|Accrington Cricket Club|
Accrington 169-9, Burnley 143
Nearly 3,000 people witnessed the final as Accrington entertained eventual league champions Burnley on Sunday August 9th 1970. The clubs went in to the final with identical records in the league, both sides having nine wins, eight draws and two defeats, one point behind new league leaders Enfield.
It was a game dominated by Accrington's Australian professional Bruce Francis who scored 84 of his teams 169-9. Opening with Geoff Hayhurst, Francis began aggressively against the opening attack of West Indian Duncan Carter, standing in for the injured Harold Rhodes, and Joe Fletcher. It was the amateur who claimed the first wicket when a mistimed shot by the left handed Hayhurst presented Fletcher with a return catch with the score on 29. Lindon Dewhurst came in at three but he found scoring difficult against the pace and accuracy of Carter. The half century came up in the 15th over and with the score on 63, Dewhurst was caught by Chris Rawstron off Fletcher for 5 off his first forcing stroke. Russ Cuddihy was next in and he also struggled to score. After 20 overs the score was 70-2 but the next five overs saw the run rate increase and the century came up in the 25th over. After hitting his own half century, Francis looked to up the tempo even more, smashing Carter out of the attack by taking 19 runs off his 14th over, including three successive boundaries through mid wicket. The next over though saw the end of the Australian when he lost his middle stump after a wild swing at Fletcher for a superb 84, scored out of 120. Francis hit 12 boundaries and one six in his 141 minute stay at the crease. In four innings in the Worsley Cup, Francis scored a total of 374 runs, with a highest score of 134.
Bobby Ratcliffe didn't last long, losing his leg stump to Fletcher, two balls later without having troubled the scorers. Brian Rutter became Rawstron's first victim, lbw for 1 at 125-5. Rawstron then removed Alan Richardson for 2 with the total on 129. Cuddihy was joined by skipper Eddie Robinson and together they took the score to 148, until Cuddihy's dogged innings ended for 30, caught on the boundary by Carter to give Rawstron his third wicket. Terry Neville made 6 before edging to wicketkeeper John Richardson off Rawstron and Ian Birtwistle was run out off the last ball of the 36th over. Robinson finished on 18 not out with Fletcher taking 4-86 in 18 overs and Rawstron 4-18 for Burnley.
In reply, Burnley looked to score some quick runs but with the total on 14 in the 3rd over, Peter Brown played round a straight ball from Robinson and was adjudged lbw for 9. Mick McLeod was next to go four runs later when Robinson spun a leg break past his defensive stroke and then Neil Whalley holed out to Ratcliffe to give Alan Worsick his first wicket with the score on 25. Worse was to follow when skipper Roland Harrison edged Worsick behind to Neville for 20 and Burnley were in deep trouble at 32-4. But this match was far from over yet as the West Indian Carter began to hit Burnley back into the match with a tremendous innings of 75. Carter put on 49 with Barry Bromley, bringing up the half century in the 14th over, until the amateur was finally caught behind by Neville off Robinson, having scored just 4 with the total on 81. Bernard Lavin came in at seven and he and Carter took the total past the century, which the West Indian brought up with a big six over long off, a stroke that also signalled his own half century. Ratcliffe joined the attack in an attempt to break up this dangerous partnership as Burnley began to close in on Accrington's score. The medium pacer turned the match the home sides way when he bowled Lavin at 105 and then Worsick bowled Cliff Maden for 1. Fletcher was then run out for 3 to leave Burnley on 112-8. Robinson returned to the attack, but Carter took 14 off his over as Burnley needed 45 off the last five overs. The next over saw Accrington move a step closer as Worsick ran out Rawstron with a nippy piece of fielding. The rain began to fall as the pressure mounted on Carter. Fittingly it was the skipper Robinson who ended Carter's innings for 75 to give Accrington the Worsley Cup for the first time since 1936.
Robinson took 4-50, Worsick 3-70 and Ratcliffe, soon to join Lancashire, took 1-20 as Burnley were dismissed for 143 in the 35th over. In just over an hour at the crease. Carter hit seven fours and two sixes. To the delight of the wildly enthusiastic crowd, Accrington skipper Eddie Robinson received the trophy. Scorecard