Honourable defeats for Colne

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Colne suffered a double defeat last weekend, but fighting spirit and a strongly wagging tail made both matches competitive.

On Saturday at Rawtenstall, Colne collapsed to 62-6 before professional Mansoor Amjad steadied the ship with good support from the lower-order batsmen.

Successive partnerships of 48 with Walker, 25 with Lambert, 26 with Nigel Rimmer and 35 with Wallbank took Colne to 196-9, and Mansoor’s share was a beautiful, chanceless 109 not out.

Rawtenstall’s innings, like Colne’s, was built around the professional.

The big moment came at 103-3, when Matthew Walker just failed to hold onto a difficult one-handed chance from pro Cooray.

Dangerous amateur Andrew Payne was out from the next ball, and if the chance could have been held, Colne would have been clear favourites.

But the pro survived to make 95 not out, and Rawtenstall won by four wickets.

Wallbank took 3-45, with wickets off the first ball of each of his first two overs.

On Sunday, Colne lost the toss and had to field first, after a delayed start due to rain.

A second wicket partnership of 81, interrupted by another half-hour rain break, gave East Lancs a good start, and South African pro Erasmus made a bright 67 to take them to 186-6 from 44 overs.

Lewis Rimmer (pictured) batted very well indeed for 42, but he wasn’t supported by the top order and Colne found themselves in deep trouble at 93-8.

But the diehard spectators who outlasted the damp autumnal weather saw a fightback as John Lambert (35) and Nigel Rimmer (39 not out) provided visions of an unlikely victory.

By the time the rain came back, with four overs to go, Colne needed another 30 with Rimmer and Wallbank at the crease.

Even in pouring rain, the umpires thankfully resisted any temptation to come off, and the target was brought down to 13 off the last over from Nick Turner.

But a dot and a single off the first two balls made victory unlikely, and when Wallbank fell for nine off the third ball, Colne had lost by 11 runs – though the late flourish did at least mean they earned four bonus points in defeat.

The first team have a rearranged home game with Accrington tomorrow, and then travel to Ramsbottom on Sunday, while the second XI play Ramsbottom at home, start time 1 p.m.