Lewis keeps his head as Nelson edge past Bacup

FINE SCORE: Max Howells, pictured bowling against Accrington, hit 43 with the bat in Nelson's win over Bacup at Seedhill on Saturday

FINE SCORE: Max Howells, pictured bowling against Accrington, hit 43 with the bat in Nelson's win over Bacup at Seedhill on Saturday

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Nelson beat Bacup with a ball to spare at Seedhill on Saturday.

Bacup elected to bat first after winning the toss and scored 25 runs from the opening 10 overs, but were pegged back by the fall of three quick wickets.

Jo Sipocz was caught at point by Lewis Bradley off Neil Thompson for seven whilst Matt Collinge (10) and Aaron Fielding (0) were lbw victims to Thompson and Richard Meade respectively.

An excellent stand of 149 between skipper Joe McCluskie and professional Aubrey Swanepoel rescued Bacup and provided the springboard to set a big target.

Nelson tried many different bowlers but none could supply the line and length to trouble the batsmen, and conceding 30 wides didn’t help.

Swanepoel, who hit eight fours and a six in a 80 ball 70, was eventually out caught immediately after hitting that six. McCluskie soon followed, caught behind for 56 after hitting four fours and two sixes.

Matt Thompson and Paddy Howley kept the runs flowing, adding a further 43 in seven overs before Thompson was bowled by Toqir Hussain for 31.

Howley finished unbeaten on 28 as Bacup ended their innings on 244-6.

The pick of the Nelson bowlers was Neil Thompson who returned 3-54 from 15 overs although Hussain’s figures of 1-38 could have been better had four catches not been grounded.

Nelson’s reply began disastrously with Tyler McGladdery caught behind in the first over for 0.

Max Howells and Ryan Canning, however, steadied the ship and runs began to build at a good pace - 47 from 10 overs and 83 from 20.

Howells, with two fours and two sixes, lost his wicket in the next over though, bowled by McCluskie for 43.

David Crotty came and went without troubling the scorers but skipper Thompson and professional Canning kept Nelson in the game with a stand of 81 from 17 overs.

After hitting five fours in a 97-ball innings, Canning was bowled by Sipocz for 79 - his highest league score.

Thompson faced 82 balls, hit six fours and a six, and was run out, attempting a second run, for 79 - his highest ever league score.

Russell Bradley was caught for 13 and the final over arrived with Nelson needing six to win. A single from Richard Meade, followed by two dot balls, kept the nerves jangling. No need to worry - Lewis Bradley promptly clouted two boundaries for Nelson to win with one ball to spare.

Nelson travel to Rawtenstall on Sunday.