Walsden beat title rivals

Actions from Walsden v Monton and Weaste cricket, at Walsden, Pictured is Stevie Barker
Actions from Walsden v Monton and Weaste cricket, at Walsden, Pictured is Stevie Barker

Walsden have given themselves a great chance of retaining the Pennine Cricket League title before their switch to the Lancashire League for 2018.

Nick Barker’s side beat arch rivals Norden by five wickets at Scott Street yesterday to take a six point lead in the Premiership after 12 games.

Victory completed a superb weekend for Walsden. They had gone into it two points behind Norden, who suffered a washout on Saturday while Barker’s men were winning away to Monton and Weaste by 47 runs.

An excellent all-round bowling display paved the way for victory yesterday. Five bowlers took wickets, led by Stevie Barker with three for 39, as Norden were dismissed for 148.

Naveed Zamurad showed the way for the Rochdale side but only two teammates made double figures.

Walsden lost openers Jake Hooson and Josh Gale with only one run on the board.

Former skipper James Rawlinson fell for 25 with the total on 35 but Nick Barker stood firm with a painstaking 40 not out off 127 balls.

Umesh Karunaratne hit 41 off 32 deliveries but at 97 for five there was still work to do.

However, the Barker brothers added 52 with Stevie finishing unbeaten on 28 as Walsden avenged an early-season defeat at Norden.

Todmorden followed up Friday’s T20 win at Rishton, which took them through to finals day, with a 26-run success at Church in the Lancashire League yesterday.

The visitors looked vulnerable to their lowly hosts when they only totalled 148, after being 72 for six.

Elliott Gilford (35) and skipper Andrew Sutcliffe (27) added 62, opener Ben Pearson having earlier contributed 27.

Kelly Smuts had only managed eight with the bat but trapped home pro Zain Abbas leg before in the first over of Church’s reply and the South African went on to pick up six for 45 as Church were dismissed for 122.

Victory keeps the Centre Vale men fourth in the table.