Brace of wins keep Todmorden on course for crack at the title

Todmorden players celebrate a Qaiser Abbas caught and bowled wicket on Sunday
Todmorden players celebrate a Qaiser Abbas caught and bowled wicket on Sunday

TODMORDEN stayed on course for a crack at the Lancashire League title with two convincing wins.

First they picked up maximum points at Bacup and next day demolished Nelson at Centre Vale.

It leaves them in third place, one point behind Accington in second and seven points behind leaders Lowerhouse.

They have to play both of them before the end of the season in what could be title deciders.

Skipper Andrew Sutcliffe believes there will be several twists and turns at the top before the end.

He said: “As long as we play our best cricket and stayed focused there is no reason why we can’t still be in the hunt come the final weeks of the season.”

Todmorden had a 50 run win over Nelson at Centre Vale on Sunday.

Nelson had the fast Aussie international Ben Laughlin opening up and bowling with real pace and they had the home men on the back foot at 30 for three, but Qaiser Abbas held the innings together with a fine 62 from 55 balls with 11 fours and a six.

He reached 500 runs for the season, in Todmorden’s 180 for nine.

Skipper Sutcliffe also chipped in with 29 while Laughlin took five for 64 for Nelson.

“We thought that we were 30 runs short but we know that if we stay disciplined then we can defend most targets,” said Sutcliffe.

Abbas then took seven for 55 to bowl Nelson out for 130.

That win crowned a fine weekend for Todmorden who totally dominated the day before at Bacup.

Abbas was again in the wickets taking four for 36, Stevie Barker three for 42 and Lee Pearson two for 23 to dismiss the home side for 106.

On a wet wicket, bowling was the only option, so it was a good toss to win for the visitors.

Late runs took Bacup into three figures after they had slumped to 65-7.

At the 20 over mark they had struggled to 21-2 such was the grip of the three pronged Todmorden attack.

Sutcliffe praised his bowling attack: “Stevie Barker bowled one of his best opening spells of the season to have them 60 for five and on the back foot straight away.

“The top order controlled the run chase in a dominant manner to give us a full 12 points.”

Ben Sutcliffe made 43 and Nick Barker an unbeaten 35 as Todmorden cruised home by eight wickets with almost half of their overs unused.

l LAST week we described Mo Bux as a former professional with Todmorden. He was in fact an amateur player.