Mixed fortunes in double-header

DRAMATIC WIN: Richard Neade took 1-35 and hit 20 as Nelson beat Rishton by two runs on Saturday

DRAMATIC WIN: Richard Neade took 1-35 and hit 20 as Nelson beat Rishton by two runs on Saturday

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Nelson were winners at Rishton on Saturday after an exciting finish to a game which the visitors made hard work of.

But they came unstuck the following day at home to champions Lowerhouse.

On Saturday, after winning the toss, Nelson chose to bat but struggled to make any headway. Both openers, Tyler McGladdery (6) and Max Howells (7), were out early, and when Chris Heap went for eight in the 20th over, Nelson were only 30-3.

Ryan Canning and skipper Neil Thompson put on 95 for the fourth wicket in 22 overs, before Canning was bowled by his opposite number Dan Salpietro for 59.

Sean Lemon (4) and Lewis Bradley (0) were also victims of Salpietro, but Richard Meade made 20 vital runs at the end before he too lost his wicket to Salpietro. Thompson was still at the crease at the end with 55 in a total of 168.

Rishton scored quicker than Nelson in the early stages of their innings and, by the first drinks interval, had reached 36 without loss from 16 overs.

However, the loss of Salpietro’s wicket at 46 put a brake on their progression, Meade having him caught at the wicket for nine. The introduction of a dual spin attack of Harrison Phelan and Adil Ali initially then slowed the run-rate.

With four overs remaining, Rishton needed 29 runs with six wickets in-hand, but wickets began to tumble. Jimmy Bibby (50) and Mark Leathert (34) had put Rishton in pole position, but both were out in quick succession. Bibby was caught out by Phelan and Leathert was then run out.

Lemon, deputising for the absent Russell Bradley, smartly stumped Scott Greaves off Ali’s bowling for two, and the final over was reached with Rishton on 158 for seven.

Phelan bowled Garth Wyse for eight, and then had John Brown (5) caught in the deep.

Four runs were needed off the last ball, but Keegan Dobson was run out going for a second run. In the end, Nelson were winners by two runs.

On Sunday, Nelson were unable to prevent Lowerhouse maintaining the pressure on leaders Accrington at Seedhill.

Nelson won the toss and batted, and despite losing Howells in the first over for a duck, they had 38 runs on the board by the 13th over. But Lowerhouse made a double bowling switch which changed the momentum.

Paddy Martin, in particular, caused the damage by bowling out Chris Heap for 12 and then had McGladdery caught at slip for 22.

Canning (32) and Thompson (21) staged a recovery, adding 43 in 16 overs, but both fell in quick succession, Thompson to Joe Hawke and Canning to Martin.

Only Sean Lemon (15) made it into double figures after that, with Nelson’s score boosted by an unbroken last wicket stand of 27 by Meade (13) and Ali (12), but 163 was never going to be enough to defeat a rampant Lowerhouse, and so it proved, coasting to victory with four overs to spare.

There is another double-header this weekend, as Nelson travel to East Lancashire tomorrow before hosting Rawtenstall on Sunday.