Accrington v Church in The Worsley Cup
The two clubs have met twenty-three times in the Worsley Cup with Church winning twelve matches and Accrington winni8ng eleven. Four of these meetings have been in the semi finals with Church holding three victories. Church won the 1974 meeting at West End on the way to winning the trophy for the only time and Accrington gained revenge two years later in the long hot summer of 1976 at Thorneyholme Road. Church also won the last semi final in 2017 and also the replayed semi final of 2012.
The legendary Bill Finney stole the show the first time the clubs met in 1926, hitting an unbeaten 72 in a 7 wicket home win. Two years later it was Church who came out on top by just 3 runs in a match spanning six nights. The pendulum swayed Accrington's way in 1929 and the 1930s saw Church in the ascendancy with four wins against two for Accrington.
In fact there was a 23 year gap between Accrington wins in 1936 and 1959 with Church winning the three intervening games. A fifteen year period saw Accrington chalk up five successive wins, including victories on the way to final appearances in 1967 and in 1970 when Eddie Robinson lifted the cup.
A Jack Houldsworth inspired Church team claimed success in 1974 and 1977 and 1983. Accrington's 1976 win was in the last Worsley Cup semi final to be played on Thorneyholme Road prior to the 2012 meeting. Church have won the last two meetings between the clubs in 2012 and 2016.
Round 2 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 6th, 7th, 8th July 1926
Accrington 170-3, Church 168
A superb unbeaten 72 by Bill Finney was the highlight of Accrington's 7 wicket win over Church at Thorneyholme Road. Professional Harry Howell, once reputed to be the fastest bowler in England returned to take 5-84 with Stan Smith chipping in with 3-22 to dismiss Church for 168. Reg Savage top scored with 47 and professional Duncan Norbury made 28 for the visitors. Accrington closed the second evenings play on 45 for the loss of Alec Jackson, who made 30. Francis Sproul made 22 in adding 48 for the 2nd wicket with Finney. Stan Smith (24) then added 57 with the opener and Howell was unbeaten on 13 when Finney made the winning hit in one of his best innings for the club.
Round 1 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Tuesday, 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 26th June 1928
Accrington 181, Church 184
A bizarre ending saw Accrington knocked out of the cup when wicketkeeper Jim Inman was unable to play on the final evening with just 4 runs needed for victory in a match that had begun two weeks previously. Rain either prevented or curtailed play on just about every night so in the end the teams played through the showers on the final evening to finish the match. Church openers W Haworth (63) and Jimmy Haworth (52) put on 120 but once Accrington professional William Abel had dismissed them both, only Church professional Fred Hartley (20) could manage double figures as his opposite number snapped up 7-48 in Church's 184 all out. Hartley then took 4-48 with Bill Finney hitting 53, John Hargreaves 20 and Alec Jackson was unbeaten on 34 when he ran out of partners with just 4 needed for victory.
Round 2 Tuesday, Wednesday 6th, 7th August 1929
Church 114, Accrington 130-3
Alec Jackson was again the star of the show, taking 6-55 and hitting an unbeaten 27 in Accrington's 16 run win at Church. Solid batting by Francis Sproul (37 not out), William Clegg (26) and young Tom Walmsley (26) took Accrington to 130-3 at the innings suspension. Jackson and Abe Waddington (4-44) then bowled superbly to ensure a comfortable win and a semi final place.
Round 1 Tuesday, Wednesday 27th, 28th May 1930
Accrington 34, Church 130-2
Church professional Jack Threlfall heaped humiliation on Accrington by taking 8-21 to bundle the home side out for just 34 after Church had suspended on 130-2 on what appeared to be a good batting wicket. Openers Reg Savage (43) and Jimmy Haworth (53) put on 80 to set Church up for a substantial total. The match was in effect decided in Threlfall's second over when he dismissed his opposite number Abe Waddington (10), Tom Walmsley and H Stead to claim a hat-trick. At the close, the home side were struggling on 28-4. On Wednesday it took Church just 30 minutes to win the match as Accrington lost their last 6 wickets for just 6 runs to give their local rivals a 96 run victory, Bill Finney top scoring with 16.
