PADIHAM’S push for fifth place in the Ribblesdale Cricket League suffered a huge setback as they lost in a close contest against Great Harwood.
It was the ideal opportunity for John Bushell’s men to push on but it was Stuart Maher’s side that scooped a narrow seven run win to climb to fifth themselves. In the meantime Padiham dropped to eighth and are now nine points behind their rivals.
Great Harwood batted first at the Arbories and posted a total of 198 with Ian Howarth the stand-out batsmen, falling just three runs short of a quickfire half-century. But that laid the foundations for the away side to build on. Nesir Mehmood picked up four wickets while paid man Chris Holt added a further three victims to his growing total for the season.
In reply Kevin Hitchon made his mark and top-scored with 68; youngster Kurt Robinson added 33, Peter Shirtcliffe fired his way to 30 while Owen Deacon-Pickard added 20 coming in at the tail end. However, it wasn’t quite enough.
“We were beaten in a close game,” said Bushell. “We were chasing 198 and we fell short by seven runs. I’m slightly disappointed that we didn’t go on to win the game. We did enough to get ourselves in to a position where we could win it. I think inexperience cost us a little bit.
“We weren’t out-played in any shape or form and we competed well in a good contest. We ended up with five points which is a bonus but we’ve lost a bit of ground on those positions we were looking to push in to.”
The Arbories skipper added: “At the end we’d just left too much for the lower order, and more inexperienced players, to do. In contrast they got off to a great start and Ian Howarth got 47 and that built the foundations for a decent score. I’m disappointed with the result but I’m proud of the way that the lads adapted themselves.”