Match report: Rufford 140ao, Longridge 143-4

Rory McDowell was also among the wickets as Longridge won at Rufford
Rory McDowell was also among the wickets as Longridge won at Rufford

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division

Twelve points keep Kyle Helm’s men only a handful behind Fulwood and Broughton at the top of the table with the season now in its second half.

Having won promotion last season despite finishing fourth in division one, second-bottom Rufford were shown no mercy by Helm’s men.

That much was obvious after the home side had won the toss and decided they would bat first.

Their top order was decimated by Matt Greenall, who accounted for Rob Kenny (2), Mark Golding (9), Gregg Ashcroft (2), Nathan Lloyd (0) and John Iddon (0).

Richard Lyon (24) and Danny Hodge (15) attempted a rebuilding job before falling victims to Ian Simpson and Greenall respectively.

Greenall picked up his seventh wicket by dismissing Liam Nickson without scoring but Rufford’s last three batters ended any notion of an early finish.

Tom Taylor, batting at number nine, top-scored with 48 with Fyffe Dennis adding 10 and last man David Blundell another 14 in ensuring Rufford at least had something to defend.

Dennis was Simpson’s second wicket in his return of 2-46, while Blundell fell victim to Rory McDowell (1-24) as Greenall took the honours with his figures of 7-45 from 15 overs.

Rufford took that late order momentum into the field and were rewarded when opener James Whitehead (0) was the first of three wickets for Lyon.

He also accounted for John Simpson (19) and Dan Wilkinson Jnr (13) to end with figures of 3-59 from 11 overs.

Luke Platt (5) was the other man to fall, this time to Hodge (1-50).

However, opener Josh McDowell carried his bat for an undefeated 34, while Tom Howarth came in at number six and struck 54 not out in carrying his side to victory in the 25th over and earning 12 points in the process.