The Lancashire Knockout Cup tie at Haslingden on Sunday presented an ideal opportunity for Ormskirk to bounce back to winning ways following the first defeat of the season the day before in the Premier League. Thankfully the winning way did return but not without a few scary moments.
Having won the toss Ormskirk elected to bat and in the opening session probably wished they hadn’t! There were echoes of the day before when there was a collapse of the opening batting line up. With Michael Jones (2), Alex Rankin (3), John Armstrong (1) and Matt Glayzer (3) all back in the Pavilion with the score on 11-4 the outlook was bleak.
Gary Knight had come to the crease in dire circumstances but responded magnificently. The phrase “Cometh the hour, cometh the man” was never more apt. Jonny Glayzer (33) played a very important role in support of Gary as he kept his end up while Gary chased the runs, not to mention that his own very valuable .
The loss of Jonny’s wicket piled the pressure on to Gary but he coped with it well, aided by Simon Kerrigan (18) who made sure that Gary saw plenty of the bowling. By the time Simon had lost his wicket the score was reaching a respectable level but the loss of two quick wickets after Simon’s departure to include Nicky Caunce (2) and Gary (78) set the alarm bells ringing. Gary had done a great job but there was still plenty to be done.
Tom Hartley (14*) and Scott Lees (38*) formed the next partnership that was undefeated and saw the full 45 overs batted out.
Scott had been promoted from being the previous day’s Number 10 batsman, when he scored 102, to the dizzy heights of Number 9. Tom kept a steady head and made sure most of the strike went to Scott. The crowd was rewarded with another flamboyant display from Scott as he hit 6s out of the ground. This left many spectators scratching their heads wondering if the whole batting order had been reversed by the Ormskirk skipper to lull the opposition into a false sense of security.
On completion of the 45 overs Ormskirk had left Haslingden with the task of chasing down 225 runs to win but in only 42 overs. This was because the umpires had ‘fined’ Haslingden three overs for a slow over rate in Ormskirk’s innings.
In Haslingden’s reply success came quickly when Nicky Caunce trapped opener Graham Knowles lbw with the score on 14.
When Tom Hartley came on to bowl he caused the batsmen no end of trouble. They simply couldn’t handle him and with the guile of Simon Kerrigan operating at the other end they had a torrid time. Tom finished up claiming 4 for 40 and Simon 3-19.
Part-time bowler Michael Jones also stepped in to take a wicket for just 13 runs and the ever-reliable Jamie Barnes claimed his regulation wicket for a miserly 2 runs.
With 10 overs to spare Haslingden had been bowled out and a well-earned victory went to Ormskirk.
Who would ever have thought that a team with such a bad start scoring only 11 runs for the loss of four wickets would win by a margin of 114 runs? But that’s what happened and Ormskirk had won the right to entertain Prestwich at Brook Lane in the Quarter Final Round.