It was another pointless weekend for Colne in the Lancashire League on Sunday, as Ramsbottom won by 105 runs at Acre Bottom.
Colne never looked like adding to their four wins so far this season, against second in the table Ramsbottom, who needed a win to keep alive their forlorn hopes ofwinning the championship.
As it happened, their win was in vain, as Lowerhouse beat Todmorden to ensure they win the league with two games to go.
Ramsbottom won the toss and chose to bat. Khurrum Nazir and Andy Hakin opened the bowling, and after a loose couple of overs each, bowled well.
Nazir was involved in all of the first four wickets, taking two slip catches off Hakin and collecting two wickets of his own, one bowled and one lbw.
Ramsbottom were 51-4 and the game perhaps in the balance.
The next couple of partnerships took the game away from Colne.
Although the Colne bowlers were quite successful at keeping professional Zohaib Khan off the strike, amateurs Jonny Dack (29) and Robert Read (30) each shared in fifty partnerships with the pro.
Dave Wallbank received a reward for a good spell when he bowled Khan’s middle stump for 64, but Ramsbottom’s innings reached 174-7 from the 50 overs, which was a challenging target on a wet wicket.
One positive for Colne was that they managed to bowl the entire 50 overs without giving away a wide or a no ball.
It was not the wicket that was responsible for Colne’s collapse in the second innings.
It looked muddy but played true, and it was the quality of the bowling that undid Colne.
Openers Mick Haslam and Simon Read both bowled very tight lines, finishing with combined figures of 4-19 from their 17 overs.
Professional Ali Azmat (pictured) was able to keep his wicket intact without looking able to push the score along, and apart from Alex White (10) and Matt Walker (7), none of the amateurs could shape at all against Jonathan Fielding.
The former professional took 5-26 with his slow left arm bowling, and Colne’s amateurs mustered 23 between them, with five ducks, in an all out score of 69.
The last wicket partnership was the highest of the innings, worth 17, as Azmat finally cut loose and scored a few boundaries.
On Sunday, Colne play the last home game of the season, against Rawtenstall.