JOHN Bushell has reflected on a very disappointing weekend for Padiham.
Two defeats over a hectic double-header schedule has seen the gap to fourth open considerably - 28 points now the gulf from Whalley - though they didn’t lose too much ground on their competitors in and around them.
Padiham’s recent performances, which helped accumulate wins over Baxenden, Oswaldtwistle Immanuel and Whalley, had sent a reverberating belief around the club and had brightened the dressing room atmosphere but Saturday’s loss to Edenfield lacked style and substance.
The opening spell was positive led by the ingenuity of professional Chris Holt (pictured). He took another six wickets at the expense of 40 runs while Steve Meehan added another couple as the hosts were extinguished for 118.
“We didn’t play as well as we can,” Bushell said. “We played well in the first half against Edenfield and bowled very well but we batted poorly and that was our downfall. The wicket wasn’t the best but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. We only had ourselves to blame.”
But Bushell’s men had no response and whimpered to a frustrating 44 run defeat. The captain himself top-scored for his side but the batting order waved the white flag and allowed the Edenfield bowling attack to steam roll through them.
“We had them out for 118 but we failed to knock them off,” said Bushell. “We gave ourselves a chance but didn’t pull through. We had a real chance of getting 12 points. I think I top-scored with late teens but everybody else struggled. It was a disappointing show. On the plus side Chris Holt bowled exceptionally well again and took 6-40 while Steve Meehan took another couple of wickets.”
And that performance didn’t instil the confidence or desire needed to face high-flying Barnoldswick.
From a Biblical reference it was like David versus Goliath only this time there were no surprises. The hosts failed to catapult enough balls beyond Barlick’s fielders and a total of 175 at the Arbories wasn’t going to be enough. Again Holt excelled as he exceeded the 70-mark.
Bushell said: “On Sunday we were beaten by a far stronger team. I’d always had Barnoldswick down as being one of the favourites to win the league. They’ve got some talented players who have strength and experience.
“Chris Holt batted well and exceeded 70 but they contained us well. We got 175 and that wasn’t enough but it was a target that gave us some hope. But their opening batsmen have dominated the game throughout and they knocked us off with only two wickets down.”
And it was the Arbories old boys who did the damage: “Umar and Abdul Saddique both made half centuries and batted very well.
“Our two old boys did the business and they obviously knew the track down at Padiham as well as anyone.
“There’s no qualms about the result and that’s the standard we’ll be working towards.
“We just couldn’t trouble them.”