Walsden title hopes fading

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Walsden still have it all to do if they are to catch Central Lancashire League leaders Norden following another frustrating weekend.

The Scott Street side gave themselves hope with victory over Rochdale on Saturday - a victory made all the sweeter with news that Norden had been beaten by Werneth.

However, those hopes evaporated when they suffered a disappointing defeat at Werneth the following day with Norden picking up a victory in their game.

There are still five games to go with Walsden still to play Norden.

But club spokeman Kenny Gale believes it is going to be a tall order to overhaul their rivals.

“If we beat them they are still going to have to lose a couple of games and I can’t see that happening,” said Gale.

“They are playing very well and it is a very tough mountain to climb.

“We gained a little bit of hope on Saturday when we heard they had lost, but then it all changed around again on the Sunday and we found ourselves as we were.”

The victory over Rochdale was achieved in spite of a sporadic batting display.

Nick and Stevie Barker gave it some impetus but once they departed Walsden suffered a late collapse and their total of 140 seemed a little light at tea.

“We thought we were second best at that stage,” admitted Gale. “The wicket was doing a bit for the spinners and we knew it was going to be a difficult task.”

Gale needn’t have worried as Sri Lankan Umesh Karunaratne picked up seven wickets for 41 to leave Rochdale stranded on 102.

Heartened by their success, Walsden travelled to Werneth but found themselves on the back foot from the start.

Walsden won the toss and strangely elected to field.

Werneth punished that decision by racking up 264 for one with pro Z. Khan, who was dropped on 60, making an unbeaten 120. Matt Taylor also batted well for 82.

James Hooson and James Rawlinson gave their side a decent start but the run-rate was always against them and they finished 22 runs short.

Gale believes Walsden’s best hope for silvereware this season comes in the shape of the Lancahire Cup where they play Norden for a place in the final on Saturday.

“We have the competition in our sights because it represents our best chance of winning something,” said Gale.

Walsden seconds enjoyed two good wins over Rochdale and Werneth but then came to grief against Norden in Monday’s Burton Cup final.

Jon Lord (59) and Danny Bailey (27) pushed the scoring along but after they departed Walsden lost six wickets for 10 runs to post 180.

Despite claiming a good early wicket, Norden built steadily and eased home with both overs and wickets to spare.

Walsden’s junior presentation night for Under 11s, 13s and 15s takes place at the club on Friday, September 6, at 8pm.