The first Cross Cup final on August 17, 1889, was a statistician’s dream with records being set with every ball.
The scoresheet shows that Darcy Lever scored 70 in reply to Little Lever’s 47 all out but it is officially recorded as a win by three wickets.
The highest individual score was raised to 27 (J Edge of Darcy Lever) the following year as Eagley’s 105 was enough to scrape home by one run, but the result was reversed in 1891.
A Edge became the highest scorer (48*) in Darcy’s 134, with A Chadwick taking five Eagley wickets for 21.
G Bennett’s 68* helped Tonge gain a four-wicket victory in 1892 and J Fairclough improved the bowling to 6-22. Tonge again defeated Farnworth the following year.
By 1894 Tonge had raised the innings total to 143, but their victory was tarnished as Westhoughton refused to carry on in bad light, Tonge thereby winning by default.
Farnworth had been dismissed for 39 in 1893, but Darcy Lever’s 23 all out v Tonge (1895) became the lowest score in a final.
W Sugg recorded the remarkable figures of 11.2-10-1-7 in this innings whereas Woolley at the other end was rather expensive with 3-21. Tonge’s 157-8 (1896) remained the highest score until they posted 174 all out in 1900, which was more than enough to defeat Farnworth who recorded the all-time low of 21.
C Salkeld (Tonge) had raised the individual score to 69, but it was the bowlers who were taking the honours in this period, including T Holley 6-25 (Tonge v Haigh 1896), Young 6-16 (Halliwell v Tonge 1897) J D Tyldesley 6-36 (Westhoughton) and Armstrong replying in the same fixture for Haigh with 7-6. Halliwell and Haigh became the fifth and sixth winners of the trophy.
Tonge’s hat-trick of wins in 1900-1902 owed much to the bowlers Townson 6-13 (1901) and Bedford 7-30 (1902), but the latter’s 8-8 in 1900 must rank as one of the best ever performances.
Walter Warburton (Eagley) scored only eight in his first appearance in a final in 1901 but his time was to come.
Apart from Eagley’s one-run victory in 1890, early results were fairly emphatic, and this trend continued until 1909 when Eagley’s winning margin was only six runs, and 1910 when Westhoughton won by one wicket requiring 78 to win.
Eagley dominated the early years of the 20th century, winning five finals on the run (1903-1907) and appearing in seven out of nine between 1903 and 1911.
Warburton’s 112 in 1905 was the first in a final and he followed this with 141 in 1906 – which still stands as the highest individual score in a final.
Eagley’s run contained some tremendous wins; by 166 runs (1905 v Bradshaw), 112 runs (1906 v Farnworth) 138 runs (1907 v Halliwell) and seven wickets (199 v Tonge).
Westhoughton’s first success in 1910 looked unlikely when replying to Tonge’s 77. They slipped to 31-8, but A J Tonge rescued the tie with 33 not out. Farnworth added to early successes in 1912-1913, dismissing Eagley for 38 then comprehensively beating Heaton by 90 runs.
Radcliffe outplayed Halliwell in 1914 and Social Circle became the ninth club to win, beating neighbours Farnworth by five wickets in 1915.
The tables were turned the following year, Farnworth gaining revenge by 105 runs.
Nick Chamberlain will continue his look back at the Cross Cup’s winners and losers in two weeks.