Garstang CC’s hat-trick hero makes an instant impact

Garstang CC's Mark Winstanley     Picture: Tim Gilbert
Garstang CC's Mark Winstanley Picture: Tim Gilbert

Garstang’s maiden Northern Premier League encounter saw them claim a two-wicket win against Fulwood and Broughton.

Meeting their fellow new boys after both won promotion from the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield, Garstang invited their opponents to bat.

They made steady progress with Mark Smith and Rana Thakur seeing off Ian Walling and Danny Gilbert.

Smith (11) was the first to go, soon followed by Charlie Rossiter (1) with both wickets to Gilbert.

At 30-2 in came Fulwood’s professional, Simon Kerrigan, of Lancashire Cricket Club and with one cap for England to his name.

He, with Thakur, continued the innings steadily to reach 57-2 at the halfway stage.

From here, after battling competently, Thakur (32) sensed a change of gear but his attempted sweep from Michael Walling, saw his off stump knocked back.

Matt Smith (5) also departed, sweeping to Walling to leave Fulwood 76-4.

Without a professional, Garstang have recruited a South African amateur, namely teenager Travis Pieters.

The 18-year-old came into the attack and castled Richard Turner (8) as the visitors slipped to 104-5.

Kerrigan showed the Riverside crowd that he was no mug with the bat, dispatching four straight sixes off Michael Walling.

Pieters, though, ousted Rob Dingle (6), caught by Michael Wellings, but with Ian Walling returning at the other end, Kerrigan notched a fifth six in an attempt for late runs.

However, Pieters then took centre stage by bowling Callum Robinson-Brooks (11), Jon Fenton and Usman Sadaqat, (both 0) to claim a hat-trick and figures of 5-21.

Kerrigan (80) was the last man out, caught off Gilbert, who returned figures of 3-24.

Michael Walling and Tom Wells began steadily before the former was LBW to Jon Fenton (3-56) for 11.

Mark Walling (17) played fluently, but when he and Wells (8) departed to Matt Smith (2-7), the home side had slumped to 40-3 – which was soon 40-4 with Pieters (0) out.

Chris Brookes (2-22) accounted for Crowther (1) and, at 57-5, Garstang were up against it but Mark Winstanley joined Wellings and took the sting out of the attack.

At 95-5, Wellings was pegged back by Richard Turner (1-41) for a well-made 27.

Ian Walling came in and clubbed a brief 10 but at 114-7 the game was slipping away.

Winstanley, though, began to grow in confidence and together with Gilbert, took the score to 145, just 14 runs short of victory.

Winstanley (41) fell short of the line to add more tension to a pulsating game as Naqib Rahman strode out and took the game to the last over with Garstang needing five to win.

Bat on ball advised Gilbert to Rahman, only for the latter to dispatch the ball over the river for a huge six to win the game with five balls to spare.