Former pro inspires Colne to victory

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COLNE chalked up their second win of the season with victory at East Lancashire on Sunday, after suffering their second defeat of the campaign to champions Ramsbottom the previous day.

Colne, who are still without a professional, engaged the services of last year’s professional Anwar Ali at Alexandra Meadows.

Ali is now playing as professional with Morecambe in the Northern League.

Colne won the toss and elected to field.

The East Lancs openers got off to a good start, with Pearson looking dangerous, but, with the score on 56, Bhada was caught by Hoyle off the bowling of Jeff Ellis.

Turner was the next batsman in, and he and Pearson put on a very useful 67 to take the score to 123, when that wily old spinner Gary Hunt dismissed Turner, who was caught behind by Sam Tillotson.

Nathan Whitehead was brought on to bowl and he and Ali turned the face of the game.

Wickets tumbled at regular intervals as Whitehead’s consistent line and length saw him take 4-29 as he and Ali ripped out the East Lancs middle order.

Ellis took two fine catches along with an excellent stumping from wicketkeeper Tillotson.

Pearson was the top scorer for the home side with 74 as the East Lancs innings closed on 187-8.

Colne’s innings was heavily affected by the persistent rain showers, during which their target score and available overs was being constantly adjusted.

Colne needed to score 127 runs off 24 overs.

Ellis turned back the years and was back to his old form with a match-winning innings of 65.

He was ably supported by sub-pro Ali who remained not out on 39 as he and David Hoyle steered Colne home to a fine victory with one ball to spare as they finished on 127-4.

On Saturday at The Horsfield, Colne were beaten by Ramsbottom.

There was a lengthy delay to the start of the game following heavy showers during the morning.

When play finally began at 3-30 p.m., the umpires decided that it would now be a 28-over game.

Whitehead bowled exceptionally well from The Grange end to remove Jamie Pilling and professional Shannon Stewart just as they were looking to get into full swing.

Colne continued to bowl tightly, and as Ramsbottom tried to push the score along wickets tumbled at a regular rate.

John Lambert, with a youthful spring in his step, which belies his years, was the pick of the Colne bowlers, taking 4-24 which included a stunning caught and bowled.

Ryan Duerden also bowled well, taking 2-38 as Ramsbottom were restricted to 152 for the loss of nine wickets off their 28 overs.

Unfortunately, Colne’s innings never really got going, and only the openers Ellis (21) and Lewis Rimmer (21) troubled the bowlers.

When they were dismissed, the batting collapsed until Hunt (11 not out) and Ryan Duerden (12) staged a last- wicket recovery until Duerden was bowled and Colne were all out for 85.

Tomorrow, the thirds are away to Burnley and on Sunday it is derby day with the firsts playing Nelson at Seedhill.

l BARROWFORD recorded an excellent victory away at high-flying Cullingworth, in a rain-reduced 25-over game.

Barrowford set an impressive 171, as F. Bailey (55) and N. Burton (32) provided a rapid start.

Cullingworth’s reply stated slowly due to a fine catch from A. Smith off the bowling of D. Jones, before M. Clark (2-50) and C. Platt (2-16) restricted the home side to 143.

The second team strolled to their fourth consecutive victory of the season at home to Sandy Lane.

On a difficult surface, Barrowford set 130, P. Husband top-scoring with 31.

The visitors were bowled out for only 63, A. Choudhry, A. Hunt, J. Ormerod and J. Coates sharing the wickets.