Round 1 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 31st May, 1st, 2nd June 1932
Accrington 162, Church 195
A last wicket stand of 37 between Cyril Roberts (13) and Tommy Lowe (26 not out) proved vital as Church won at Accrington by 33 runs. Church professional Jack Threlfall again proved to be the thorn in Accrington's side with an innings of 65 and 3-42 to polish off the tail on the third evening to wrap up the match for the visitors. Accrington professional Alan Fairfax took 5-55 with Dick Whittaker chipping in with 3-62 in Church's innings of 195. Suspending their innings at 131-6 on Tuesday, Church quickly removed Ronnie Laughlin (3) and Fairfax (4) on Wednesday, but the home side recovered to 121-5 at the close, Bill Finney making 36 and Fred Chadwick 28. Whittaker was run out on Thursday for 16 and Accrington suspended at 132-6. Church batted again, leaving Accrington 64 for victory. Johnny Pollard made 33 and Tom Walmsley was unbeaten on 11 when the innings ended on 162.
Round 2 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8th, 9th, 10th August 1933
Accrington 189, Church 156
Accrington reached the semi final for the first time in four seasons by beating Church by 33 runs at Thorneyholme Road. The home side had last pair Fred Chadwick and skipper Bill Hartley to thank for building a substantial lead after Accrington had been just 19 ahead with 1 wicket to fall. Bill Finney top scored with 76 and Johnny Pollard made 27 but it was Chadwick, who hit 46 in that vital stand with his skipper, who proved to be the home sides hero. Accrington suspended on 134-5. On Wednesday, Church made 126-5 with skipper Jimmy Haworth hitting 46, professional Alby Roberts 26 and Stan Duckett 38. The real drama was reserved for Thursday with the heroics of Chadwick and Hartley and then the collapse of the Church batting when the last 5 wickets fell for 22 runs. Professional Alan Fairfax was outstanding taking 6-58 in a lively spell and Dick Whittaker again gave valuable support with 3-50.
Round 2 Tuesday, Wednesday, 9th, 10th June 1936
Accrington 130-6, Church 88
Jim Bailey was again Accrington's hero with the ball, but it was a superb unbeaten 69 by Ronnie Laughlin that enabled the home side to suspend on 130-6 after some good bowling by Church professional Lennox Brown (3-59). After openers Bill Finney (5) and Bert Walker (7) had gone cheaply, Bailey fell second ball to put the visitors on top. A 4th wicket stand of 59 between skipper Tom Walmsley (18) and Laughlin put Accrington back in the game. Laughlin went on to dominate the innings, riding his luck at times, to finish unbeaten on 69 when the innings was suspended. Bailey and Dick Whittaker (3-35) quickly reduced Church to 37-6 on Wednesday evening. The visitors skipper Jimmy Haworth (27) added 22 with Holden Cornthwaite (12) but the end soon came with Church tumbling to 88 all out in 33 overs.
Round 1 Tuesday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday 12th, 13th, 25th, 27th May 1937
Accrington 242, Church 245-3
Jim Bailey hit his first century for the club but Accrington were beaten by 7 wickets by Church in a high scoring game played over four days at Thorneyholme Road. Bailey hit 115, the first century by an Accrington player in the Worsley Cup and the first by an Accrington player for four years. The home side suspended their innings on 130-3 with Bailey still at the crease. Church went into bat and were soon in trouble at 53-3 with Dick Whittaker, Ronnie Laughlin and Harold Parmley claiming a wicket each. Stan Duckett (61 not out) and skipper Jimmy Haworth (21 not out) then took Church to the suspension figure of 130 without further loss. Bailey then completed his century, striking 14 boundaries before falling lbw to Walmsley for 115. Tom Walmsley hit 35 but Accrington's last 6 wickets fell for 39 runs as the home side made 242. Duckett and Haworth could not be parted as Church went on to win by 7 wickets with Duckett making an unbeaten 119 and Haworth 73.
