Two chances for Tod to build on their early promise

New recruit Martin Harlow is quickly making an impact for Tod
New recruit Martin Harlow is quickly making an impact for Tod

Todmorden skipper Andrew Sutcliffe is hoping his side can maintain their promising start as the Lancashire League season action continues to come thick and fast this weekend.

The Centre Vale club have another double-header, away to Accrington on Saturday and at home to Bacup on Sunday.

Tod followed up their opening day win at Rawtenstall with an eight-wicket success at home to Rishton five days ago, only to come unstuck at Haslingden 24 hours later.

“We have now won two out of three.

“If we can put two good performances in then we will be in a good position following the first five league games,” Sutcliffe said.

Martin Harlow marked his home debut for the club with five for 32 against Rishton.

Newly-arrived stand-in pro Tim Van der Gugten took three for 30 as the visitors were bowled out for 78.

Visiting pro Kelly Smutts dismissed Simon Newbitt for 13 with the score on 30 but a 47-run stand took Tod to the brink of victory.

Kristian Garland departed to Smuts for 19 but Ben Sutcliffe finished unbeaten on 34.

Tod were unable to match their first two efforts when they went to Haslingden and lost by 110 runs.

They suffered at the hands of home skipper Alex Coleman, who hit exactly 100 before falling in the final over to Harlow.

Professional Burton de Wett contributed 51 to a total of 218 for six with his Tod counterpart Van der Gugten taking three for 46.

Tod only mustered 108 in reply with 21 from Elliott Gilford and 20 from Simon Newbitt.

Sutcliffe added: “Saturday’s win was a really good one for us.

“Timm had a solid start with the ball in hand, claiming three wickets, and Martin Harlow had a great home league debut with five wickets.

“He bowled with excellent control and showed he will be a very good acquisition for us this year.

“On Sunday the wicket was dead so it was hard to get any pace out of it for our seamers.

“Our spinners went wicket-less despite the conditions being spin-friendly.

“Our batting performance cost us, as at half time we had felt we were in the game. Too many of us gave our wickets away too easily.”