Ramsbottom bagged another 12 points on Sunday after dispatching a stubborn Bacup outfit on Sunday at Acre Bottom. Bacup put Ramsbottom into bat on a wicket which still had some moisture in it, and claimed an early wicket with JJ Fielding caught behind off Matthew Ramshead for 3. Skipper Tom Parton led from the front combining with Martin Cropper (16) and Grant Thomson (30) to see Rambottom over the hundred mark. His well-deserved 50 was roundly applauded by the Rambottom faithful but the collection had barely begun before he was adjudged lbw to Kemm for 52. Two overs later, both Callum Kay and Dale Gabriel were dispatched by Bacup pro Kemm, and the brakes were well and truly applied to the Ramsbottom innings at 113-6. 25 runs were added off the final 12.3 overs before Fraser Kay (12 not out) ran out of partners with the home side on 138.
Jake Neary made the early break through with the ball again, dismissing Kemm caught behind for 1. Ramsbottom suffocated the Bacup batsmen through tight bowling and a ring of steel in the field. Simon Read got full reward for his tidy line and length, cleaning up Matthew Schoefield (1) and the dangerous Tim Farragher for 11. Although Bacup’s required run rate was creeping up, they still had wickets in hand, and it was a stroke of fortune which saw off Aaron Fielding as Josh Dentith deflected a Matt Thompson drive on to his stumps at the bowler’s end with Fielding out of his ground.
Thompson continued to hold the Bacup innings together, as Simon Read claimed the wicket of Highley lbw for 1, and Josh Dentith tempted Bradford into a lofted shot to Fraser Kay for 4. Matt Burdaky was rewarded for his persistence when he claimed the dangerous Thompson for 29 and Bacup were 70 for 7. Matthew Collinge and Cameron Holder mounted a late rally before Tom Parton flashed the gloves to stump Collinge off Burdaky. Dale Gabriel and Grant Thomson polished off the last two batters to give Rams the victory by 25 runs.
Ramsbottom move up to 6th with 103 points, safely now in the top 9, and looking to advance towards the business end of the table with two rounds of phase 1 to go.
The Seconds completed the double over Bacup at Lanehead. Batting first on a green, uneven wicket, Rams battled to post 125 all out off 37.3 overs. Will Turner opened up with 27 and Ben Wilkinson batted confidently before being run out for 40. Matty Sutton (13) and Owen Collinge (10) were the only other Ramsbottom players to make double figures. Jack Thomond then took full advantage of the conditions, claiming six wickets for 38 off 10 overs. Matty Sutton bagged three victims and Chris Round one, with two spectacular catches from Jonny Dack helping the bowlers polish Bacup off inside 24 overs for 75.
Meanwhile Saturday’s third team game fell victim to the persistent drizzle. About an hour’s play was possible, during which Ben Wilkinson hit a brisk 50 off 13 overs before the elements returned and hands were shaken on a draw with Ramsbottom on 85-4.