This week saw Darwen travel to the mighty Windsor Park in a game that was a bit of a dead rubber but still a chance for some late season runs/wickets. Jack Bentham volunteered to take a turn scoring as he is still recovering from his bout of new monia, not to be confused with the old monia he had a couple of years back. Mawdy as per lost the toss, and Chorley batted first. Peacock & Edwards got another chance at the top of the order to redeem themselves after last week’s shambles. They started nicely before Edwards was out LBW for 12 off the experienced Cook, hit on the knee roll he will feel slightly aggrieved to be given out but that is the joy of 2nd division cricket. Darwens opening bowlers were impressive and runs were hard to come by on what was a very slow pitch. Jackson bowled Hotham (1) soon after with a decent delivery, nipping back to hit the top of middle. Rowan was next in, finally having the ‘balls’ to make himself available after being boxed by Chris Harty in nets a few weeks ago. Tipping the gun at a deadly 53mph, Harty managed to box him in the old testies and he has only just recovered. His absence showed as he fell tamely to Ainslie’s dibblers for 2, caught at mid-off. Maybe hit was his eyesight, who knows? Whatever happened you can be assured that as per usual it wasn’t his fault.
Peacock was looking good value at the crease, showing great reserve and playing a very watchful innings in tough conditions. Mawdesley joined him at the crease as big and bigger set about trying to up the tempo to near 3 an over. Peacock fell just after drinks caught on the boundary for a solid 58, adding yet another half century to his majestic career at the 3C’s. Catterall fresh of a heavy night on the beer was next in to bat, Adam McCullagh had charged him with a bet of 6 or gay. Catterall being a man of his word did his best and after missing the first ball was caught the very next delivery, brief but entertaining from Mr Catterall. After being 80-3, Chorley let themselves down with their batting efforts. Yes it was a slow wicket but they should have at least reached 150+, I can’t be bothered detailing the failed efforts of batters 6-11. But to put it politely it was a fairly ordinary performance as Chorley limped to 126, Mawdesleys 31 off 55 balls was the only other batsmen to offer a significant contribution.
Hotham in his usual confident tone called it that we had 20 too many and would win the game with ease, we were less sure but we knew 126 was still fairly competitive on a slow, low wicket. Whittaker & Mead started with the new ball, the former was particularly impressive. Mead bowled ok without looking particularly threatening. Pugs on the other hand bowled superbly, swinging it away at pace he blew away Darwens top order and at 48-3 it was game on. Simon Moulton bowled with his dependable control in the middle innings, again though he didn’t look especially threatening and with wickets needed drastic captaincy was required. Mawdesley duly answered and a double change saw him and McCullagh come onto bowl. At this point Gary Jackson was winning the game for Darwen and it looked like it was game over for Mawdesley and his team. McCullagh looked far more comfortable bowling with the older ball and bowled one of his best spell of the year to take 3 valuable wickets.
Mawdesley mimicked his partner’s efforts taking 3 questionable LBW decisions with his medium pacers, and topped off with an Andy Flear runs out Chorley won the game at a canter bowling Darwen out for 102. All credit to McCullagh for his efforts, just as vice vice vice captain Peacock suggested that he be spelled for his lack of penetration, he nicked off Compton to win the game. And responded with an in your face POW in Peacock’s direction – fair play!!
Paul Whittaker wins the award for the most stupid cricketer this week, having been bowled out and his 12 overs used up. He was seen going through some extensive warm up routines on the boundary in an attempt to come on for a second spell, bless him!! The 2nd X1 are at home again next week I think against Lancaster. Hopefully the weather holds off and we can see another victory for Mawdesleys men. Howarth is back from a booze fuelled weekend in Nottingham and after 5 consecutive bicep sessions at the gym he is officially back in Peak Physical Condition and should be back to entertain the crowds next week.