NICK CHAMBERLAIN'S GREATEST TEAM: Adlington Allstars
Updated 10:46am Tuesday 17th June 2014 in Sport
We continue our series of articles in which local club officials choose an all-time greatest team for their club by Nick Chamberlain, who would make Bolton Association outfit Adlington’s best 11.
IN trying to pick an all-time Adlington XI, I have had to discuss with senior members whose experiences far outweigh my 30 years involvement with the club. In this respect, ability and longevity of a career seems to be the order of the day.
The opening partnership was unanimously considered to be Lawrence Moore and Michael Leyland.
Lawrence played regular first team cricket from the age of 16 before turning professional at Farnworth and Leyland Motors.
He returned in 1981 to partner Leyland, debut 1973, and together they forged a partnership throughout the 1980’s that was judged by many to be the best opening partnership in the Association.
Both scored in excess of 8,000 runs and helped Adlington to League and cup successes.
The top order, and we have to go back some time, would be completed by Jack Unsworth and Jack Woodruff.
Both stylish batsmen, their careers spanned the Second World War. Unsworth made his debut in 1929 and was still making the occasional first team appearance in 1966.
Their total runs scored would have been much more as Adlington did not compete during the war years.
If the innings started to flag, there would always be Stan Bamber (1949 -1969) to liven things up.
This was a role carried on in later years by Eddie Haddon, debut in 1979, and still around if required for first team duties. The middle order and spin department would be in the safe hands of Mick Howard and Matthew Taylor.
Although both were Adlington professionals they also served as amateurs to great effect. Wicket keeper would be a toss-up between Rod Charnock and Mick Flatters.
Do you opt for the Howard-Charnock or Taylor-Flatters combination? Both were award winners during their time and Flatters is the joint holder of the most victims in a match in the Association. Daryl Hitchen was another to perform with distinction behind the stumps, also an award winner.
Of the bowlers, Dennis Hudson and David Baxendale, a tragically short career, would represent the sixties but if we are looking for bowlers bowling in tandem, it is impossible to look beyond Bob Walmsley and Fred Wilkinson.
Again, their playing time divided by the war, they bowled Adlington to League success in 1946, 1948 and the Cross Cup in 1949. In four post-war years, they took over 550 wickets between them.
What were the Adlington Committee thinking of in allowing them both to leave for Walker Institute in 1950 were they accumulated 2000 wickets in the next 15 years?
Then the big question is who the captain should be?
Logic suggests Moore but this would preclude John Rossall, such a force behind the mid-eighties side and an outstanding chairman. I suppose in the modern game he could be classed as team manager.
And what about the team behind the team.
The ground staff consisting now of Ken and Eric Hitchen, John King, all who played for many years and Gordon Whittle, who keeps threatening to retire but we won’t let him.
Lawrence Moore, Mick Leyland, Jack Unsworth, Jack Woodruff, Stan Bamber, David Baxendale, Mick Flatters, Matthew Taylor, Mick Howard, Fred Wilkinson and Bob Walmsley -
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