McCullagh impresses with both bat and ball

Dave Fisher of Chorley Cricket Club
Dave Fisher of Chorley Cricket Club
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Chorley took the first step of their 2014 campaign in pleasing manner as they earned an ultimately comfortable 15-point win over Preston.

Despite Preston being the whipping boys of the league last year, there was pressure on Chorley to perform as anything less than a victory would have put a downer on the optimism which has arisen from a storming end to last season, along with and a couple of comfortable wins in last weekend’s pre-season friendlies.

Chorley, batting first, got to 37 before losing their first wicket when Jack Catterall fell leg before to the skiddy bowling of Afzal Kapadia.

The home side then moved on to to 67 before Fisher was also dismissed LBW, this time to Saeed Bariwala.

He left the field after scoring a well-made 28.

The loss of Fisher triggered a collapse in the Chorley batting order with Ian Dickinson (24), professional Mohammed Jamal (10), debutant Andrew Winrow (0) and player-coach Gaurav Dhar (0) all falling to the bowling of Kapadia and Bariwala.

Will Moulton played a superbly-paced innings of 41 to see them out of the woods.

And a few lusty blows from Kieran McCullagh saw Andy Holdsworth’s side to a respectable 161 all out.

The speedy duo of Richard Flood and Billy Smith got the Windsor Park outfit off to a flier by reducing the West Cliff side to 49-5.

But debut man Sarfraz Navaz Patel (50) refused to give in.

And when he and Miya Ahmed Lunat (19) took the score to 111, nerves rang around Windsor Park.

McCullagh and Moulton were introduced into the attack and the pair shared five wickets between them –

McCullagh grabbing 3-13 off 6.2 overs and Moulton 2-9 to help seal a welcome

45-run victory.

n The second team got off to an excellent start by dismantling Preston 2nd XI.

Chorley skittled out their opponents for just 50.

Leg-spinner Ian Oakes taking five wickets, with Chris Harty claiming three, Bradley Wade, one and a run-out.

In reply, openers Rowan Mitcham (16*) and Jack Bentham (18*) cruised to victory inside 10 overs to hand Chorley the win.