Openers’ blitz sees Garstang back on track

Jim Proctor bowls for Garstang.'Pic by Sir Robert Atkins.
Jim Proctor bowls for Garstang.'Pic by Sir Robert Atkins.

Garstang 201 all out

Great Eccleston 188-9

Garstang won by 13 runs

After successive defeats, Garstang travelled to high flyers Great Eccleston hoping to turn things back to winning ways – they did so in an enthralling game.

Finally winning a toss, captain Michael Walling had no hesitation in asking to bat first on a lovely summer’s day. He and fellow opener Curtis Morris scored freely, with Jon Jefferies and Richard White offering some hittable bowling.

They raced to 54-0, but the introduction of Mashood Qazi brought about a change in fortune as he accounted for Morris, caught behind for 18. Mark Winstanley joined his skipper and survived two early drops off the impressive Qazi.

Meanwhile, Walling was blitzing the ball to the ropes before a lack of concentration saw him caught on the boundary for 49, leaving Garstang 93-2.

Adam Senn was next in, and he and Winstanley enjoyed another good partnership before Senn was lbw for 12 with Garstang now 149-3 with over 15 overs remaining.

A mini collapse saw Allan Cook (1), and the in-form Winstanley fall for 75. Dan Curwen only added two runs, and Garstang slipped to 163-6.

Andrew Norris was run out for four before late cameos from Ian Walling (14), and Matt Weller (13 not out), boosted Garstang’s score over 200.

Will Thistlethwaite was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 3-31 from his 10 overs whilst Qazi (2-40), White (2-40) and Joe McMillan (1-26) got the other wickets.

Opening bowlers Ian Walling and Jim Procter got stuck in, and Procter reaped early reward for an impeccable line and length with the prize wickets of Kal Umerji (12), and Adam Green (2).

At 19-2, Oliver Parkinson partnered McMillan, but they found scoring difficult as Garstang stepped up the pressure. Walling ousted Parkinson (18) to leave the home side reeling at 49-3.

Procter was replaced by Senn who kept the scorers marking dots in the scorebook. McMillan’s vigil came to an end when Walling burst through his defences to make it 85-4 from 29 overs.

Thistlethwaite (16) added quick runs as the run rate climbed, but when Curwen took an amazing catch to oust him, it was left to skipper Mustaq Mohammed who hit two sixes to keep the game alive, but he too fell having made 20.

With White being the anchor, Jeffries had some fun in an entertaining 19, and when he was run out, the match swung back into Garstang’s favour.

Procter returned to clean bowl White, (46) and Qazi was caught first ball to seal an excellent Garstang win.

Huge credit must go to Ian Walling who bowled unchanged to record figures of 3-79, and Procter’s 4-31 was equally as impressive. Michael Walling added 1-34 to earn his side a creditable victory.

Match Ball Sponsor – Whittingham Farm Supplies.