The Littleborough innings, as in the previous encounters with Littleborough, was held together by ex Australian professional Clint Perren who top scored with 63. For Bacup Naylor took 4 for 66 and Serasinghe was again economical with 1 for 39 off his 14 overs.
In response experienced Bacup opening batsman Newbitt set about chasing the score down but was offered insufficient help from his team mates. Only Thompson with 16 and Ben Lord with an enterprising 27 contributed to the effort with Bacup falling short on 178 all out to claim 3 batting bonus points. Newbitt's score of 86 takes him past 300 league runs for the season.
Back at Lanehead the second eleven also finished on the losing side. Having won the toss Bacup posted a useful total of 208 all out. Top scorer was 14 year old Charlie Gansler who achieved his first second eleven half century with a fine innings of 65, supported by skipper Syers with 36, whilst Shepherd made 29 with some lusty late order hitting.
However, Littleborough coasted home by 5 wickets. George Sumner and Shepherd picked up a couple of wickets each, but the bowling and fielding in general was way below standard as a mammoth 50 extras were conceded.
It was the third eleven who picked up the only league win of the weekend when they travelled to Enfield. Having won the toss and batted first Bacup found themselves in trouble on 30 for 3. It was then an excellent partnership of 84 between George Sumner (54) and Josh Holt (65) which took Bacup to a useful total of 156 for 6 in their 40 overs.
In reply Enfield were generally up with the run rate but lost wickets on a regular basis. Dom Boardman and George Sumner picked up 3 wickets apiece and Harris 2, but it was the tight mid innings bowling from Niall Boardman with 2 for 16 and Holt conceding only 12 runs in his allotted 8 overs which applied the pressure and forced the win with Enfield being bowled out for 135 and Bacup picking up the maximum 12 points. This game marked the debut of 13 year old keeper Rhys Lloyd who impressed with 3 catches and only only 2 byes.
The weekend started on a real high as Bacup had home advantage, after finishing top of their group, in the T20 competition quarter final against first division Crompton. However, having seen off first division opposition in Todmorden and Rochdale as well as Middleton, Bacup went in to this match full of confidence.
Having won the toss skipper Fielding followed the tried and trusted formula of asking the opposition to bat first. Again it proved successful as Crompton were dismissed for only 110 in 19 overs. The Bacup bowling and fielding was excellent with Bradford impressing with 3 for 20, supported by Ben Lord with 3 for 28 and Naylor with 2 for 22.
There was disappointment for the Bacup faithful with Serasinghe harshly adjudged caught behind for 18. However, Newbitt(39 not out) and Thompson(40 not out) saw Bacup home with more than 8 overs to spare. A comprehensive victory which sees Bacup go through to T20 Finals Day which will be hosted at Lanehead on Sunday 28th July. In the semi finals Ramsbottom will play Church whilst Bacup will play Rishton with the final being contested later in the day.
It was the perfect weekend for Bacup with wins all round.
The first eleven travelled to struggling Milnrow who 48 hours earlier had announced the news that they were resigning from the league at the end of the season.
Bacup elected to bat first but were soon in deep trouble on 26 for 4. A 54 fifth wicket partnership between Serasinghe and Thompson (17) put Bacup back on track. The professional then added 126 for the sixth wicket with Bradford who played very well for his 35. Serasinghe eventually fell for a season’s best 146 off 130 balls with 16 4’s and 4 6’s as Bacup closed on 259 for 6. Smith impressed for Milnrow with 3 for 41.
In response Milnrow were never really at the races despite Smith completing a fine day with 48 with the bat. Serasinghe completed another fine all round day taking 4 for 24 and Ben Lord also continued his fine form with 3 for 23.
The second eleven were made to fight much harder for their win at Lanehead. Another poor batting display saw Bacup all out for 130 with plenty of overs to spare. Skipper Syers top scored with 33 whilst Scott Thompson made 22 and Dom Boardman 17.
At 50 for 8 Bacup looked home and dry but late order resistance led to a bit of panic before the innings was wrapped up for 109. Sam Lord impressed with 7 wickets with Shepherd picking up the other 3.
The thirds were also victorious at home to Burnley making 210 for 7 with Dom Boardman (44), George Sumner (42), Donovan (35) and Charlie Gansler (22) all making solid contributions. Burnley made a good effort in reply but fell short on 184 for 5 with Niall Boardman being the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 21.
On Friday evening Bacup completed their T20 group matches with another fine win at Rochdale, thus remaining unbeaten and qualifying for the quarter finals with a home match against Crompton this Friday.
Rochdale made 115 for 9 with Serasinghe taking 3 for 23 and Bradford 2 for 19.
After the early loss of Newbitt Bacup sailed home for the loss of only 1 wicket with 2 overs to spare thanks to the ever reliable Serasinghe with 44 not out and Thompson with a splendid undefeated 58.