Round 1 Tuesday, Wednesday, 23rd, 24th May 1939
Church 107-3, Accrington 106
Fielding a weakened side, Accrington were well beaten by a strong Church side that went on to reach the final and then lift the league championship trophy. Tommy Lowe took 2 early wickets but opener Les Pilkington added 38 with professional Jack Ikin before he was stumped for 21. John Marsland soon followed without scoring but skipper Ronnie Laughlin added 37 with Ikin before the professional was bowled by Walter Lomax for 37. From 91-4, Accrington collapsed to 106 all out with Laughlin making 19. Lowe took 4-29 and professional Fred Hartley 3-23. Church took just 95 minutes to pass Accrington's total with Hartley making an unbeaten 47. Ikin did his best, taking 3-38 but Church cantered to a 7 wicket win in the final competition until 1947 because of the Second World War.
Round 1 Tuesday, Thursday 8th, 10th May 1956
Church 67-4, Accrington 66
Accrington were bowled out for just 66 on a drying wicket after openers Bert Harwood (19) and Les Carter (15) had given the visitors a good start. Sam Pilkington took 6-20 and Jack Fielding 2-22 as Accrington were bowled out on the first evening. Church made 9-0 at the close. It took the home side just over an hour to wrap up victory on Thursday with the loss of 4 wickets. Accrington professional Sayajirao Dhanawade and Tommy Duckett both took 2-17 with Harry Pilkington hitting an unbeaten 31 for Church.
Round 1 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 1st, 2nd, 3rd June 1959
Church 154, Accrington 155-7
A career best innings of 77 by young Russ Cuddihy and a spell of 5-35 by professional Bobby Simpson helped Accrington to a 3 wicket win at Church. Simpson was dismissed for 5 as Accrington ended the first evening on an uncomfortable 103-6. Accrington suspended on 132-6 and had taken 5 Church wickets as the home side closed on 89. Simpson polished Church off for 154 with Bill Haworth also picking up 3-29. Geoff Briggs hit an unbeaten 32 and 15 year-old Barry Wilson 30 for the home side. Cuddihy's fine innings ended with the score on 140 after he had hit 10 boundaries but Les Carter hit an unbeaten 36 to guide Accrington to a third victory in just eight days over Church.
Round 1 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 16th, 17th, 18th May 1960
Church 83, Accrington 120
A devastating bowling spell by West Indian professional Wes Hall secured a second round spot for Accrington with a 37 run win at Church. Skipper Lindon Dewhurst top scored with 62 as Accrington were all out for 120 on Monday evening. Russ Cuddihy also hit 28 in 6th wicket stand of 49 with his skipper after Church professional Ralph Legall had taken 8-67. Hall then knocked over six Church batsmen as the home side slumped to 78-8 at the close on Tuesday. It was Derek Rushton who polished off the Church innings on Wednesday, taking 3-15 to dismiss the home side for 83. Hall finished with 6-32.
Round 1 Sunday 11th June 1967
Accrington 187-7, Church 75
Accrington had much the better of the local derby tie with Church at Thorneyholme Road coming out on top by 108 runs. Wearing black armbands because of the tragic death of scorer Graham Boardwell the previous evening in a car crash that also saw Russ Cuddihy and Lindon Dewhurst injured, Accrington made 187-7 after being 117-7 at one stage. Professional Frank Misson made 38, stand-in skipper Brian Rutter 23 and Peter West 21 against Church's four pronged attack of Chester Watson (2-53), Jack Houldsworth (2-33), Bob Fishwick (0-32) and Tommy Lowe (2-65). A 7th wicket stand of 70 between Eddie Robinson (50 not out) and Geoff Hayhurst (22 not out) took the home side to a match winning total. Robinson's half century earned him a collection of £16 6s 7.5 d. Misson then took 5-32 and Alan Worsick 4-35 to dismiss Church for 75. Only a 2nd wicket stand of 44 between Billy Wilkinson (19) and Noel Osbourne (18) provided any resistance.
