Walsden celebrate with rich silver haul

Maximum effort:  Jamie Shackleton bowls for Walsden in last Saturday's Twenty/20 semi-final against Littleborough at Centre Vale
Maximum effort: Jamie Shackleton bowls for Walsden in last Saturday's Twenty/20 semi-final against Littleborough at Centre Vale

Walsden’s cricketers did their best to overcome any feelings of anti-climax surrounding the manner of the firsts’ Central Lancashire League title success by bagging two more trophies last weekend.

An email from the league late last week, confirming that Heywood had conceded last Sunday’s league match to play in the LCB semi-final at Northern CC, ensured Chris Dewhirst’s side had won back-to-back championships.

Walsden celebrated by winning Todmorden CC’s Twenty/20 tournament on Saturday, beating the hosts in the final, and then the seconds made it double top by clinching their title on Sunday.

Already eight points clear, Stuart Hanson’s reserve string had a satisfying six-wicket home win over their Heywood counterparts and then learned that nearest pursuers Rochdale had lost to Norden.

That capped another great season for the Scott Street club, who had resisted attempts by Heywood to switch the league meeting to a Saturday, when Walsden would have had players unavailable.

Walsden spokesman Kenny Gale, reflecting on how the first team title had been clinched, said: “At the end of the day it is not the way it should have been done but we still think we deserve it.

“We only wanted one point from three games which I don’t think would have been a problem.

“It would have been nice to do it properly but it was not our decision.”

Gale said the club had nothing planned in terms of celebrations but the first teamers had enjoyed a barbecue watching the seconds clinch their crown.

Walsden restricted Heywood to 177 for seven with three wickets each for Martin Harlow and Mark Halstead.

Cameron Hanson (68) and Kris Halstead (51 no) then helped the hosts knock off the required runs.

In the Twenty/ 20 competition, Tod bowled out Lancashire League rivals Bacup for 103 with Paul Senior taking four wickets and Elliott Gilford two.

The hosts chased down their target for the loss of three wickets.

Littleborough scored 147 in an all-Central Lancashire League semi-final and Walsden won in the last over thanks to 70 from Nick Barker.

In the final Todmorden were bowled out for 98 and Walsden wrapped up a five-wicket win.

Walsden firsts go to Milnrow for their penultimate game on Sunday, while the seconds host Werneth.

The sides still have one more piece of silverware to compete for although Walsden are unsure how the winners of the aggregate trophy - for the club with most combined points from the first and second teams - will be decided this year following the introduction of the two-division format.

Littleborough, whose seconds are top of the lower division, are Walsden’s rivals for the trophy.