Weather Icon °C
Here’s how the last day of the Pennine Cricket League transpired
Tuesday 19th September 2017 @ 09:32 by Mark Phillip
Oldham Sports

A bare two seasons after coming into being the Pennine League subsided into the history books on Sunday.  A handful of 3rd XI games remain but to all effects at senior level the competition branded “A Whole New Ball Game” at its launch in October 2015 is no more, as the constituent Clubs now look forward to 2018, be that in the Greater Manchester or Lancashire Leagues.

The destination of the silverware had been confirmed a week earlier as Walsden took the Premiership title, (and thus having the unique honour of being the sole winners of that Division having been champions in 2016 as well), and Middleton, following relegation in 2016, romping home with the Championship.  Sundays games were really about little more than pride as the Clubs bade farewell to the ill-fated competition.

Four games failed to get underway following the downpours over the previous week with conditions underfoot too precarious for the umpires liking.  So it was a watery end at Saddleworth; Stayley; Friarmere and Shaw, although there was a difference of opinion at the latter.  The umpires deemed it unfit for play, much to the discontent of players from both teams.  After the official abandonment the Shaw and Oldham players agreed to a friendly.  The outcome was reported as a “fantastic game”, although the winners were not disclosed.

There was Premiership action in four games and the pick of it was undoubtedly at champions Walsden where Monton were the visitors.  The home team posted 192 thanks largely to an opening partnership of 93 between Jake Hooson, (46) and Josh Gale, (50). Pro, Umesh Karunaratne, so prolific this year, failed, departing first ball, as 6 wickets fell for 18.  A recovery enabled them to total 192.  For Monton, Josh Lenihan picked up 5-43. In reply, a weather break reduced the Monton target to 169, and Lenihan made it a great all-round performance with 64.  The dash for runs, allied to a great return from Karunaratne, (5-41), saw the last 8 wickets fall for 26, as the game ended in a tie.  Monton ended up in 3rd spot. It was certainly an entertaining end to the season at Scott Street.

Elsewhere in the Premiership, with runners up Norden and 4th placed Rochdale rained off, Greenfield cemented 5th place with an emphatic maximum points win at Austerlands. Having totalled 188-8 they routed the home team for 70, and secured a 118 run win.  Over at Glodwick it was the Franco Lenhardt show.  He top scored with 62, (assisted by Anees-ur-Rehamn with 61), in Glodwick’s 174-9 in a game reduced to 37 overs a side.  It was far too many for Heyside who finished 60 adrift, totalling 114, as Lenhardt ran through them, capturing 5-12.  Littleborough fell for 97 at Crompton, Adam Good finishing the season with an impressive 5-31.  Simon Wright’s side romped home inside 17 overs, with Denis Louis, (50*), leading the way.

In the Championship, title winners Middleton eased to a 5 wicket victory at Milnrow having dismissed the home team for 72.  Uppermill took the honours towards the top of the table.  Taking on 2nd placed Royton they compiled 218, with Paul Thompson top scoring with 60.  For the Paddock outfit, Nickolas Maxwell put in a useful stint finishing with 5-65. The Royton reply was shortened after a rain delay, leaving them a stiff target of 186 from 27 overs. They fell 37 short, despite a fighting contribution of 57 from Liam Brown.  The win meant that Uppermill leapfrogged Royton to finish runners-up.  At the Coppice Werneth set Moorside 155 for victory.  Ali Muzaffar with 91 made the only meaningful contribution.  Moorside got home with ease, losing only three wickets, with overseas man Ruan Havenga leading with the way with 58*.  Ashton’s dismal campaign ended much as it had started.  Hollinwood finished on 203-8 and the Reyner Lane side folded for just 43 in reply.

Summary Scores

Premiership: Austerlands 70ao v Greenfield 188-8; Crompton 99-4 v Littleborough 97ao: Glodwick 174-9 v Heyside 114ao; Walsden 192ao v Monton 169ao match tied; Saddleworth v Rochdale and Stayley v Norden both abandoned

Championship: Ashton 43ao v Hollinwood 203-8; Milnrow 72ao v Middleton 73-5; Uppermll218ao v Royton 149ao; Wermeth 154ao v Moorside 156-3; Friarmere v Micklehurst and Shaw v Oldham both abandoned