KEARSLEY won the Hamer Cup for the first time since 2009 with a six-wicket victory over Farnworth on Sunday.

The match at Westhoughton began with only a 15-minute delay thanks to the hard work of the club groundstaff and volunteers following Saturday's rain which caused all the Bolton League matches to be washed out.

Farnworth batted first, and despite losing Jonny Davies to Dave Mather in the fifth over they made use of the power play – where only two fielders are allowed outside the circle in the first ten overs – averaging almost five runs an over.

Jon Kerrigan departed for 21 in the 11th over, caught by Grant Cordin off the bowling of Jack Berry with the score on 47.

Imran Mirza and deputy professional Jalat Khan then took the score to 86, at which point most of the spectators were anticipating a total of around 200. However, Mirza was bowled by Jack Berry and there was a mini collapse with five wickets falling for 36 runs as Kearsley skipper Cameron Murray destroyed the middle order.

Leighton Friend, Simon Booth and Nakash Qamar scored only three runs between them, Booth caught one-handed by Cordin running towards the boundary. During this period Khan was also dismissed, lbw to the Kearsley deputy professional Geeth Kamara, his team's top scorer with 43.

After an unexpected break for rain, Danny Higham and Iain McLellan set about repairing the damage in the remaining 18 overs.

Batting more carefully they added 28, the joint second highest partnership of the innings before Higham became Mather's second victim.

McLellan followed to the same bowler two overs and two runs later later, and Neil Hyde was the last wicket to fall without addition to the score with almost five overs remaining.

Out of Farnworth's total of 142 six players contributed just seven runs between them.

However by the 12th over of the Kearsley innings, Farnworth had bowled themselves into a commanding position.

Chris Baxendale was caught by Neil Hyde off the bowling of Tufial Ahmed for six runs in the third over, and five overs later Khan captured the wicket of Ryan Chaisty.

A further five overs had elapsed when Hyde and Ahmed combined again, Hyde juggling but keeping hold of a difficult chance to remove Jordan Thornley.

The pundits around the ground were saying Kamara and Murray would need a half-century partnership to keep Kearsley in the game, but in the event, when the deputy professional was dismissed for 53, the pair were only five runs short of an otherwise chance-less century partnership.

With Farnworth missing the spin of Ross Sutton, they turned to Hyde, Higham, Friend and McLellan who conceded 52 runs in the nine overs they shared.

Murray, with support from Berry, took Kearsley over the line with a 23-run partnership, during which time Murray completed his half century and earned himself the man-of-the-match award.

Both his and Kamara's innings had been textbook examples of how to cautiously overcome a poor start to an innings by taking their time early on in the partnership, taking few risks and accumulating the singles and twos before beginning to dominate the bowling.



Kearsley won by 6 wkts


J Kerrigan c Cordin b Berry 21

J Davies b Mather 4

I MIrza b Berry 23

Khan lbw b Kumara 43

L Friend c Morris b Murray 2

S Booth c Cordin b Murray 0

N Qamar st Burns b Murray 1

D Higham b Mather 18

I McLellan b Mather 10

N Hyde b Jameel 0

T Ahmed not out 0

Extras 20

Total 142

Bowling: Mather 8-2-24-3, Jameel 5.1-0-24-1, Kumara 10-3-29-1, Berry 10-1-27-2, Murray 10-1-25-3, Morris 2-0-8-0.


C Baxendale c Hyde b Ahmad 6

J Thornley c Hyde b Ahmad 10

R Chaisty b Khan 3

Kumara c Friend b Khan 53

C Murray not out 52

J Berry not out 3

Extras 16

Total (for 4) 143

Bowling: Khan 10-3-25-2, Mirza 10-0-29-0, Ahmad 9.2-1-35-2, Hyde 2-0-10-0, Higham 2-0-22-0, Friend 4-0-14-0, McLellan 1-0-6-0.