Colne running out of games to avoid creating unwanted record

Colne CC professional, shadley Van Shalkwyyk, tries his best to dislodge another Rawtenstall batsman.
Colne CC professional, shadley Van Shalkwyyk, tries his best to dislodge another Rawtenstall batsman.

Colne have seven games left to avoid the ignominy of becoming the only Lancashire League club not to win a single league fixture over an entire season.

The Horsfield side suffered a 17th defeat of the campaign on Saturdayv at Rawtenstall, before Sunday’s game at home to Ramsbottom was rained off.

Colne travel to face Church on Sunday - the only side they have beaten all season, in the Worsley Cup, by two wickets back in May.

However, the Hyndburn side had won eight games on the spin - including two against neighbours Nelson - before their clash at East Lancashire on Sunday was abandoned, with the Blackburn side looking like becoming a ninth-successive victim.

On Saturday, Matt Walker won the tossand decided to bat at Bacup Road.

After the early loss of Khurrum Nazir (2) and Saleem Qureshi (0), Gary Hunt and professional Shadley van Schalkwyk put on 45 for the third wicket, with the veteran run out for 25.

However, the South African continued to share 83 for the fourth wicket with Tayyib Jamil (37).

Van Schalkwyk hit eight fours in a 92-ball 69, but both he and Jamil were ousted by Keith Roscoe, who went on to claim 4-56.

Wickets tumbled after that pairing returned to the pavilion, with only Kenton Rhodes (15) and Daneyal Qasim (12) making double figures as with Imran Abid added 3-33, with Colne all out for 191, with seven balls left in the innings.

In reply, Colne had some early joy with the ball as both openers Sam Kershaw (12) and Dean Barlow (1) were out with just 19 on the board - dismissed by van Schalkwyk and Qasim respectively.

Chris Cook-Martin (22) added 25 with professional Brett Pelser, before he became the second of van Schalkwyk’s 3-52, and when Barlow returned a catch to the South African, Rawtenstall were 53-4.

But Pelser, who went on to make an unbeaten 57 from 85 balls, shared an unbroken 141 stand with Peter Wrathmell to see Rawtenstall home with 12 and a half overs to spare.

Wrathmell finished with 69 not out - his best Lancashire League score.

The following day, Colne’s desperate search for a first league win saw them frustrated by the weather as they home game with Ramsbottom was washed out.

Paid man van Schalkwyk again anchored the innings with 46, while Qureshi added 19 as the hosts made their way to 126-9, only for the rain to bring an abrupt halt to proceedings after 42 overs.

Ramsbottom captain Jon Fielding claimed 4-34, as he moved past 50 wickets for the campaign, while wicketkeeper Tom Parton also finished with five victims behind the stumps.