Now we know what we have to do

A wicket for Todmorden in the Worsley Cup semi-final, Todmorden v Ramsbottom, July 3, 2011
A wicket for Todmorden in the Worsley Cup semi-final, Todmorden v Ramsbottom, July 3, 2011

TODMORDEN now know what they have to do if they are to win trophies.

They were beaten twice this weekend, in the league and in the Worsley Cup semi final by reigning Lancashire League champions Ramsbottom, former cup winners themselves, who lost in the final last year.

The league defeat at Ramsbottom sent Todmorden crashing from top spot to joint third, level with the victors.

Todmorden skipper Andrew Sutcliffe said: “Ramsbottom have showed us what level we need to get to to win trophies.

“The barrier has been set and its now up to us to get back on to a winning streak and stay in the hunt for the title.”

In addition there was defeat too in the Twenty/20 semi-final at Nelson.

It brought a disappointing end to a fantastic first half of the season for Sutcliffe’s side.

There was a dramatic end to the cup game at Centre Vale.

Todmorden battled so hard throughout and a century from professional Qaiser Abbas put them in with a shout.

Todmorden were up against it at 20 for three but they regrouped and Abbas batted brilliantly to get them to more than 200 for the second day running.

“In the second half we knew we needed to bowl better than the previous day and we did.

“With their top order gone and the pro out we were in the best position with 10 overs to go,” said Sutcliffe.

“We didn’t do ourselves justice in the last 10 overs of the game, but you have to give credit where credit is due to Ramsbottom.

“Their lower order came out playing shots and with a bit of luck they got to the total with two balls to spare.

“I can imagine it was a great game of cricket to watch but we cannot help but feel we have missed a major opportunity to get to a Worsley Cup final,” he said.

Abbas dominated the innings, accelerating to reach his century as the overs ran out.

He clubbed 23 off the final over of the innings to finish unbeaten on a magnificent 132.

He hit three sixes and a four off the Ramsbottom captain’s final six balls. In all he smashed 14 fours and five sixes from 109 balls, adding an unbroken 47 for the eighth wicket with Danny Brown who made just four.

In reply with two overs to go Ramsbottom needed 23. Sixteen were plundered off Stevie Barker’s last over leaving Abbas to bowl the final over with seven needed.

The first ball went for four relieving the pressure and with two balls to spare Ramsbottom got home to spark jubilant celebrations.

The day before Ramsbottom won the first of their double with Todmorden by six wickets at Acre Bottom.

The champions’ professional Shanan Stewart had an unbeaten 95 following a spell of five for 66 that changed the context of the match.

Simon Newbitt top scored with 64 in Todmorden’s 210 for eight. The visitors were well placed at 56-0.

Ben Sutcliffe was first to go caught and bowled by Stewart for 26 with the score on 77. Nick Barker and Abbas soon followed.

Skipper Sutcliffe put on 33 with Newbitt who was then caught behind after hitting seven fours and a six from 102 balls.

The opening over of Ramsbottom’s reply saw Abbas take a wicket off his second ball before a run had been scored.

Ramsbottom steadily piled on the runs and passed the Todmorden total with 16 balls to spare and Stewart unbeaten five runs short of his first century for Ramsbottom.

l IN the Twenty/20 match at Nelson, Nick Barker top scored with 28 in Todmorden’s 101 for six total.

But they were unable to do much about the home side hitting 102 for three to win by seven wickets.

“It was disappointing to lose in the semi in this competition as we had played some good cricket in this competition,” said Sutcliffe.

“But this year we have shown significant signs of improvement in this format.”