Nelson still looking for their first win

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NELSON remain winless after the first three games of the new season.

But they have ended their search for a new professional by landing former Church paid man Luke Woodcock.

The 29 year-old New Zealander replaces Burton de Wett who failed to get a visa on the eve of the season.

The left hander will make his debut at Haslingden tomorrow, and his home bow the following day against Bacup.

Last Saturday, Adrian Gordon, a Jamaican-born American, tried his best to end Nelson’s duck as the locals entertained Enfield, but he couldn’t force the victory on his own.

After a nervous start, his batting blossomed, cutting and driving with ferocity. He hit 10 fours and five sixes in a quite spectacular 92.

Then, with his bowling, he was a little erratic but produced genuine pace.

At one stage he had 5-41, helping to restrict Enfield to 147-8, but the visitor’s Sagawat Hussain kept his head to record a match-winning, undefeated 76 off 51 balls as he hit 12 fours and four sixes.

Nelson won the toss and batted first, but struggled to score runs initially.

At the halfway stage, the score was only 54-4, Stuart Lemon (14) and Neil Thompson (16) being the only batsmen to reach double figures.

When Sean Lemon was out for 12 in the 32nd over, Nelson were 86-5. This became 93-6 three overs later when skipper Thomas Lord was caught off a skyer for one.

Khurrum Nazir and Gordon put together an entertaining partnership of 74 in 44 minutes. Their stand was ended when Gordon, attempting another big hit, was stumped in the 49th over.

Enfield’s target was 178, and they scored twice as fast as Nelson, before suddenly starting to lose wickets regularly.

By the 15th over, Enfield were 71-4 with Gordon and Nazir claimimg two wickets each.

That, however, was when Hussain came to the crease.

Hussain was particularly severe on Lord and Toqir Hussain but then couldn’t get back on strike as Gordon removed Afzal, Maudsley and Bracewell in quick succession.

In the latter stages, Nelson conceded far too many extras, mainly wides and no-balls.

However, the ease with which Hussain hammered the final 20 runs was amazing and Enfield won with more than 18 overs to spare.

Then on Sunday, Lowerhouse eased past Nelson at Liverpool Road.

Batting first, Nelson opened confidently with openers Lickess and Stuart Lemon in little trouble.

Lemon was the more aggressive, and Nelson had reached 47 in the 15th over before Lickess was caught at cover point off Francois Haasbroek.

In the same over, Nelson sub professional Glen Batticciotto didn’t play a shot and was given out lbw.

Wickets fell at regular intervals with Haasbroek, Finch and Fergus Bailey bowling an accurate line and length.

Visiting captain Lord tried to play an attacking innings in response, but was well held on the boundary edge by Johnny Whitehead.

Nelson were dismissed for 151 in the 47th over, with Hassbroek taking 5-65, Finch 3-29 and Bailey 1-13.

Lowerhouse’s opening batsmen Finch and Whitehead then set about establishing a platform for the innings.

Both batsmen played some attractive shots, particularly straight against Richard Meade and Batticciotto, before Whitehead was run out with the score on 40 after 10 overs.

Martin joined Finch and again looked in good touch after his excellent innings on the previous day.

A second run out occurred, but the innings was progressing at more than the required rate as Finch completed an excellent half century.

Nazir took two wickets in consecutive overs to dismiss Finch with an excellent return catch, and bowling Bleazard.

Haasbroek began to show his ability with the bat as his confidence grew, and he and Charlie Cottam were unbeaten when the target was reached.

l Nelson seconds had two wins at the weekend.

First they beat Enfield, having totalled 167 - with Lewis Bradley making 37, before bowling Enfield out for 118, with Steve Eardley taking four wickets and Waqas Tahir five.

Against Lowerhouse, Nelson made 229-7, with 71 from Chris Heap, 40 from Tom Bradshaw and 43 from Chris Willan.

Lowerhouse were all out for 79 as Colin Pemberton claimed six wickets.