Westmorland Cricket League: Warton battle hard to hold Shireshead to draw

Shireshead Cricket Club.
Shireshead Cricket Club.

Shireshead got the better of a hard-fought draw with Warton on Saturday.

Warton skipper Gareth Finney put the visitors into bat and they were in trouble at 22-4 with opening pair Graeme Crowther (5-42) and Jack Brown (2 for 11) showing good discipline.

This brought together Nick Rafferty (31) and Phil Oliver (42) who built the partnership of the day to turn the game around.

They added 66 for the sixth wicket in 13 overs to gradually wrest control from the bowlers, Rafferty anchoring the innings whilst Oliver showed his usual attacking intent.

The lower order also showed good composure to ensure all 45 allotted overs were used up and a defendable total of 131-9 was compiled.

In reply, James Rafferty (1 for 24) and Danny Wilkinson (2 for 20) opened up with a run of five consecutive maidens before Wilkinson removed both opening batsmen cheaply.

Father and son Ricky and Ryan Nelson added 31 as Warton dug in, but Peter Wilson (2 -23) dismissed both to expose the middle order to Uzair Shah (4-9) who bowled a superb spell to reduce Warton from 64-4 to 77-8 in the blink of an eye.

When Rafferty, who took an excellent diving catch to remove Finney for 18, dismissed Adam Weatherhill cheaply in the 35th over it seemed a Shireshead victory was secured,

However young Marcus Nicholson and 17-year-old George Pickering survived 10 overs at the end to see Warton home for the draw at 85-9.