|Accrington Cricket Club|
Accrington v Todmorden
Bobby Simpson signed off at the end of his record breaking season at Accrington by jolting the title hopes of Todmorden who lost top spot after being held to a draw at Thorneyholme Road. Simpson extended his record of half centuries to a Lancashire League record eleven, extending his Accrington batting record to 1444 runs at the end of a season to remember. The Australian finished with a batting average of 103.1, including sixteen half centuries and beating Enfield's Conrad Hunte by 7 runs as the league's highest scoring batsman. Simpson hit five boundaries in making 83. He added 162 for the 2nd wicket with Russ Cuddihy who hit eleven fours in making a career best 80 before being caught by Peter Lever off Don Houghton. Roy Dewhurst chipped in with an unbeaten 20 to enable Accrington to declare on 227-8. Houghton took 5-53 and professional Syl Oliver 2-58. Todmorden batted solidly all the way down the order but after Eddie Robinson had taken 3-10 the last pair of Peter Lever and Bobby Marshall had to bat out the last 19 minutes to earn a draw at 179-9. Veteran John Crowther hit 38, Mike Jowett and Kevin Wilkinson 26 apiece and Albert Connor 20. Simpson also took a fantastic one handed catch in the covers. Scorecard
Russ Cuddihy has fond memories of his partnership with Bobby Simpson in this match:
"We put on 162 against Todmorden in the last match of the season including 58 singles. I learned the ‘walking one’ off him but I was nowhere near as good as him at it.
"Simpson took a fantastic slip catch at cover off Eddie Robinson who on his day was a better leg spinner than Robin Hobbs when he played for England. I was fielding at square leg when Peter Brownbridge hit the ball. I saw the ball flash towards cover where Bobby was fielding. The ball was flashing very low when Simpson, who was a natural right hander, dived downwards to his left and caught the ball just before it hit the deck cleanly in his left hand. His right hand was above his head and his feet were pointing towards the sky. It was like he was doing a cartwheel to his left hand side when he held onto the ball at the same time. How he caught it I will never know! He was reknown as being the best slip fielder in the world by experts such as Richie Benaud. One day at practice I asked Bobby what he watched when the batsman is taking strike. He said he watched the bowler run in so he has his eye on the ball as the bowler releases the ball, comes down the track and then his eyes automatically go to the edge of the bat. So he watched the ball all the way. If the batter nicks it he watches the ball all the way into his own hands."