Egerton survive semi-final scare to retain indoor title
EGERTON retained the Anthony Axford Indoor Cricket Trophy in style with Stuart Hornby and Danny Partington leading them to a comfortable five-wicket victory over Heaton in the final.
But they survived a scare in a dramatic semi-final at the Bolton School sports hall when Farnworth came within a whisker of knocking them out.
Egerton recovered from 56-3 to set a respectable total of 109-3, Paul Stafford 26 not out and Antony Clegg 27no ensuring their bowlers had a sizeable score to defend.
But good knocks from Alex Rodzoch (33), Simon Booth (21) and Chris Baxendale (21) put Farnworth in the driving seat.
With three overs left the Bridgeman Park men required just 16 runs for victory and the odds were stacked against Egerton making the final.
But two quick run-outs led to Farnworth’s downfall and they were eventually all out for 104 – six short of their target and with seven balls of their innings remaining.
The final was less dramatic, Heaton batting first and losing Gareth Carson early with the score on 17.
Rick Parry top-scored with an unbeaten 25, but some tight bowling from Paul Stafford, who conceded just 12 in his three overs, and Hornby, who conceded 19 from his three, restricted Heaton to 76-3.
In reply, Egerton lost Declan Dudley with just eight on the board but man-of-the-match Hornby and Partington pushed the ball around sensibly, picking up singles and well-placed threes to lead Egerton to 77-1, despite two very good overs by Alex Jones, who conceded just six runs.
Jones had played a key role in Heaton’s semi-final win against Horwich, with figures of 1-16 off his three overs.
Despite the efforts of Dave Morris, who batted steadily to build an innings of 28, Horwich were bowled out for 77, having done well to recover from losing their first two wickets for just seven.
Carson and Parry got Heaton off to a good start, both retiring on 26 and 25, respectively.
The first wicket fell at 65 when Oliver Sutcliffe was caught behind off Adam Street but Tom Liversedge and Josh McGreavy guided Heaton into the final.
Egerton will represent Lancashire in the next round of the national six-a-side tournament at St Bede’s RC School, Ormskirk on Sunday when they meet Condover from the Shropshire League.