Garstang skipper bowled over by brother’s performance

Michael Walling dropped a hint to brother Mark after taking a hat-trick in Garstangs victory against Rufford
Michael Walling dropped a hint to brother Mark after taking a hat-trick in Garstangs victory against Rufford

Garstang CC skipper Mark Walling joked their win over Rufford last weekend might have given him a bowling headache.

Walling saw his players retain top spot in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division following an 83-run victory against newly-promoted Rufford.

Having posted 174-6 batting first, Garstang dismissed their visitors for 91 in reply – helped in no small part by a hat-trick from Walling’s brother Michael.

“He’s been chirping at me that he hadn’t been bowling that much!” the captain said.

“So now, I expect he’ll be in my earhole again about it but, in all seriousness, he’s proven that he’s a good enough bowler before.

“However, we’ve got quite a few bowling options in our team so he’ll have to bide his time.

“He’s bowled well whenever we’ve called upon him and he’s a good option to have.”

It wasn’t all smiles against Rufford, however, as some cheap dismissals left the Garstang batters up against it.

It needed a first half-century from Coen Oosthuysen, as well as valuable contributions from Matthew Crowther and Ian Walling, to set Rufford a testing target.

They got the job done, though, and remain a point clear of Longridge at the top ahead of Sunday’s Meyler Cup quarter-final which sees first play second at Newsham.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Garstang head to Great Eccleston with the captain taking it very much game by game.

“They are two tough matches,” he said of their weekend schedule.

“Great Eccleston only won the league two years ago and they have some strong players so we will have to be on our guard.

“We played Longridge recently and both sides know all about each other; I just hope we can win and set up a semi-final but all we can do is take each game as it comes.”