Nelson had mixed fortunes over the weekend with a 19-run win over Enfield and a last-ball defeat to Todmorden.
Rain ended Nelson’s hopes of maximum points against Enfield on Saturday. With eight overs remaining, Enfield were 123-9, chasing 164-8.
The last eight overs were not bowled, however, leaving Nelson with 10 points.
Rain saw play start at 1.48 p.m., making it a 44-over affair. Nelson won the toss and elected to bat, and, despite losing Tyler McGladdery for three, Lewis Bradley and Toxy Hussain saw the opening bowlers off as Nelsonreached 55-1 from 12 overs. The pair added 62 for the second wicket before Bradley was run out for 26.
Hussain and Ryan Canning then put on 53. But Hussain, having hit seven fours in a sparkling 75, was caught at cover. Wickets began to fall rapidly after that and only Canning made it into double figures. He spent 55 balls gathering 29 runs, with only one boundary. Nelson were 164-8 at the close.
Enfield’s start was cautious, and Richard Meade removed both openers. Liam Bedford (3) was caught off a misstimed hook and Greg Jones was lbw for 17.
Professional Werner Coetsee and skipper Adam Bracewell steadied the boat, although Coetsee was dropped on 17. It looked like an expensive miss as they took the score to 95-2 with 18 overs left.
Hussain then trapped Coetsee for 33 to start an amazing collapse. Bracewellsoon followed, smartly caught behind by Russell Bradley for 30. Five more wickets followed for the addition of only six runs, thanks to some superb fielding. Kieran Demaine (5) was run out; Liam Jackson (1) run out by a direct throw from Neil Thompson; Joe Wrigley (1) brilliantly caught on the squareleg boundary by Harrison Phelan, and Chris Maudsley (1) went to another fantastic catch by Lewis Bradley at mid on. Hussain then completed the second five-wicket haul of his Nelson career, and second collection of the day, getting Ben Dowling lbw for 0. He had 5-26 – his best-ever return.
Unfortunately the rain came one over later and Enfield finished on 123-9.
Nelson then lost on the last ball of a highscoring game at Todmorden.
Nelson won the toss and decided to bat, but got off to a terrible start. Lewis Bradley lost his wicket on the second ball, caught behind off a very quick Michael Neser and McGladdery (5) went in the second over, lbw to Gideon Foster.
Hussain and Canning then built a substantial partnership very quickly. They put on 98 inside 22 overs before Hussain was caught behind for a second 50 of the week-end. He hit six fours in his 53.
Canning went on to score 77 with seven fours, while Phelan had four fours in a career-best score of 33.
Thompson (16) and Sam Halstead (10 not out) reacheddouble figures but no one else did and Nelson were all out in the last over for 229.
Nelson’s opening attack put them in the driving seat as Meadeclaimed two wickets in his first over - Nesbitt caught at cover for one and Elliott Gilfordcaught at midoff first ball. Meade also accounted for Ben Sutcliffe, caught at midoff for 18, making the score 37-3. Neser should then have been out for one as he skied Halstead to midon but Hussain dropped the catch.
Ben Pearson was bowled by Hussain and Todmorden were 95-4 at the 25-over mark. Neser gave Nelson another chance on 38, but the usually reliable Halstead dropped him on the long on boundary.
Even when Neser was eventually out, smartly taken by Russell Bradley behind the stumps, Todmorden accelerated with skipper Andrew Sutcliffe leading the way. He found a more than able partner in Stuart Priestley who hit a 46-ball 50. He was out, stumped off Meade, off the fourth ball of the final over with four required for victory. The new batsman, Paul Senior, nicked a single, leaving Sutcliffe to face the last ball, and he hit a six to finish with 69. Nelson are at league leaders Lowerhouse on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Nelson became the first club to reach the Lancashire League 20/20 competition’s semi-finals last Friday, courtesy of a nine-wicket win over Colne at Seedhill.
Rain reduced the match to a 16-over affair, and Colne made 116-4, with contributions from professional Ali Azmat (41), Billy Jamil (22) and Lewis Rimmer (13 not out).
Nelson eased to victory in reply as Tyler McGladdery hit 43, before professional Ryan Canning (43 not out) and Russ Bradley (15 not out) saw the hosts home in the 13th over, to top Group C from holders Lowerhouse.