In form Nelson ease into Worsley Cup semi-finals

Nelson pro Ryan Canning in action
Nelson pro Ryan Canning in action

Nelson continued their unbeaten run on Saturday with an emphatic victory over Haslingden in the quarter-finals of the Worsley Cup.

Haslingden won the toss and elected to bat first but Nelson’s opening attack soon put them on the back foot. Sam Halstead had Phil Hayes caught behind for three and trapped Graham Knowles lbw for 13. In between those wickets, the visiting professional, Brenton Parchment, playing back to Halstead, survived a strong appeal for lbw when on five.

Alex Coleman was run out by a direct throw from Toxy Hussain before Neil Thompson claimed two quick wickets. Parchment was eventually given out lbw to Thompson after making a streaky 27 and Anthony Harris was well caught at long-on by Harrison Phelan for two. Matt Griffin became another run out victim after scoring 19 and, when Lee Ingham was bowled by Hussain, without offering a stroke, for eight, Haslingden had collapsed to 103-7.

Jack Taylor and Jordan Shannon put on 46 for the eighth wicket before the former was given out lbw to Richard Meade for a top score, except for extras, of 29. Shannon (17) and Jake Neary (two) were dismissed in identical fashion – caught by Halstead at long-on off the bowling of young Phelan.

Nelson’s target was 157 and Lewis Bradley and Tyler McGladdery put them well on their way with an opening partnership of 32 inside 10 overs. Bradley was lbw to Griffin for nine and McGladdery soon followed, caught behind for 18. So it was then up to Toxy Hussain and Ryan Canning to steady the boat. Hussain made 20 before he was bowled by Ingham when the score had reached 69. For once, Thompson failed with the bat and departed, lbw to Ingham, for one.

However, Canning played most responsibly as he gradually built a match winning innings. He was helped in no small way with an equally steady innings from Russell Bradley who was unbeaten on 26 at the end. Canning progressed to 45 with the aid of four fours as Nelson reached 155 in the 42nd over. Then, in attempting to win the match with a six, his hit fell short and went for his fifth four to finish on 49 not out.

Nelson’s run of victories came to an end at Ramsbottom on Sunday under very trying circumstances.

Rain did not arrive until after Nelson had completed their innings, having meekly submitted to the leg-spin of Daryn Smit. Only Lewis Bradley came away with any credit as he hit three of the five Nelson boundaries in a knock of 27. Professional Ryan Canning top scored with 28 but was never on top of the bowling as the Ramsbottom attack took wickets almost at will.

Tyler McGladdery, Neil Thompson, Russell Bradley and Nick Burton all recorded ducks and Harrison Phelan was the only other batsman to reach double figures. Smit, Ramsbottom’s South African professional, mesmerised the Nelson batsmen and took 6 for 29 in his 17 overs.

Ramsbottom’s target was exactly 100 but two prolonged rain showers changed the situation completely. After the first interruption, Ramsbottom scored eight without loss from two overs before more rain came. When the weather did eventually clear, there was only time for a further 13 overs. Ramsbottom claimed the right to attack the full target in the time available.

All the odds were stacked in favour of the batsmen and Tom Parton raced to a carefree fifty, hitting seven fours. Smit was equally fluent as he made 42 before being dismissed with only five required for victory. Parton won the match with a boundary off the first ball of the last over.

Next week-end sees Nelson with a free date on Saturday followed by the eagerly awaited home derby with Colne on Sunday.