Shireshead’s Lords dream all over for another year

Shireshead's Joe Cunliffe. Picture: Tony North.
Shireshead's Joe Cunliffe. Picture: Tony North.

As the Shireshead charabanc rolled into the idyllic Furness village of Lindal there was a palpable sense of expectation having put out North Lancashire League Cleator Moor so convincingly in the previous round of the National Village Knockout Cup.

Lindal elected to bat on a wicket that looked a belter and an outfield that promised a run fest.

The start could not have been better for the visitors as the visibly ferocious looking Dave Jack had the centurion of the day before, Grunshaw, caught behind by keeper Bleasedale for just two.

The impressive Joe Cunliffe then removed captain Waind, smartly caught at slip for 3O.

Opener Brockshaw hung on in to make 32 but Hogg and Scrogam fell relatively cheaply due to some fine catching by Andrew and Adam Murphy.

After Tom Jacques eventually clean bowled opener Brockshaw for 32 a target score of 200 plus looked a long way off for Lindal.

However, a partnership between Wilcock (31), Gregg (27) and Cumberbatch (51 not out) in the second part of the Lindal innings saw the scoring rate accelerate and the home side posted 201 for 7.

Paul Yates and Tom Jacques scored freely, putting on 59 for the first wicket, Jacques (27) looking set for a very big innings before being bowled by the accurate Waind eyeing up the mid wicket boundary.

The scoring rate decelerated as Lindal bowled with great accuracy and Adam Murphy and Yates despite looking comfortable, struggled to keep up the previous momentum.

Murphy, realising the situation was caught at mid wicket by Waind plucking a one handed catch above his head.

Steve Yates fell cheaply and Paul Yates was trapped lbw for 30 by Gregg (2-25).

A lot now rested on the captain, Dave Jack’s shoulders and he looked in imperious form, scoring three boundaries in an emerging partnership with Joe Cunliffe before returning a catch to bowler Hogg, departing on 17.

Hogg (5-56) accounted for Joe Oliver and it looked precarious for Shireshead until Joe Cunliffe and Andrew Murphy began to build a partnership and the scoring picked up.

The pair put on 52, Murphy hitting 29 with characteristic ebullience with two sixes and a four.

The pivotal moment may have been when he was miraculously caught in the deep by Scrogam.

Oliver and Foy departed but Steven Foy and Cunliffe were never going to concede defeat and Cunliffe scored a superb 40 (three fours and a six) in 47 balls.

Twelve was needed from the last over and with five coming from the first three balls before Foy (19) was stumped smartly after advancing down the wicket looking for a much needed boundary leaving Shireshead stranded nine runs short of victory, with dreams of Lords disappearing for another year.