Run machine Alwis helps boost the feel good factor at Centre Vale

Geeth Alwis continued his great form with the bat
Geeth Alwis continued his great form with the bat

Todmorden will be looking to notch quick doubles over Rishton and Haslingden this weekend, having beating the pair in the space of 48 hours in their latest Lancashire League matches.

Rishton come to Centre Vale on Saturday and Haslingden host Andrew Sutcliffe’s side on Sunday.

Tod can approach the games with confidence, having climbed to eighth in the table on the back of two more fine displays from in-form pro Geeth Alwais.

The Sri Lankan left hander made it an incredible 456 runs in four innings, hitting 64 in the seven-wicket win at Rishton five days ago and an unbeaten 145 at home to Haslingden 24 hours later.

However, it was no one-man show with the likes of Elliott Gilford, Freddie Priestley and Ben Sutcliffe also making useful contributions.

Todmorden were set 180 to win on a wicket suited to spin bowling at Rishton. Dan Salpietro, who Walsden used as sub professional recently, made a century for the home side.

Paul Senior bowled 14 tight overs which yielded two for 35 but Andrew Sutcliffe thought his side faced a difficult chase.

However, the visitors proved up the task, winning by seven wickets with 8.1 overs to spare.

Alwis made 64 from 84 balls with eight fours and he received solid support from Ben Sutcliffe (33), Elliott Gilford (27 no) and Simon Newbitt (20).

Skipper Sutcliffe said: “Our top four batsmen took control of the game and all played really well in chasing down the score on a tricky pitch.

“ Each of them worked hard for their runs and showed the patience required to take us to victory.” Alwis hit 24 boundaries at home to Haslingden as Tod piled up 265 for four on a rock hard wicket.

He shared stands of 60 for the second wicket with Ben Sutcliffe (28) and 119 for the third wicket with the classy Gilford (47).

The 17-year-old Priestley then took a career best four for 47 to dismiss Haslingden for 185, visiting spinner Jordan Shannon being unable to bat due to injury. Ben Sutcliffe led the fielding effort with a stunning catch at point.

Andrew Sutcliffe felt the old maxim ‘catches win matches’ applied on Sunday.

He said: “The main difference between the sides on the day was the fielding as we caught a couple of really good catches at crucial times to tip the game in our direction. The game was a lot closer than the end scorecard suggested.”

Priestley is unavailable this weekend while Oliver Wood is missing on Saturday. Joe Hanson is in contention for selection after a two game game suspension for unsporting behaviour.

Todmorden seconds also notched a double last weekend. Stuart Priestley hit an unbeaten 104 in a five-wicket home win over struggling Rishton and the opener followed up with 92 in a 116-run win at Haslingden.