Nelson put in a remarkable performance to beat league leader Rawtenstall on Sunday.
Due to the storm on Saturday night, some moisture had found its way onto the wicket and, when the visitors won the toss, they decided to bowl first.
It was always going to be a tricky wicket to bat on but Nelson made a decent effort. Lewis Bradley and Tyler McGladdery made 36 for the first wicket before the latter pushed a catch into the hands of short third-man after scoring 7. Toxy Hussain was caught behind, first ball, but professional Ryan Canning prevented any further set-backs.
After striking four boundaries, Bradley danced down the wicket to the wily Keith Roscoe and was stumped for 29. The wickets of Canning (13) and Russell Bradley (1) quickly followed and Nick Burton spent some time trying to master Roscoe’s spin. When Roscoe won that particular battle, getting Burton lbw for 0, Nelson had slipped to 79 for 6.
Neil Thompson and Harrison Phelan took Nelson past the 100 mark before the former was bowled by Rizwan Shafiq for 27. The best stand of the innings followed, with Phelan hitting a career best of 29 while veteran Michael Bradley made a valuable 12 as they put on 39 for the eighth wicket. Both were run out in the closing overs, as was Richard Meade (5) off the very last ball of the innings. Mr Extras was the top scorer with 30 in Nelson’s 153 all out.
The Nelson bowlers got off to a wonderful start, Sam Halstead bowling Sam Kershaw for a duck and then getting Vinny Hanson caught behind for 6. Richard Meade then had William Cook-Martin caught behind for 0 to put the visitors on 12 for 3. Neil Thompson took over from Meade and immediately dismissed Peter Wrathmell, thanks to an outstanding overhead catch by Canning at short mid-on. Another fantastic catch, this time by Phelan on the deep mid-wicket boundary, put paid to Dean Barlow’s innings on 1.
Rawtenstall’s best partnership was between professional Brett Pelser and Ellis Hussey as they added 18 for the sixth wicket. But when Hussey was lbw to Toxy Hussain for 13, the rest of the innings collapsed. Thompson took 4 -8 and Hussain 3-6 as the visitors capitulated for 45. Pelser, having faced 57 deliveries in a stay of 76 minutes, was last man out, caught on the long-on boundary by Thompson for 11. The league-leaders had been beaten by an astonishing 108 runs.
Next weekend sees Nelson host Haslingden in a Worsley Cup quarter-final on Saturday followed by a league visit to Ramsbottom on Sunday.
Nelson shocked holders Lowerhouse in Group C with a 24 run win at Seedhill. Home professional Ryan Canning hit an unbeaten 61, Tyler McGladdery 19 and Russell Bradley 17 in Nelson’s 135-7. Cobus Pienaar took 4-18 for the holders. Richard Meade took 3-26 to restrict Lowerhouse to 111-8. Jonny Whitehead made 25, Pienaar 16, skipper Charlie Cottam 15, Fergus Bailey an unbeaten 13 and Joe Hawke 13.
Nelson are away to Todmorden in Twenty20 action this evening.