Garstang 257-4 declared
Garstang won by 47 runs
A fantastic unbeaten century from Garstang skipper Michael Walling was the bedrock of another win against basement side Torrisholme.
Despite the threat of rain later, Walling won the toss and elected to bat. A new opening partnership was formed as Allan Cook opened up with Walling and the duo negotiated the early overs without any scare.
Daniel Woods was introduced and immediately broke the partnership, having Cook caught at point for 14 with Garstang 64-1.
Walling reached another half century before veteran and canny character Mark Cottam ousted Mark Winstanley (0) and Curtis Morris (5), identically both caught at slip by Karl Hansson, to leave Garstang at 95-3.
But this was where the game changed. Alex Rawlinson joined his captain and the aggressive and positive duo rattled the scoring along.
Rawlinson looked irresistible from the start, flaying the ball to the boundary at will, with minimum effort.
Dropped on nought, Rawlinson made the visitors pay in style as he took 17 off one Jack Heap over.
Walling too, was to make a drop on 11 look costly as he eased to his third century of the season.
Rawlinson was catching fast, effortlessly moving through the 70s and 80s. His teammates gathered on the balcony anticipating a deserved century and thus a team declaration.
But, on 90, it wasn’t to be as Heap gained revenge with a filthy full toss which Rawlinson skied to cover.
A devastated but beaming “Zander” left the field to a standing ovation having made 90 off just 58 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes.
The partnership was worth 160 in just 16 overs and when Walling saw out the rest of the over, Garstang declared on 257-4 from 41 overs with much relief from the visiting fielders.
By now it was Walling’s time to leave to the standing ovation having hit 138 not out from 127 balls including 19 fours and just 2 sixes.
The innings took Walling past 1,000 runs for the season in all competitions and to 830 Premier League runs thus far, establishing himself as the league’s best batsman.
Cottam was easily the pick of the bowlers with 2-59 from 15 with Woods (1-39) and Heap (1-48) chipping in.
Giving themselves 49 overs to bowl out Torrisholme, Garstang would have needed 149 overs on a wicket that offered nothing to the bowlers.
Usually productive early on, there was no movement, no swing, no nothing for Ian Walling and Jim Procter as Paul McKevitt and Andy Butler started comfortably.
McKevitt though, fended one to gully off Procter, with a smart catch from Ibbotson to give Garstang the early breakthrough. They endured a long wait for wicket number two though, as Butler progressed the innings with Hansson.
It took until the 23rd over, when Ibbotson ousted Butler who departed for a well made 49 leaving the visitors 86-2. Andy Booker was introduced and he gained some good control before claiming a deserved wicket with John Lee (1) soundly caught at slip by Allan Cook.
A comical moment then came in the match when Adam Bee (2) decided to leave a ball from Michael Walling which castled into the pads. Without looking at the umpire, Bee walked off with a wry smile, knowing full well the dreaded finger was coming from the umpire.
At 100-4 Garstang thought perhaps the door was open, but out came Cottam, sporting a thick jumper and showing that he wasn’t just a good bowler. Booker cleaned up Hansson (39) as the visitors slipped to 111-5 with Woods the next man in.
He played a mature innings and together with Cottam developed a nice partnership.
Frustration and boredom showed in the field and from the bowlers as the Torrisholme duo plodded on.
Cottam took full advantage of a flat deck with several boundaries off a hostile Ian Walling. With the game teetering out, Cottam reached a deserved half century before needlessly being run out in the final over, departing for an entertaining 61.
It meant a final total of 210-6 from 49 overs, a spirited effort from a team languishing at the foot of the table who can take much credit from a game against third place Garstang.
Not a day for the bowlers, but Booker (2-19) was the pick with one wicket apiece for Procter (1-53), Ibbotson (1-42) and M.Walling (1-32).
Match Day Sponsor – Royal British Legion (Garstang) Ltd