Rams Progress to Finals Day
Taking first knock; the Acre Bottom boys got off to a flying start thanks to some belligerent batting from Brad Fielding and Alex Olpin, allied with some sloppy bowling and fielding by Todmorden. With forty runs on the board in next to no time, things turned slightly in favour of the away team when Brad Fielding was caught in the deep for 18. Rammy then suffered a blip as four more wickets were lost for the addition of only 25 runs including the one of Olpin who scored 25.
At 65 for 5 with almost half our overs gone we looked in deep trouble. Skipper Tom Parton was then joined by JJ Fielding and the normal league opening batting pair showed how they could adapt to the shorter format of the game by producing what turned out to be a match winning partnership of 66 before Parton was caught on the boundary for an excellent 41. The two batsmen ran brilliantly between the wickets, played a mixture of quality strokes and punished the bad ball. Indeed JJ, not the biggest guy in the world, hit a massive 6 that even Chris Gayle would have been proud of. After Parton was out, only a couple of overs remained and the tail lost their wickets going for the runs. JJ ended up with 28 and a competitive score of 140 was set.
A few of the faithful thought that might not be enough so the boys had to perform in the field. We need not have worried. With the score on 1 Jack Wynn snared the wicket of former Lancashire and England player Chris Schofield and then on 15 removed Ben Sutcliffe. Bilal Abbass seemed unmoved by the loss of his partners and took advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first 6 overs with good shot selection. After this period the Rammy Pro George Linde was brought into the attack and the game changed dramatically, backed up by excellent bowling from the opposite end, he tore through the Todmorden middle order ending his spell of 4-14 with the wicket of Abbass well held in the deep. Todmorden were unable to cope with the tight bowling and good fielding of the Rams and fell well behind the scoring rate before eventually capitulating for 94.
This was an excellent performance in the field by Ramsbottom with all five bowlers producing top performances. The ground fielding was good and all catches offered taken. If this standard could be maintained for the rest of the season who knows what could happen.
Ramsbottom won by 46 runs