Nelson picked up a pair of victories at the weekend.
On a cool day at Bacup on Saturday, Nelson returned to winning ways, thanks largely to a wonderful first Lancashire League century from professional Ryan Canning, off 103 balls.
Bacup won the toss and put Nelson in to bat. Nelson lost both openers in the first 10 overs. Lewis Bradley was bowled by professional Haseeb Azam for 5 and Tyler McGladdery was bowled by Henry Butcher for 14.
Toxy Hussain made a breezy 28, passing the 500-run mark for the season, before he was brilliantly caught at slip by Tim Farragher but Canning and skipper Neil Thompson added 71 for the fourth wicket in 14 overs.
Thompson was then superbly caught by his opposite number, Matthew Thompson, in the gully for a good 29.
Russell Bradley was bowled, shouldering arms, for 0 and Joe Scuderi didn’t offer a shot and was adjudged lbw for 1 before Azam bowled Richard Meade for 6 and Nelson had slumped from 141-3 to 156-7. Mick Bradley scored 18 in a stand of 55 with Canning who piled on the agony for the opposition. He hit his first 50 off 51 balls, then took 27 balls to add a further 12 and then slammed 44 off the next 25. He hit 10 fours and 3 sixes.
Bacup’s target was 239 to win and were never in the hunt. Although Henry Butcher (15), Anthony Taylor (34) and Tim Farragher (24) took their side to 87, 26 overs had slipped by. Meade bowled well for his 3-25 and, in the closing stages, Nelson could afford the luxury of trying several fringe bowlers. McGladdery took 2-24 with his slow leftarm, and Hussain polished off the innings, taking 4-17, and now has 43 wickets for the season.
He has three more matches to get seven wickets for the minidouble of 500 runs and 50 wickets - a feat never before achieved by a Nelson player.
Bacup were all out for 159 in the 47th over.
Rishton visited Seedhill on Sunday, and Nelson claimed a four-wicket win. Rishton won the toss, elected to bat, but were soon in trouble. Meade had Brad Juliff lbw for 2, and Sam Halstead bowled Nathan Sharrock for 0.
Halstead had Ali Sartaj caught behind for 11 and Meade got Garth Wyse lbw for 1, while Paul Clifford was bowled for a duck by Halstead to make it 47-5.
Matt Lambert stayed a while as 33 runs were added in 12 overs. Thompson had Lambert caught at midoff for 15, then he trapped Scott Greaves in front for 1 and Ben Bridson also lbw for 0.
Although Nathan Charlesworth only scored 1, he shared in a ninth wicket stand of 26 before becoming Thompson’s fourth victim. Halstead had professional Matt Hulett caught at backward squareleg for 71.
Nelson had a target of 135 to win and had an early setback as McGladdery was caught behind in the first over. Lewis Bradley and Hussain, however, added 60 in 12 overs before Hussain was caught at midoff for 26.
Bradley was lbw to Sartaj for 31 but Canning and Thompson took Nelson to within 25 of the target before a mini collapse.
Canning dragged a ball from Scott Greaves on to his wickets and was out for 24 and Russell Bradley (3) and Chris Heap (1) soon followed to put Nelson on 114-6. Thompson kept his head and lead his team to victory, helped by Michael Bradley, who was 6 not out at the close.
Nelson are at home to Haslingden on Sunday.