PADIHAM captain John Bushell admitted he didn’t even take his kit to the Arbories at the weekend with the expectancy of a washout.
The rain had lashed down on to the surface at Padiham CC ahead of the clash against Oswaldtwistle Immanuel but an hour’s hard graft paid dividends as the hosts secured a two-wicket win.
“I took the score book up with me early doors and I thought there was no chance,” Bushell said. “I didn’t even take my kit with me because I thought it was going to be a washout. But it was just a matter of cleaning up for about an hour and then we got 37 overs in once the sun came out. We went off once but only for about 15 minutes.”
Steve Meehan opened the bowling for Padiham and culminated his involvement with 3-60 off 12 overs while paid man Chris Holt continued his formidable display with the ball, taking 3-46 off an 18 over spell which now takes him to 66 wickets for the campaign.
“We did well again,” said Bushell. “We had two key players out, and potentially two opening bowlers, in Sean Davies and Max Howells so we were a little bit stretched but the young lads who came in, Owen Deakin-Pickard and Jimmy Gray, did themselves proud and performed really well.
“I asked Steve Meehan to open the bowling and he produced a great spell, taking some vital wickets. Everyone when asked has stepped up and produced the goods. It’s nice to see. It was a good performance from the start. Chris Holt bowled exceptionally well again and kept the pressure on them.”
Chasing a total of 138, Kevin Hitchon (24) and Holt forged a 46-run stand for the opening wicket though Padiham hit a wall in the middle order. However, Kurt Robinson, an outstanding, young wicket-keeper with plenty of potential, top-scored for the home side with 35 to take them closer to the finishing line. Peter Shirtcliffe and Lee Anderson added respective knocks of 13 and 14 to proceedings.
Bushell said: “Batting-wise we looked solid. We had a bit of a blip in the middle order but Peter Shirtcliffe and Lee Anderson have done well though the performance of the day was from Kurt Robinson. He’s maturing as a player and improving all the time. He took another four victims behind the stumps and scored an invaluable 35 to secure the victory. It was a good all-round team display and we’ve closed the gap again now.”