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New Brighton find John Armstrong and Tom Hartley too hot to handle

On a beautiful sunny afternoon Ormskirk won the toss and elected to bat.

The innings started dramatically with the first ball when Andy Baybutt (0), trying to get off the mark with a quick unrealistic single, found himself stranded a long way out of his wicket only to be easily run out. One wicket down with not a run on the board was not the ideal start.

The loss of the wicket brought Josh Bohannon in to join John Armstrong. The partnership developed slowly with both batsmen applying themselves to atone for the unexpected loss of the first early wicket. Gradually, however, they got on top of the bowling and started to push the score along apace. Both reached their half centuries and took the score along to 141 before the second wicket fell as Josh Bohannon (61) was caught off the bowling of Adam Sandals. The partnership was a joy to watch and left Ormskirk in a very good position.

Gary Knight came in to join John Armstrong and the score moved along very quickly with both batsmen in complete control.

All eyes were now on John Armstrong to see if he could get his and Ormkirk’s first century of the season. He duly obliged and deserved the standing ovation he got from all around the ground.

With the partnership producing 79 quick fire runs, Gary Knight (45), who had batted beautifully in supporting John Armstrong, lost his wicket to a catch leaving the score at


Another 24 runs were added to take the score to 244 before John Armstrong (114) now partnered by Alex Rankin, finally lost his wicket to yet another catch. The loss of his wicket brought to an end an “Armstrong Masterclass”. He had played a wonderfully constructed innings which, in the early stages, displayed restraint and went on to gather pace as he peppered the boundary playing every stroke in the book.

Alex Rankin (14) and Jonny Glayzer (4*) took the score along to 248 when the innings was declared.

Nicky Caunce and Scott Lees opened the bowling for the New Brighton reply and it was Scott Lees who struck first having Armand Rabot (8) caught in the deep by Alex Mason to leave the score at 10-1.

As the New Brighton score advanced with a second wicket stand of 47 runs, left arm spinner Tom Hartley was brought into the attack and what a difference he made. The batsmen simply couldn’t handle him at all. To make matters worse for the forlorn batsmen, Alex Mason was brought on at the other end to make an all spin attack and wickets started to tumble.

In the final analysis the last eight wickets fell for 44 runs. In 10 devastating overs Tom Hartley delivered 4 maidens and took 6 wickets for just 14 runs. Alex Mason took 3 wickets for 32 runs off 6.5 overs.

There were two outstanding contributions made towards the Ormskirk victory. John Armstrong with his imperious century and Tom Hartley with his demolition of the New Brighton batting line up. The accolade “Man of the Match” should more correctly, on this occasion, be adapted to read “Men of the Match”.

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