Colne CC captain Matthew Walker hoping first setback of the season was just a blip

Colne's Andy Hakin
Colne's Andy Hakin

After winning eight games on the bounce in the Lancashire League’s second tier, Matthew Walker is hoping that Colne’s first defeats of the season were just a minor blip.

The Division Two leaders, who still lead the way by nine points, went down to a 55 run defeat by Middleton in a rain affected game at The Horsfield.

Andy Hakin took 5-38 to help restrict the visitors to 161-9 from their 50 overs. Richard Dempster was the highest scoring batsman when posting an unbeaten 53 while paid man Chris Williams and James Tierney added 21 apiece.

Professional Williams then wrecked Colne’s top order by taking 4-17 to have the home side struggling on 53-6 when rain ended the match after 26.2 overs. Adam Procter (16) and Tom Bradshaw (14) were the only men in double figures.

“It was disappointing to lose given the start that we’d had, but Middleton had the better of the conditions,” said captain Walker. “The wicket got wetter and it made it very difficult to bat on in the second half.

“It was a damp and wet wicket to start off with. Then the rain came down at the tea break. We got the rough end of the draw, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“In fairness to Middleton they bowled well. The professional bowled particularly well, using the conditions to his advantage.

“His performance coupled with the weather made it difficult to survive.

“We were well behind the run rate when the rain came again. That curtailed any hopes that we had.

“The lads were disappointed in the dressing room afterwards, but everyone was aware of the quality within this league.

“Middleton have been performing well, we knew they would be difficult opponents.”

Colne’s squeaky clean start to the campaign had already disappeared in to the ether prior to Sunday’s home loss.

They suffered a 10 wicket defeat against Clitheroe at Chatburn Road in the JWL Founders Group of the T20.

Colne’s future in the competition was left hanging in the balance when Eli Smith took 3-13 and Thomas Lord 3-6 to restrict them to 93-9, with professional James Price (23 not out) and Andy Hakin (19) the pick of the batsmen.

Chasing a revised target Charlie Dewhurst hit an unbeaten 23 to lead Clitheroe home in the sixth over.

Colne host Great Harwood in the T20 tonight, they’ll then challenge Littleborough for a place in the quarter-final of the Worsley Cup tomorrow before travelling to Lanehead to take on Bacup on Sunday.

Walker said: “We will regroup and see if we can go again.

“We’re ready to bounce back, get back to winning ways and embark on another run.

“We’ll go to Bacup and see if we can pick up another 10/12 points there.

“It will be a good test of character, seeing how we all react to it.

“It will show the mentality of the players. To get anything this weekend we’ll have to perform well with bat and ball and do everything to the best of our ability.

“We will look to dig deep and hope to get on a roll again. We’ll look for an immediate boost.”