Chorley end long wait for silverware

Fulwood and Broughton's Matthew Hurst in bowling action against Fleetwood
Fulwood and Broughton's Matthew Hurst in bowling action against Fleetwood
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Chorley Cricket Club’s first team ended an 18-year trophy drought by winning the T20 Trophy on Sunday.

Chorley beat holders Netherfield in the semi-final, and then cruised past Fleetwood in the final to win their first piece of silverware since defeating Netherfield to lift the League Cup back in 2000.

The successful Chorley team

The successful Chorley team

And now with the League Cup still up for grabs, and Andy Holdsworth’s fourth-placed side still an outside bet to be crowned Northern Premier Division champions, the club is on a crest of a wave.

Along with a thriving junior section, the first team have now picked up what they hope is one of many prizes this summer.

Chorley bounced back from a disappointing league defeat to Barrow to lift the trophy.

They were boosted by a 35-run win over Netherfield, Alexander Howarth starring with the bat, hitting 56 having been promoted to the top of the order.

Chorley’s bowling attack then worked in tandem to protect the 201-9 total as Stuart Naden, Ian Oakes, Will Moulton, Ed Moulton and Gaurav Dhar tamed Netherfield for 166-8.

Fleetwood saw off hosts Fulwood and Broughton in the other semi-final, and Chorley’s bowling attack sensed blood.

Buoyed by the win over Netherfield, they dispatched Fleetwood for 101.

Professional Gayan Maneeshan and overseas amateur Wian Van Zyl showed their teeth with the bat, helping Chorley to the title for the loss of just three wickets within 10 overs.

Committee member Oliver Smith says the club is on cloud nine after the well overdue win, and their first T20 triumph: “It has been a long time coming.

“It is the first first team trophy in 18 years.

“We were absolutely superb on Sunday and we could not have asked for anything more.

“We went into finals day as underdogs, Netherfield have a rich history in that cup.

“But we dominated that opening game.

“We were excellent with the bat, Alex Howarth hit 56 and was excellent, Wian hit runs, so did Gayan and we kicked on from there.

“Netherfield started strongly in the power play but after that, when we spread the field, our bowlers stepped up to the mark – Guarav Dhar and Ed Moulton were excellent.

“We ran out convincing winners against a good T20 side.

“The final was one-sided to be honest, we battered them by seven wickets.

“We bowled them out for 101 a couple of overs short and we chased it down with 10 overs to go.

“Wian hit runs and Gayan was superb again.

“Now it is something we want to build on.

“We are in with a shout of the League Cup and then we want to finish as high as we can in the league.”

And Chorley are aiming to bounce back in the league when they travel to second-placed Blackpool on Saturday.

They then host Penrith in the League Cup and Smith says Maneeshan and Van Zyl can be key to helping Chorley finish the season with more glory.

Smith added: “Gayan is having an excellent season himself.

“It is overshadowed a little bit because Wian has exceeded expectations, but as a pair when they are batting at one and three it gives the rest of the side confidence.

“As a two they bat so well together too. They both bounce off each other and know how each other works, they are good at running, take quick singles but play shots too.

“Those two as a pair have been superb for us now, they will play a big difference in the remainder of the season in terms of how far we can go in the league and league cup which we are more than confident of winning.”