Walsden earn cup final dates

Chris Dewhirst's Walsden will contest the Wood Cup final early in August
Chris Dewhirst's Walsden will contest the Wood Cup final early in August

Walsden CC are looking forward to two days in the spotlight after their firsts and seconds both earned cup final showdowns with Heywood.

Chris Dewhirst’s firsts will have to travel to Heywood in the Wood Cup on Sunday, August 4 while the clubs will have to toss up to decide who will host the Burton Cup final a week later.

Walsden last won the Central Lancashire League’s main knockout competition in 2004 when Aussie Shaun Marsh was in their ranks.

They beat Heywood at Milnrow in the final and the pair will meet again after semi-final successes last weekend.

Walsden eased past division-lower hosts Monton and Weaste by eight wickets after Nick Barker’s four for 20 had helped bowl out the hosts for 96.

Heywood piled up 295 against Clifton and that proved beyond their foes.

Walsden spokesman Kenny Gale said: “It should be a tight game in the final.

“They have got a good top four or five in their batting but hopefully we have a bit more strength in depth.

“However, on their ground I would put them down as favourites.”

The seconds won a thrilling home semi-final against Royton, who looked favourites when they totalled 264 for six.

The Scott Street side’s reply got off to a solid enough start, helped by Kristian Halstead’s 47, but then wickets began to fall as the search for quick runs intensified.

Cameron Hanson and Martin Harlow led a late charge which saw Walsden requiring 48 off the last four overs, 36 off three, 23 off two and 13 off the last.

An unfortunate fielder allowed the ball to go through his legs for four, to the delight of the watching Walsden first teamers stood behind him.

The scores were level with the final delivery to come and Harlow clinched his side’s final place in style with a six.

Harlow finished 49 not out, Hanson having made 64.

The firsts had lost top spot in the Premier on Saturday when Norden’s South African Michael Price again took a liking to their bowling attack.

Price rarely fails against Walsden and he batted through with 128 not out in the visitors’ 255 for four, adding 121 for the second wicket with Simon North (58).

Walsden’s bowlers stuck to their task in the heat, including sub pro Adil Raza from Mirfield PC in the Central Yorkshire League, but only Barker (three for 49) had much success with his varied medium pace deliveries.

Walsden needed a big score from someone in reply but 40s from James Rawlinson and Shuhbam Harkal were the top contributions and the home side were all out for 206.

Walsden’s race night to raise funds for the club’s new football team takes place on Saturday with the first race at 8pm.

There is a Robbie Williams tribute night at the club on Saturday, August 3 (£7 entry).

Saturday, August 10 is the annual ladies’ day. Entry of £20 includes evening entry when female tribute act The Abbaretts will be performing. Evening entry alone is £7 and tickets for the events are available at the bar.