top scoring with 38 n.o.
In early July Crompton visited Scott St in the last 16 of the LCF Cup. Walsden scored a useful 238 with Hooson, Nick Barker and Rawlinson all contributing 40 odd. Walsden dismissed Crompton for 127 with the Umesh/Shackleton double act taking the wickets.
Walsden’s involvement in the T20 competition ended in the last 8 in early July when a superb 256 by Clitheroe off their 20 overs at Scott St was too much for Walsden to chase down despite 60s from Umesh and Joe Gale, who were eventually dismissed for 190.
Another blistering performance the day after at Colne from Joe Gale with 119 n.o. off only 49 balls and 86 n.o. by Umesh saw Walsden amass 330-4. Colne were dismissed for 162 with Stevie Barker taking 4-28 and Martin Harlow 3-37.
Next on the receiving end were Great Harwood at Scott St when Walsden scored a L L season high of 355-8 (the fourth highest score in LL history) with 102 from Umesh, 76 from Josh Gale and 58 by Matt Dawson. Umesh then took 7-39 (the best professional bowling performance of the season) to dismiss Great Harwood for 182.
Another tricky encounter in late July was at Turf Moor, Burnley where the home team scored a challenging 189 after Shackleton and Harlow had taken 3 wickets apiece. However an excellent 103 no off 111 balls by Nick Barker and 55 from Hooson saw the visitors to their target off 41 overs.
Another very challenging game was Walsdens visit to eventual Liverpool Competition winners Northern CC in the last 8 of the Lancashire Trophy. Another great game ensued which Walsden narrowly lost in the penultimate over. Walsden scored a reasonable 193 off their 45 overs with Umesh scoring an excellent 76 and Josh Gale 43 against a very good Northern attack. At 48-3 Walsden were very much in the game but an excellent 67 no from Northern captain Cole saw Northern home.
Walsden were denied another victory against Littleborough at Scott St by, unusually in 2018, the rain. Walsden scored an excellent 281-6 with Jake Hooson hitting a classy 98 accompanied by Dawson 51 n.o. and Rawlinson 45. Littleborough were 51-1 off 13 overs when the rains intervened to result in a draw.
Another tricky encounter was the visit to Crompton's Glebe Street ground. Walsden were surprisingly invited to bat and another superb 93 from Hooson helped Walsden to 277-7. Crompton were dismissed for 154 with Umesh taking 4 wickets and Hooson 3 capping a fine day for the talented young all rounder.
Perhaps the best game of the season was Todmorden’s first league visit to Walsden. Todmorden batted first and scored 176 on a difficult wicket with Umesh taking 5-41. At 20 -4 Walsden were looking like their first league defeat may be on the cards, but 38 from Umesh, 62 from Joe Gale (to win him the man of the match) and a superb late order rear guard just saw them home with Cameron Hanson 14 n.o. and Martin Harlow 16 n.o. scoring the winning runs for the loss of 8 wickets, allowing Walsden to win their first silverware of the season, the Donald Rigg Challenge Trophy presented annually to the winners of this game in loving memory of Donald, Miriam Claxton and David Blake.
Another potential stumbling block was the game at Accrington, where the home side were dismissed for only 108 on a difficult wicket with Shack taking 4-40. However a steady tumble of Walsden wickets meant another nervy finish before Stevie Barker 12 n.o. and a brilliant 57 n.o. from opener Josh Gale guided Walsden home.
The rain affected rearranged first game v Nelson away was the next game in mid August and was again rain affected. Nelson managed 94 -7 off their 23 overs. The runs were chased down quickly with an impressive 42 n.o. from skipper Nick Barker.
In late August 2018 Middleton visited Scott St. A magnificent 132 n.o. off 161 balls from Jake Hooson well supported by Josh Gale 66 and Umesh 41 saw Walsden amass 314-5. Middleton were never in the game with Hooson taking 5-19 in a brilliant all round performance by him to dismiss the opponents for 169.
Going into the last 2 games on the season Walsden needed one win from the last 2 games. Unfortunately the penultimate game was at home against the very good Darwen outfit. Sub pro Lancs skipper Dane Villas top scored with 48 in the visitors 256 with good contributions all round from the rest of the team. At 20-3 Walsden were rocking and despite a battling 59 from Rawlinson and 22 from Hanson, Walsden were never in the hunt and were dismissed for 193 which was their first defeat in the league all season.
This meant that Walsden had to win at Rawtenstall to claim the title and deny Lowerhouse who were only 6 points adrift of Walsden. A superb 106 by Rawtenstall sub pro Powar meant that Walsden needed 184 to clinch the title for Walsden after Umesh had again bowled well to take 6-60. After a nervy start Jake Hooson and Nick Barker steadied the ship. A belligerent 39 off only 22 balls by Joe Gale in fading light with time running out gave Walsden the impetus they needed to gain victory with skipper Nick Barker carrying his bat for a match winning 59 n.o. A very nervy affair for players and spectators alike.
With Walsdens second team also wining the league on the same day a great night of celebration ensued (the seconds also won the Telegraph Trophy). A week later Walsden,s third team also won their league meaning that Walsden were the only club in Lancashire League history to win all three divisions in the same season.
Walsden firsts lost only 1 game all season but were only 6 points clear of the excellent Lowerhouse who were runners up, with Ramsbotton coming third and Lancashire Trophy winners Darwen who were 4th. All four were very good teams.
The first team league win was their 5th league title in the last 7 years and their third on the trot with two Pennine League Premier League Championships now followed by the Lancashire League.
As in previous years the strength in depth of both the batting (with 5 batsmen scoring hundreds) and bowling units, along with the commitment week in week out of this brilliant group of local cricketers was the main reason for this success, as the excellent averages/statistics below illustrate. The fielding and catching was excellent with Cameron Hanson leading the fielding unit by example, whilst Matt Dawson behind the stumps remains the best around.
Remarkably Josh Gale with 817 league runs was the highest run scorer in the entire league (including professionals) whilst Jake Hooson was 4th with 770 runs.
Umesh was the L L leading wicket taker in League games with 71 wickets and Jamie Shackleton 5th on the list with 48 league wickets.
Walsdens first season in the Lancashire League was very enjoyable and everyone is already looking forward to playing in the top division of what should be a very competitive league in 2019.
Chris Barker October 2018.