EUXTON reaped the rewards of hard work and persistance as they grafted to beat the rain and claim a fine win over Cherry Tree in the only match to survive the stormy weather in either the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League or Foster’s Lancashire League on Saturday.
Torrential downpours on Saturday morning saw all seven Lancashire League games washed out by early afternoon and that programme will now be replayed next month, while games fell thick and fast in the Ribblesdale League as groundstaff fought a losing battle.
But Euxton managed to get their match on – and how they enjoyed it as overseas man Preston White took the honours with a top notch all round display.
The underfoot conditions at Balshaw Park were borderline but Aussie White made light of them to lead his side to a valuable win as he batted beautifully to make the game’s key score.
White made 58 from just 53 balls before being excellently caught on the edge by Kelan Florentine – and it was a fine innings.
He had already shared a 51-run opening stand witk skipper Mark Winrow (29) and when he was dispatched to that Florentina catch of Nas Iqbal, Euxton were 99-3 and well set.
That they didn’t really crack on was down to Iqbal and Rob Ince, who both bowled superbly despite the wet run-ups.
Those run ups affected Cherry’s overseas Ruan Sadler, who struggled to find any rhythm in conditions that he couldn't adapt to and his seven wicketless overs went for 43.
Ince claimed three wickets but Iqbal – bowling seam-up rather than spin for the first time in five years – ran through the Euxton tail as they were 131 all out with 11 balls of their 28 overs left.
Cherry’s reply got off to a dreadful start as skipper Mark Hadfield was adjudged caught behind for two on the fifth ball of the innings and White struck again with his very next delivery as Ammar Ullah mysteriously tried to smash the Aussie out of the ground only to succeed in hitting the ball down the throat of mid-on.
It was an odd choice of shot to play on your first ball and left Cherry reeling on 2-2.
It got worse when Sadler chopped on to Oliver Marsden from his first ball to leave the visitors 10-3 and they were in real bother.
But Marc Burrows and Saj Akhtar tried to turn the tide with a hefty fourth-wicket partnership.
But while they advanced the score to 83 they were falling behind the required rate and found White a real handful with his left-arm seam.
White has a minimal run-up but generated a yard of pace and was bringing the ball into the batsmen and causing all manner of problems.
Despite the slow scoring, Cherry were favourites with Burrows and Akhtar at the crease but the former hit one straight up in the air after an impromptu drinks break with six overs left and departed for 41.
It was very much over to Akhtar then and despite two big sixes he couldn’t get his side back into the race and to add to the pain, he also skied one and fell for 47 when he deserved a half-century.
In the end Cherry closed on 113-6 with White’s 4-43 from 14 unbroken overs the standout bowling return.