Red­brook win se­cures Pre­mier spot

Rochdale Observer - - TRAVEL -

ROCHDALE achieved their aim of qual­i­fy­ing next sea­son’s Lan­cashire League Pre­mier Di­vi­sion when they beat Nel­son at Red­brook on Sun­day.

Be­fore the game Dale needed a max­i­mum 12 point vic­tory to be as­sured of a top half fin­ish but the ex­pected nervy af­ter­noon that every­one was pre­dict­ing failed to materialise as the vis­i­tors were bowled out for 49.

And in pass­ing this mea­gre to­tal with four wick­ets down they cruise home while, at the same time, con­sign­ing Nel­son to the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion for 2019.

Steve Oddy has en­joyed a marvel­lous re­turn to the club of his youth this sea­son but on Sun­day it was his open­ing bowl­ing part­ner, Michael Har­ling who took the hon­ours here, rip­ping through Nel­son’s top or­der.

In no time they were on the ropes at 15 for 5 and had lost deputy pro­fes­sional Ashar Zaidi, trapped in front by Har­ling. David Crotty and Caleb Grant hinted at pro­duc­ing a re­vival with 19 run part­ner­ship for the sixth wicket, but Grant spooned Sean Ervine’s first ball, a long hop loosener , to square leg and Nel­son’s tail proved as un­pro­duc­tive as their top or­der.

Zaidi, with his slow left arm­ers, would have been a se­ri­ous threat with any­thing like a de­cent to­tal to de­fend and ac­counted for Andy Roger­son, Andy Daw­son and Ben Chap­man. But Ervine, Dale’s deputy pro for the day, en­sured that there would be no re­cip­ro­cal bat­ting dis­as­ter and Rochdale passed the win­ning post in the four­teenth over.

Rochdale’s first sea­son in the Lan­cashire League has been a topsy turvy one. At the mid way point they were in fifth po­si­tion and had qual­i­fied for the quar­ter fi­nal of the LCB Cup. Then Ed Moore went home, the bats­men lost form and a slide down the ta­ble en­sued, and it was only a fort­night ago that the brakes were ap­plied to the run­away ride to the sec­ond tier

But dur­ing the los­ing streak they con­tin­ued to pick up valu­able bowl­ing bonus points thanks to their at­tack and Oddy in par­tic­u­lar who sent down al­most 300 overs in league and cup, tak­ing 63 wick­ets.

Pre­dictably the club’s sup­port­ers voted him the player of the year and he duly re­ceived the the club’s new­est tro­phy – The Emily Ban­nis­ter Memo­rial Tro­phy. Nel­son L Bradley c Daw­son b Har­ling ................ 0 D Crotty b Ervine ....................................... 20 M Pet­tinger d Daw­son b Oddy .............. 0 A Zaidi lbw Har­ling ..................................... 0 N Thomp­son b Har­ling .............................. 0 R Bradley b Har­ling ..................................... 0 C Grant c Hus­sain b Ervine .................... 10 E Bradley b Ervine ........................................ 0 M Bradley lbw Oddy ................................... 1 M Basat c Avery b Makin .......................... 8 M Heap not out ............................................ 0 Ex­tras .............................................................. 10 To­tal, 26.4 overs, ........................................ 49 Bowl­ing: Oddy 13 4 26 2; Har­ling 8 3 11 4; Ervine 4.4 2 5 3; Makin 1 1 0 1; Rochdale A Daw­son c Pet­tinger b Zaidi .............. 11 A Rodger­son c Crotty b Zaidi ................. 0 S Ervine not out ......................................... 26 M Har­ling lbw Thomp­son Zaidi ............ 7 B Chap­man lbw Zaidi ................................ 2 J Duffy not out .............................................. 5 Ex­tras ................................................................. 0 To­tal for 4, 13,2 overs ............................. 51. Bowl­ing: Zaidi 7 0 19 3; Grant 3 0 10 0; Thomp­son 3.2 0 22 1. Rochdale 12 points beat Nel­son, 0 points, by 6 wick­ets.

Wals­den, who lost only one league game all sea­son were crowned Lan­cashire League cham­pi­ons on Sun­day af­ter their 5 wicket win at Rawten­stall.

Of the seven former Cen­tral Lan­cashire League clubs who joined the Lan­cashire League this sea­son, Rochdale Nor­den, Cromp­ton and Wals­den qual­ify for the next year’s Pre­mier League, while Lit­tle­bor­ough, Mil­nrow and Mid­dle­ton go into the secon tier

●●Michael Har­ling

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