Walsden’s Sladdin in wars

Walsden are seeking a substitute professional for the weekend after left arm spinner Richard Sladdin was ruled out through injury.

SpinnerSladdin fractured the base of his little finger on his left hand attempting a caught and bowled dismissal in last Saturday’s Twenty/20 defeat at Milnrow.

That didn’t stop him from turning out 24 hours later and playing a key role in Walsden’s three-wicket home win over Middleton in the Central Lancashire League.

However, Sladdin had a “repositioning” operation on the injury yesterday and club spokesman Kenny Gale said he might be missing for a couple of weeks

“We will be looking for a replacement for him for Saturday (away to Heywood).

“He bowls with his left hand so for him to get five wickets with the break last weekend was a good effort.”

Sladdin is the latest victim of a hand injury jinx hitting the town’s elite team cricketers. Neighbours Todmorden have already lost Gideon Foster, Simon Newbitt and Elliott Gilford to breaks this season.

Ex-county spinner Sladdin has made a good start for the Scott Street club after coming out of retirement this summer.

He took five for 42 off 15 overs against Middleton but his colleagues were more wayward, bowling 33 wides to help the visitors to 190 for nine.

Middleton’s substitute pro, Pakistani Azeem Ghumman, top scored with 38 and Walsden were a shade anxious at tea with 191 required.

The early loss of Jake Hooson didn’t help matters and although James Rawlinson (16) and Matthew Dawson (15) added 35 they departed close together.

Shuhbam Harkal (20) and Josh Gale (16) put on 36 but their exit left Walsden up against it at 77 for five.

However, Stevie Barker figured in stands of 42 with Joe Gale (34) and 67 with skipper Chris Dewhirst (33 no) to take the Scott Street men close before Jamie Shackleton hit the fourth ball of the final over for six to clinch an exciting win.

Victory has put Walsden third ahead of the trip to Heywood, who chased Dewhirst’s men for all of last season before finishing runners-up.

Heywood have made a bright start to the current campaign. Their professional is South African Travis Townsend, a batsman and medium pace bowler.

Walsden have the Twenty/20 competition to think about first with a trip to Crompton on Friday evening.

With just a home match against Littleborough to come the following Friday, Dewhirst’s men need two wins to have any chance of progressing as group winners.

Walsden lost their T20 opener by seven wickets against Milnrow last Saturday.

Walsden seconds matched the firsts in winning a tight contest against Middleton.

Paul Marrow’s 47 was the top score in a total of 204 for eight off 50 overs and Middleton fell two runs short in spite of 90 from number three Bennett.

Walsden seconds are third but Saturday’s visitors Heywood are top.

Premier League

P OW LW D T L LP Pts

Heywood 8 3 2 2 0 1 0 27

Littleborough 8 3 2 2 0 1 0 27

Walsden 8 2 2 2 0 2 1 23

Clifton 8 3 0 2 0 3 1 20

Rochdale 8 3 0 2 0 3 1 20

Norden 8 1 1 2 0 4 2 15

Milnrow 8 1 0 2 0 5 3 12

Middleton 8 0 1 2 0 5 3 11