NELSON crushed Haslingden by nine wickets on Sunday, after the previous day’s washout at Church.
Saturday’s trip to Church saw only five overs bowled before rain set in for the day.
Church, put in by Nelson, were 33-1 when play was halted and never resumed.
Sunday, on the other hand, was set fair, and the sun was shining gloriously when the match was won and lost by five past five!
Nelson won the toss and put Haslingden in to bat, and did not have long to wait for their first success.
Nelson’s latest substitute-pro, Suwanji Madanayake, opened the bowling with his slow left-arm spin and struck in his second over, clean bowling his opposite number, Phil Hayes, for four.
He grabbed his second wicket in his next over, Khurrum Nazir taking a juggling catch in the slips to dismiss Sam Kershaw for two.
Graham Knowles had made 14 when he called for a regulation single, but his run was too casual and David Crotty’s direct hit from square-leg caught him off guard and he was run out.
Richard Meade then had Jack Taylor caught at slip, and Muneeb Ahmed was run out going for a crazy second run, and half the Haslingden batting line-up was back in the pavilion with only 36 runs on the board.
Mohsin Imtiaz tried to hit his way out of trouble, but his lofted drive failed to clear Thomas Lord at mid-off and he became Meade’s second victim.
Yet another run out terminated Jack Sudworth’s innings, and the visitors were rocking at 57-8 when Matt Griffin was caught off the bowling of Meade for nine.
Joey Marcroft and Garry Sudworth staged a mini-revival as the Nelson bowlers tired.
They added 31 for the ninth wicket before Meade’s persistence caused Sudworth’s downfall, Peter Dibb taking a catch at mid-on to dismiss him for 13.
Marcroft actually top-scored with 17 before he was bowled by Meade.
It was Meade’s first ever ‘five-for’ and his 5-38 from 17 overs earned him a standing ovation as he returned to the pavilion.
Nelson’s target was 96 and Stuart Lemon (pictured) and Neil Thompson set their stall out to give their side a solid start.
They put on 30 in 13 overs, although both benefitted from dropped catches early on.
It was in the 14th over that Thompson was bowled by Jack Neary for 14, allowing Madanayake to come to the crease.
A sudden surge of runs came as Lemon opened up, hitting Sudworth for two sixes.
Madanayake showed the crowd that he is an aggressive batsman and he clubbed three fours as he swiftly moved onto 19.
Lemon was not to be out-done and he also hit three fours as 65 runs were added in eight overs.
Lemon was on 46 when the scores were tied and he tried to win the match by hitting a four.
He refused a single, no doubt hoping for another chance to hit a boundary, but the bowler bowled a wide, giving Nelson victory by nine wickets with more than 27 overs to spare.
Nelson’s season will conclude this weekend with a home fixture against Rawtenstall tomorrow and a visit to Rishton the following day.
Madanayake hopes to act as sub-pro again on Sunday.