Round 1 Sunday, Tuesday 5th, 7th May 1968
Church 131, Accrington 132
Accrington had a nailbiting 1 run win at Church in the 1st Round which began on May 5th and was concluded the following Tuesday evening. A superb innings of 62 by David Taylor rescued Accrington after three early wickets had fallen for 17. Derek Rushton made 33, the only other score in double figures for Accrington, in a 4th wicket stand of 69 with Taylor as Accrington made 132. Jack Houldsworth took 4-47 and skipper Alan Riding 4-30 for Church. Professional Graeme Corling made early inroads into the home sides batting line up by dismissing Bill Heys (4) and Noel Osbourne (4). His opposite number Ghulam Abbas led a recovery but when he had made 18, Corling had him caught and bowled. Geoff Briggs fell to Alan Worsick and Corling claimed his 4th wicket when Jack Collier snapped up his second catch to remove Riding. Play ended on Sunday with Church in trouble at 53-5. On Tuesday evening Steve Metcalf and Bob Fishwick took the score on to 76 when Fishwick was superbly caught by Phil Rose for 16. Tommy George and Metcalf brought up the 100 in the 31st over and with 3 overs to go, the home side needed just 10 to win with 4 wickets in hand. The match changed dramatically when Collier caught Metcalf off Geoff Woodcock for 48 and George was then brilliantly run out by Rose for 22. Two wickets remained as Church entered the final over needing just 4 to win but Corling dismissed Brian Caunter lbw off his second ball. Three were needed off the final delivery but Houldsworth was run out going for a second run which would have tied the scores to give Accrington a remarkable 1 run win.
Round 2 Sunday 21st June 1970
Church 100, Accrington 217-9
Accrington professional Bruce Francis hit a superb 134 in his sides 117 run win at Church. The Australian hit 17 boundaries in a superb innings from 160 balls in Accrington's highest ever individual innings in the competition before being caught on the long on boundary by Billy Wilkinson. Brian Rutter made 20 and skipper Eddie Robinson 19 but Accrington's total of 217-9 was dominated by Francis. Alan Worsick then took 6-33 and Bobby Ratcliffe 2-18 as Church were bowled out for 100. Church skipper Bob Fishwick hit 59 to save his side from total humiliation.
Semi Final Sunday 7th July 1974
Church 112-8, Accrington 111
Church reached the final for the first time since 1954 by beating Accrington by 2 wickets at West End on July 7th. It was Jack Houldsworth who did the damage, taking 6-31 as Accrington were dismissed for 111. Alan Worsick top scored with 25 and then took 7-37, including his first hat-trick, but the home side edged to victory with 15 balls to spare with the experienced Geoff Briggs hitting an unbeaten 18 after professional Ken Arthur had made 34 and Barry Wilson 30 before Worsick removed them both. After the match the Church side whitewashed the Blackburn Road wall on the Accrington-Church boundary.
Semi Final Sunday 4th July 1976
Accrington 180-6, Church 176-5
Accrington had the better of their local derby against Church at Thorneyholme Road on July 4th to reach the final for the first time in six years. A memorable match saw the home side triumph by 4 wickets in front of a sun soaked crowd who paid a record gate of £706 to watch the tie. The visitors, who went into the match on the back of five straight wins, made 176-8 with in-form professional Shafiq Ahmed stroking a cultured 59 before having an almighty heave at Tony Gallagher and losing his middle stump in spectacular fashion. Ian Osborne made 35 and opener Billy Wilkinson 28 before both fell to Alan Worsick, who took 3-52. Gallagher was the home sides most successful bowler taking 4-57. Home openers Graham Beech (8) and Geoff Hayhurst (0) soon departed, but Peter West (40) and John Swanney (42) put on 53 for the 3rd wicket before Jack Houldsworth and Shafiq notched their second wicket apiece. Malcolm Taylor had made just 5 when he had to retire hurt with a leg injury and then Alan Richardson was superbly caught and bowled by Church skipper Steve Metcalf for 2 to put the visitors well on top. Worsick had other ideas and when skipper Ian Birtwistle became Houldsworth's third wicket, Taylor returned to the middle with a runner to partner his professional in a match winning stand. Worsick hit five fours and a six in an unbeaten 45 with Taylor also unbeaten on 26 as both batsmen feasted on a tiring Houldsworth, who conceded 31 runs from his final three overs to finish with 3-81.
