Before the game started, players, match officials and spectators stood for a period of silence in memory of the 22 young people who lost their lives in the Manchester atrocity.
After the moving tribute play got underway with Northern taking the field having won the toss and putting Ormskirk into bat.
The opening session saw Ormskirk wickets tumble and with only 38 on the board the wickets of Andy Baybutt (7), Michael Jones (11) and Josh Bohannon (11) had been captured by the Northern opening attack. The early collapse brought George Lavelle and Gary Knight together to salvage the situation and that was exactly what they did. Both grew in confidence and proceeded to build together a partnership of 141 for the 4th wicket. They both took charge of the bowling and the score rattled along at a pace, the boundary being peppered with 6s and 4s by b
The partnership was eventually broken when Gary (62) fell to the spin of Northern’s Tom Sephton when he was caught in the deep to leave George,
who looked to be cruising to a century, to be joined by Matt Glayzer. Unfortunately for George (86) he did not reach the “magic ton” when he misjudged a ball to be bowled by Sephton but, nevertheless, his innings had been invaluable and very entertaining.
A flurry of runs followed with skipper Matt Glayzer declaring the innings on 242 – 6 with himself registering an undefeated 27 alongside Simon Kerrigan who scored a quick fire 31*
After a poor opening the Ormskirk innings had developed into a top class batting exhibition with 66% of the runs coming from boundaries (eight 6s and twenty eight 4s). It had left OCC with a big total to defend but crucially Northern had plenty of time to get the runs and with a strong batting line up the scene was set for a possible tight finish.
The Northern opening partnership of Chris Laker and Elliott Bradley started well and took the score along steadily to 46 when Bradley (26) fell to a catch by Matt Glayzer off the bowling of Josh Bohannon. The second breakthrough came with the score on 97 when Josh had Laker (42) caught in the slips by Gary Knight.
The Northern skipper James Cole was at the crease with the talented Stephen Lucas and both looked entirely comfortable and on course to register big scores. It took the introduction of the bowling of Simon Kerrigan to break the partnership when he had Lucas (20) trapped lbw with the score on 121. Things were looking good for Northern as their score kept up with the required run rate despite the loss of the further wicket of Liam Grey (4) who was unceremoniously bowled by Simon Kerrigan. James Cole was still going well alongside his new partner Justin Snow.
With the score on 186-5 Northern looked to be favourites to claim victory, having plenty of time left to plod along unspectacularly with five wickets in hand. Things changed, however, when Cole (47) went for the spectacular, skying a ball into the safe hands of Scott Lees off the bowling of Nicky Caunce. That, however, was not the end of the story because Snow developed a good partnership with Tom Jones which took the score past the 200 mark. It took a combination of the smart bowling of Simon Kerrigan and the quick action of George Lavelle behind the stumps to get Snow’s (40) wicket. Simon tempted Snow down the wicket to make a big hit, completely deceived him and George had him promptly stumped taking the score to 205-7.
It was now a question of whether the last three wickets could be taken for less that the required 38 runs at a rate of approximately 3 runs an over. With only 6 more runs added Simon Kerrigan and Scott Lees polished off the tail enders leaving Northern all out for 211 and victory to Ormskirk by 31 runs.
Gary Knight for his 62 runs, George Lavelle for his 86 runs and Simon Kerrigan for his 5-49 all made excellent contributions to Ormskirk’s cause, but it was George’s fine knock and performance behind the stumps edged him to be nominated Ormskirk’s “Man of the Match”.