GARY KNIGHT’S HEROICS TAKE ORMSKIRK INTO THE NEXT ROUND OF NATIONAL CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
Spectators arriving a few minutes late for the game must have thought that there was something wrong with the scoreboard when they saw it showing that Ormskirk had lost 3 wickets for just 7 runs. There was nothing wrong with the scoreboard and that score was a stark reality.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, the Ormskirk batsmen Alex Rankin (2), Andy Baybutt (4) and Ian Robinson (1) were back in the Pavilion. Worse was to come as the 4th wicket of George Lavelle (4) went when he was caught and bowled by Tyler McGladdery, leaving the score on 25-4 and Ormskirk in deep trouble.
A hero was needed and, as fortune would have it, he was found in Gary Knight, ably assisted by Jonny Glayzer. They put on a 5th wicket partnership of 132 runs before Jonny (50) lost his wicket to the bowling of McGladdery. Gary was cruising along nicely at this point with 77 runs to his name with the total score at 157-5.
Another crisis point came in the innings when Ryan Maddock (0) and Alex Mason (5) were both dismissed by the Rainhill captain, Ben Edmundson. There were precious few overs of the forty left and the score on 181-7 when Nicky Caunce joined Gary at the crease, with Gary only six runs short of a super century.
The final overs of the innings were exciting and intense. At one end Gary, to his own delight and to everybody else’s, attained his century. At the other end Nicky Caunce attacked the bowling with gay abandon to score a quick 21 runs off 8 balls which included three 4s and one six. The innings closed on 211-7.
Thanks mainly to Gary Knight (101*) and Jonny Glayzer (50) and Nicky Caunce (21*) the Ormskirk bowlers had been given a respectable score to defend when, at an early stage in the proceedings, that looked to be impossible.
The Rainhill reply did not get off to a particularly good start, but better than Ormskirk’s, as Scott Lees grabbed the wickets of openers David Atkinson (9) and Phil Veacock (14) to leave the score on 27-2.
The initial bowling success was short lived as Rainhill’s star batsman, Tyler McGladdery and his partner Matthew Taylor (26) took the score along to 112-3 before Ryan Maddock grabbed the 3rd wicket by bowling Taylor.
While Tyler McGladdery was still there Rainhill were in a very strong position. He is, and looked, a class act. He had offered two very difficult catching chances which were unable to be taken but otherwise looked to be in total control.
The next two wickets were taken cheaply with Ross Higham (9) bowled by Alex Mason and Ben Edmundson (0) run out by a wonderful piece of fielding by Scott Lees who hit the stumps directly from the deep to leave the hapless Rainhill captain well out of his crease. The score was now 135-5 but McGladdery was still there and Rainhill were up with the required run rate.
The vital breakthrough came courtesy of a joint effort between Tom Hartley and Gary Knight. McGladdery (74) had been giving Tom a torrid time but, not to be put off, Tom persevered and had him caught on the boundary by Gary. It was a fine catch resulting from fine bowling. It was now 143-6.
The tail end batsmen ‘wagged’ a bit but not enough to cause anxiety. Tom Hartley took two more wickets, while Scott Lees obliged with another run out and added a 3rd wicket to his haul. Rainhill were all out for 177.
Ormskirk had won by 34 runs which had seemed to be a highly improbable scenario at the outset of play.
Adjudging who should be nominated as “Man of the Match” was easy. It could only be Gary Knight.