Round 2 Sunday 12th June 1977
Accrington 44, Church 108
Bottom side Church had their second success of the season at Thorneyholme Road after being bowled out for 108. Alan Worsick took 4-37 and Ian Birtwistle 3-22 for Accrington with Shafiq Ahmed hitting 32 in the Church innings. Jack Houldsworth then destroyed the home side, taking 6-15 with Ahmed also taking 3-27 as Accrington were bowled out for just 44, Worsick top scoring with a hard hit 18.
Round 1 Sunday 15th May 1983
Church 135-9, Accrington 129-9
Church had a 6 run win over local rivals Accrington at West End. Professional Brendon McArdle (37), Tommy George (35) and Ian Osborne (24) were the main run scorers for in Church's innings of 135-9 with Ian Birtwistle taking 5-50 for Accrington. Jack Houldsworth replied with 6-43 in a 24 over spell to restrict Accrington to 129-9. Adrian Varley top scored with 32 and Trevor Hatch made 19 for Accrington.
Round 1 Sunday 20th May 2001
Accrington 176, Church 129
Accrington beat Church by 47 runs at Thorneyholme Road to record a first cup win in five seasons. Home professional Tama Canning hit 63 in Accrington's total of 176, putting on 68 for the 4th wicket with skipper Mas Ahmed (25). Steve Birtwistle chipped in with 24 and Matt Wilson 16. Phil Sykes replied with 38 for Church, but Tariq Hussain took 5-23 to clinch Accrington's first win of the season. Mohsin Ahmed also took 2-32, including the vital wicket of former Accrington skipper Mark Aspin for 16.
Semi Final Saturday June 30th 2012
Accrington 104-2 (23.3), Church DNB
For the first time in the 92 year history of the competition a Worsley Cup match will be replayed due to the weather. Accrington's semi final against Church will be replayed on Saturday August 4th after the match was halted with Accrington on 104-2 off 23.3 overs. The League Executive had resolved that if less than 25 overs were played, the semi finals would start again from scratch.
Graham Lloyd and Andy Greenwood opened the innings for Accrington against Lloyd Aspin. An eventful first over saw 14 runs scored. The first ball was a no ball driven to the backward point boundary by Lloyd. After an over from Andy Bentley, Church professional Saaed Anwar joined the attack in a bid to stem the flow of runs. The first rain break came after 8 overs with 39 on the board. Lloyd and Greenwood put on 50, the home sides best opening stand of the season when Greenwood saw stumped by Sam Tucker off a Bentley wide for 17. After 10 overs Accrington were 52-1. New batsman Aijaz Shah made 8 when he fell in exactly the same manner as Greenwood with the score on 60. Accrington professional Ashar Zaidi joined Lloyd and with the score on 72-2 the heavens opened again. After a half hour delay play resumed and the two players had taken the score to 104 when another shower forced the players off and an early tea was taken. Scorecard
Semi Final Saturday August 4th 2012
Accrington 188, Church 277-5
Last season's runners up Church reached the final for the second year running by beating Accrington by 89 runs at Thorneyholme Road. The visitors piled up 277-5 with an amazing 108 runs coming from the last 10 overs of the innings. Professional Saeed Anwar hit 93 from just 56 balls with seven fours and five sixes. The Pakistani took a liking to the bowling of David Ormerod, who had driven up from a holiday in Cornwall especially for the game. The medium pacer's last 2 overs went for 49 runs. After conceding just 28 runs from his first eight overs, his ninth went for 30 and his tenth went for 19. Levi Wolfenden (35) and Sam Holt opened up with an 80 run stand. Holt made 55 from 98 balls with four fours. Lloyd Aspin (35) added 61 with Holt and then skipper Craig Fergusson (22) put on 96 for the 4th wicket with his professional. Professional Ashar Zaidi took 3-33 for Accrington. The home side quickly lost left handers Graeme Sneddon (1) and Stuart Crabtree (2) to Aspin. Stand-in skipper Matt Wilson promoted himself to the top of the order and made 26 in a 3rd wicket stand of 59 with Zaidi before falling to Andy Bentley (4-28). Aijaz Shah went first ball stumped by Sam Tucker off a wide and Andy Greenwood was run out for 11. Zaidi and Simon Hanson put on 92 with the Pakistani hitting 83 from 92 balls with thirteen boundaries. He finished his innings with a runner and will miss Sunday's match at Ramsbottom. After his dismissal at 183 the last five wickets fell for the addition of just 5 runs when Hanson was last man out for 27 wit the score on 188. Scorecard
