It’s a return to the national stage for Chorley Cricket Club as they secured a huge win against Bamford Fieldhouse.
In a game that managed to beat the bad weather too, Andy Holdsworth’s boys outbatted, outbowled and outfielded the Saddleworth side in the Regional final of the National Knockout Trophy.
Chorley now have an away tie against Shrewsbury Cricket Club which will be played Sunday, July 14.
In an opposition team which contained former West Indies Test bowler Marlon Black, former Chorley opening bat Josh Tolley – who regularly plays for Northants 2nd XI – and former Gloucestershire batsman Grant Hodnett, it was fair to say that the odds were stacked against the Windsor Park outfit.
But first with ball, and then with the bat, Chorley showed what a good side they can be and avenged Saturday’s defeat against Fleetwood.
A brilliant spell of seam bowling from all-rounder Will Moulton, who took 4-30 off his nine overs, destroyed the Bamford middle order nad help bowl them out for 120.
Former Leyland and Croston batsman Ian Dickinson then showed class and maturity as his unbeaten knock of 80 handed Chorley a somewhat convincing victory.
Skipper Holdsworth, who will be leading his side to a second successive appearance in the national stages, said: “The performance from the boys was superb.
“After the defeat against Fleetwood on Saturday, it was important we forgot about it and concentrated on the game.
“Everybody was excellent and we fully deserved the win.”
Electing to bowl first, Billy Smith was given the first over and had instant success removing Tolley for six.
Hodnett punished some short bowling from seamer Chris Harty but the introduction of Moulton well and truly had Bamford on the ropes.
He claimed the wickets of ex Lancashire player Paddy Mckeown, Melbourne Austin, Simon Wright and Nick Brierley which left Bamford 66-5.
Moulton was well supported by Smith (1-12) the returning Kieran McCullagh (3-30), professional Gaurav Dhar
(1-15) and Iain Critchley (1-7).
Only pro Hodnett offered any resistance hitting 51 but an excellent leg break from pro Dhar ensured the Bamford pro didn’t add to his 51.
A nuisance last partnership added 36 but Bamford who hadn’t lost a wicket prior to this match in the competition succumbed to 120 all out.
Andy Griffiths and Jack Bentham opened the batting for Chorley, but Griffiths was soon to be back with his teammates after he fell to Melbourne Austin for four.
In came Dickinson who stole the show with his classy innings.
In a chanceless knock he and Bentham (21) added 82 for the second wicket before Bentham fell to Martin Smith.
Smith also removed Moulton who failed to score before Iain Critchley was ran out for six.
But Dickinson kept his calm and hit the winning runs which sent the Windsor Park crowd into mass celebrations.
An elated Holdsworth said: “The knock from Dicko was absolutely superb.
“He didn’t give a chance and he made it look easy.
“We can take so many positives from todays game and our fielding was excellent
“We all can’t wait for the Shrewsbury tie and hopefully we can go one better than last year and make the quarter finals.”