Gary Hunt calls time on illustrious career with Colne

Gary Hunt
Gary Hunt

COLNE lost both weekend games - and Horsfield stalwart Gary Hunt announced his retirement after a cricketing career spanning well over 30 years.

The locals lost to Burnley in their latest Twenty/20 game against Burnley on Friday night, before being comprehensively beaten at home to Bacup in a rain-affected game on Sunday.

Afterwards, Hunt revealed he is to call it a day, and he will have been disappointed to have gone out on a low after experiencing many highs in his time with Colne - most notably the victory in the 1999 Worsley Cup final against East Lancashire.

Gary is to continue his involvement with the club as coach to the first X1.

Nigel Rimmer, the present second X1 captain steps up to take over the reigns of the first team.

On Friday, Colne lost to Burnley, due mainly to the efforts of their former player Qasim Ali, who was the man of the match.

On a beautiful evening, there was a party atmosphere at the Horsfield.

Unfortunately, Burnley were to poop the party as Ali scored a scintillating 84 runs as he blasted the Colne attack away.

All the Colne bowlers suffered, with the exception of Trushar Patel who took 1-19 off his four overs. Burnley finished on 175-5 off their 20 overs.

Colne would really need to work hard to get near that score. Mitesh Desai, fresh from his match winning-knock at Darwen, and Matthew Wilson opened the batting. Unfortunately, they were soon back in the pavilion.

Professional Mansoor Amjad and Bhavin Patel began to put on a decent stand, but after a couple of lusty blows Patel miscued and was caught out for 13. David Hoyle approached the crease with menace and determination, but after supporting the professional well for a couple of overs, he decided to try to up the momentum and was wonderfully caught by Ali on the boundary. Amjad continued to push the score along with the support of Sam Tillotson (8) and Matthew Walker. He soon reached his 50 and there was a possibility that the massive Burnley score might be overhauled.

Ali then pulled off another magnificent catch in the covers to dismiss Walker.

David Wallbank, in his swashbuckling style, hit some lusty blows to score a quick 15, but when Amjad was dismissed by Burnley skipper Steve Brunt, for an excellent 74, Colne ran out of steam and fell 25 runs short.

Then on Sunday, Colne were taken apart by Bacup’s big-hitting South African professional Jon-Jon Smuts, who was playing his last game before he returned home to join an emerging players training camp.

Bacup got off to a lively start with openers McGregor and Taylor putting on 48 quick runs before Taylor was caught and bowled by Walker for 13. McGregor went soon after to a catch from wicketkeeper Tillotson off Walker.

This brought Smuts to the crease and he soon laid into the Colne bowling attack. No one was spared as he rattled off 15 fours and 11 sixes in his score of 170. He was more than abley supported by Tim Farragher who scored 84 in a stand of 243 for the third wicket. Bacup went on to score 316-6. Hunt took 3-38.

Rain fell as the sides took tea and the start of the Colne innings was delayed.

Their target was reduced as a result but, nevertheless, it was still a daunting 207 from 27 overs. The wickets ofColne openers Jeff Ellis and Lewis Rimmer fell early, and then Amjad and Matthew Wilson played some good cricket in their stand of 37.

Wilson looked back to his best and it was unfortunate when he was dismissed for 18 by a fine piece of stumping from McGregor. Tillotson and Nathan Whitehead failed to trouble the scorers, but when firstly Bhavin Patel (32) and Walker (32 not out) joined Amjad at the crease there was suddenly a glimmer of hope.

But unfortunately, Amjad fell to a fine catch, off the bowling of Smuts, having scored an excellent 67 runs.

Colne finished on 157-7, which meant that they did salvage one bonus point from a game which was dominated from start to finish by Smuts, who took 5-78. Man of the match and most definitely an up and coming star of the future.

Colne play Lowerhouse in the next leg of the Twenty20 competition tonight at Liverpool Road.

The thirds play Enfield at Colne tomorrow, and the first X1 are away to Rishton in the league on Sunday.