Round 1 Sunday
May 8th 2016
Accrington 120, Church 160
Church reached the 2nd round by beating Accrington by 40 runs at Thorneyholme Road. The visitors opened up with a 115 run stand between sub professional Usman Tariq, who hit 64 from 108 balls with seven fours, and Sam Holt whose 83 ball innings of 48 included three fours. Wickets tumbled to Keiren Grimshaw who took a club best 5-12 and Accrington professional Ockert Erasmus (2-18) with Church losing 10 wickets for 45 runs. Skipper Craig Fergusson was left high and dry on 13 not out as his team-mates came and went. Accrington lost wickets at regular intervals but it was the vital wicket of Erasmus that put Church firmly on top. The South African was caught at mid wicket off a ball that stopped with the score on 82. Simon Hanson (19), Ali Hasham (17), Stuart Crabtree (14), Erasmus (12), Jon Hayhurst (11) and skipper Graeme Sneddon (10) all made double figures for the home side. Wicketkeeper Sam Tucker claimed five victims and Kamran Basharat took 4-18 for Church. Scorecard
Semi Final Saturday July 9th 2017
Church 144 Accrington 104
Accrington's hopes of a double final appearance were ended at the semi final stage with both the first and second teams being knocked out of the Worsley and Lancashire Telegraph Cups. The first team were beaten by 40 runs by Church at West End whilst the seconds lost by 6 wickets to Darwen at Thorneyholme Road. Church reached the final of the Worsley Cup for the eighth time by beating long time local rivals Accrington by 40 runs at West End. Accrington had the best possible start with David Ormerod dismissing Church professional Zain Abbas with the first ball of the match, caught at slip by his opposite number Michael Erlank. Josh Scully followed at 13 clean bowled by Ormerod. Church skipper Levi Wolfenden took the score to 42 with Francis Kinsella when he chipped Ormerod to Erlank for 11. Kinsella became Ormerod's fourth and last wicket with 3 balls of his fine spell remaining with Jacob Clarke taking a fine catch on the long on boundary for 27. Ormerod finished his 10 over spell with 4-18. Sam Holt was caught behind by Sam Bancroft off Ross Brown without scoring at 58. Craig Fergusson and Bilal Abbas then put on 45 for the 6th wicket. Abbas was then trapped in front by Brown for 27. Hassan Fazal holed out to Keiren Grimshaw off Brown for 4 and 6 runs later Fergusson was caught behind by Bancroft off Erlank for a top score of 34. Fergusson hit one six in his 101 ball innings. Joel Gaskill fell to Erlank for 9 and then the last pair of Sam Tucker and Jack Gaskill put on 16 to take the score to 144 when Tucker holed out to Clarke off skipper Simon Hanson for a 23 ball knock of 17. Erlank took 3-17 and Brown 2-29. Accrington's left handed openers were soon parted when Zain trapped Graeme Sneddon in front for 4 with 6 on the board. Erlank fell 2 runs later for 2, trapped in front by Wolfenden. Hanson (4) played on to Jack Gaskill at 22 and Grimshaw fell to Bilal Abbas' first ball for 13. Jon Hayhurst made 11 in a 23 run 5th wicket stand with Clarke before being caught behind by Tucker off Wolfenden. Clarke was trapped in front by Zain for 20 at 70 and next ball Bancroft had the same fate. Brown avoided the hat-trick and went on to make an unbeaten 11 with Bilal Abbas accounting for Jimmy Hayhurst (4) and last man Ormerod (7) to bowl Accrington out for 104. Bilal Abbas took 3-20, Zain 3-12 and Wolfenden 2-16. Scorecard