Batting lets down Earby as they lose out to gritty Great Harwood

Richard Craddock was in action for Earby in their defeat to Great Harwood

Richard Craddock was in action for Earby in their defeat to Great Harwood

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A poor batting display saw Earby succumb to defeat against Great Harwood.

Alan Armer and Paul Houldsworth got Great Harwood off to a flyer putting on 83 for the first wicket in 15 overs, leaving Earby staring down the barrel of 250+ run chase.

Lee Parkinson broke the partnership when he had Houldsworth caught behind by Matt Garner for 41. Danny Kegg and Ian White had a bowl with no success and it wasn’t until the introduction of pro Dave Crotty in the 25th over that Earby had their second success. In his first over he had Freddie Timmins caught behind and Armer caught by Sam Munns for 61.

The Great Harwood pro Jack Wildermuth (24) and Charles Fernando (27) took the score to 169 before Crotty won the battle of professionals and had Wildermuth caught again by Munns. The returning Craddock clean bowled Fernando with the score on 181. The visitors tail of five folded like a pack of cards from then adding just 8 more before Craddock and Crotty mopped up those last five for a target of 190 to win. Craddock ended with 4 for 49 and Crotty 4 for 27 off nine overs.

The visitors opened with their professional Wildermuth and he struck immediately having Chris Walton caught behind second ball. Crotty joined Munns at the wicket but disaster soon struck, with 12 on the board, Munns (10) was caught again off the Harwood pro. Kegg was clean bowled first ball and Earby were in trouble. Fast scoring Matt Wilson hit 17 including four fours until he became Wildermuths fourth victim.

Rory Robinson came and went for five. Paul Houldsworth was introduced into the attack and put the final nail in the Earby coffin, trapping Crotty bang in front LBW for a patient 24. Andrew Jaggers dug in and kept the board crawling along but the Earby chase ran out of steam when Craddock (7) went followed by Jaggers for 24, Wildermuth made Garner (4) his fifth victim and Houldsworth Bowled Ian White to complete the win.