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  1. Published on: 31/05/2021 08:25 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Report and photos: Peter Rogan

    To get a result against top of the table Northern with an under-strength team, caused by injury and unavailability, was never going to be an easy game and so it proved to be.

    Ormskirk's cobbled team did however, put in a creditable performance and pushed Northern all the way in a game which saw over 400 runs scored, 16 wickets fall and a great exhibition of fielding from both sides that included 12 catches on Saturday afternoon.

    Northern won the toss and elected to bat; Ormskirk's first break through came when Scott Lees claimed the wicket of opening batsman Jack Boardman (7) with the aid of an excellent catch by John Armstrong to leave the score on 19-1.

    A partnership of 55 between opener Liam Grey and Chris Laker took the score along to 74 when Jack Snowdon took the wicket of Laker (36) by way of a catch by Robert Rankin.

    The bowlers, led by Jamie Barnes started to take control and had the home team in some trouble with three wickets falling to him, and one to Harvey Rankin. With Liam Grey (43), Andrew Clarke (5), Ryan Maddock (16) and Alec McLoughlin (0) back in the pavilion Ormskirk were on top with the score at 116-6.

    The joy of success for the Ormskirk bowlers was not to last when Northern skipper, James Cole (52*) and Justin Snow (50*) joined forces to put on 105 runs before the innings was declared in the 55th over with the score on 221-6 - this sixth wicket stand was to be the crucial factor in the outcome of the game.

    The Ormskirk reply started disappointingly when opener Alex Rankin (0) nicked a catch to wicket keeper James Cole off the bowling of Liam Grey, leaving his brother Robert to join Taylor Cornall to get the scoring underway. This partnership was short lived when, with the score on 27, the second wicket fell to Ryan Maddock when he had Robert (7) out in the same fashion as Alex, caught behind by Cole.

    With Gary Knight having joined Taylor Cornall at the wicket the score progressed steadily to 87 when in a lapse of concentration Cornall (52) offered a simple catch to Liam Grey to bring in John Armstrong, the last of the recognised batsmen.

    With Gary Knight taking the lead he reached his half century but on reaching 58 and the total score on 132 he got out offering an easy catch to bowler Tomas Sephton.

    Just three runs later John Armstrong (11) was walking back to the pavilion going to yet another catch, this time off the bowling of Ryan Maddock. From this stage on, with the score on 138-5 Northern were always going to be favourites to win but the tail end batsmen did not give up without a fight, Josh Thompson (31*) and Jack Snowdon (17) offering stern resistance with Richard Brook (8) and Harvey Rankin (10) giving support.

    Josh Thompson’s input was particularly impressive as he tamed the Northern bowling attack highlighted with a huge 6 and a couple of handsome 4s.

    When the last wicket fell, Ormskirk were 15 runs short of the winning target and, in hindsight, it was a game that could just as easily have been won.
        

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