Teen Spirit - Rotherham scores at will for Highfield

Highfield v Northern:  Highfield's Sam Rotherham
Highfield v Northern: Highfield's Sam Rotherham

IN its 90 year history, there have been some remarkable games on the Billinge Road ground but Saturday’s game against a strong Formby team lead by former Lancashire player Ian Cockbain, ranks right up there with them.

After heavy rain the game was in doubt, but sterling work by groundsman Martin Gaskell and a positive attitude all round, enabled the game to start just before 3.30pm.

Skipper Mike Farrell lost the toss and not surprisingly Highfield were invited to bat.

Bowler friendly conditions reduced the home side to 36 for 5, but Highfield were not about to give up their unbeaten league record without a fight and Rob Halliwell and Richard Farrell offered some initial resistance adding 30 runs before Farrell was caught.

Halliwell (26) continued to bat brilliantly in the conditions and forged another partnership with young Jake Borrows but when Halliwell was bowled by a snorter with the score on 87, Highfield were still some way from a competitive total.

Sam Rotherham joined Borrows and the teenagers turned the game on its head, adding 50 for the ninth wicket before Borrows was dismissed for a very fine 38. But Rotherham (39 not out) wasn’t finished, scoring freely as Highfield moved to a declaration of 160 for 9 off 42 overs.

That left Formby with around 27 overs to reach their target, but that was never likely once all rounder Sam took the first wicket, a juggling catch by Andy Hargreaves, quickly followed by a couple to Chris Liptrot and a run out. Rotherham then claimed a sharp caught and bowled before Liptrot wrapped up proceedings with a fabulous 7 for 20 off 8 overs as the Formby team were dismissed for just 30 in 15 overs.

The result reflected a remarkable turnaround in such a short period of time, indeed within 15 minutes of the end of the game at 7.30pm, the rain came again and within a further hour or so a deluge had rendered the ground completely waterlogged. Highfield secured 23 points.

Aa part of the programme of events to mark the 90th anniversary Highfield Cricket Club, on Saturday June 28 there will be an informal gathering of life members, ex officials, ex players and anyone who has been associated with the club.

Chairman Gary Speakman said: “All are welcome to come to the ground when the first team are playing Colwyn Bay, wickets pitched at 1pm. We will provide some light refreshments during the afternoon, memorabilia including photos over the years and current cricket.

Those wishing to attend should ideally please let Mr Speakman know by calling or texting 07721 639970”.

“We hope to have all of our current Life Members in attendance as well as many of the treble winning team of 1974 who won every trophy available to them in what was then our golden jubilee,” speakman added.

Famous names such as Billy Boston have played a good standard of local cricket for Highfield Cricket Club.

HINDLEY St Peter’s first XI advanced to the Sandhurst Shield semi-final with a second win in two days over Norley Hall.

Batting first, HSP were only 30 after 15 overs and 52-2 at the half way stage, but the run rate started to pick up as the innings went on.

With 10 overs to go the score was 124-3 but, with Paul Delargy top scoring with 66 and Mark Wood hitting 35, HSP took 59 from those last ten to set Norley a challenging 184 to win.

After their moderate start the last thing HSP wanted was the threat of rain but fortunately it stayed away and allowed the match to proceed.

Norley built a sound platform and were 56-1 after 20 overs, going on to 95-2 after 30, needing 88 from the last 15 overs as the match shaped up for an intriguing finish. The HSP bowlers had the final say though, Andrew Tickle taking 5-38 and Jordan Hampson 3-14 as the visitors fell away and were all out for 133 to give HSP victory by 50 runs and passage into the semi finals.

Patience was the key at Hindley on Saturday as the heavy rain which had threatened to spoil the day finally relented and allowed play to take place in the 1st XI’s match at home to Norley Hall.

HSP invited the visitors to bat, and opened with pace bowler Paul Mather and left arm spinner Muhammad Bilal. The contrasting styles worked to good effect - Bilal struck first before Mather weighed in with four wickets on his way to figures of 4-27 from 14 overs as Norley stuttered to 32-5. The lower half of the visitors’ order offered slightly more resistance but, with HSP skipper Ian Chesworth taking 3-14 and Mark Wood picking up a couple, Norley were all out in the 37th over for 75.

Despite the time lost to rain HSP still had plenty of overs available and, led by Jamie Sullivan with 39, they paced themselves to a seven wicket win with seven overs to spare. The victory keeps HSP three points behind Prescot & Odyssey at the top of the table.

The second oand third XI were unlucky with the weather and manged no play.