Torrisholme entertained last year’s Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division champions Great Eccleston to Boundary Meadow on Saturday, and fell to a heavy 77-run defeat.
Winning the toss, Mustaq Mohammad decided to have a bat on a deck that was being reused, due to the amount of wet weather during the week.
Opening the batting for Great Eccleston, J Thistlethwate (10) and A Green (19) got the game off to a watchful start, while Matt Jackson (2-32) and Daniel Woods (1-30) kept things tight with the score 20-0 from the first 10 overs.
The returning Graham Lee (3-47) replaced Woods, and the breakthrough came in the next over, Jackson having Thistlethwaite caught by Gibbins at extra cover.
A Swale (5) joined Green, but Jackson had his tail up and removed Green, who was bowled playing on.
It was soon 45-5 as Lee worked his magic, and with James Cookson (1-12), replacing Jackson, Torrisholme were really on top – Lee trapped Swale LBW and Cookson bowled W Thistlethwaite (2).
The strength of the Palace Shield and, in particular, the depth in batting, showed as Nadeem Mohammed (79 no) entered the crease, he rode his luck to begin with, but with M Mohammed (16), J Whittle (11) and P Booth (13no), he used the overs wisely, accumulating runs and then going big at the end.
A wonder catch from Cookson at square leg was one of the few highlights for Torrisholme in the last 15 overs as, from a commanding position, the game had slipped away from Torrisholme, and Great Eccleston finished on an above par 160-7 from their allotted overs.
From here, Torrisholme’s day didn’t get any better.
Billy Akrigg (3) opened the batting with Dan Woods (5), but the experienced Jim Proctor (4-19) was right on the money from ball one, and with P Booth (2-26) they took wickets at regular intervals and Torrisholme couldn’t get a partnership going.
From 10-2, a further collapse to 31-4 put an end to any chase.
Young James Cookson (26) led the way and showed how to bat against this attack, unfortunately for Torrisholme it was too little, too late, and J Whittle (2-20) and N Mohammed (2-15) sealed the win for Great Eccleston, Nadeem with a match-winning knock of 79no and 2-15 to mark a very productive day.
Torrisholme will dust themselves off and look to go again with several huge fixtures on the horizon, two in the league against sides in the relegation battle, and a cup quarter-final to look forward to away at Vernon Carus CC July 3.