Accrington Cricket Club

Rawtenstall 137, Accrington 120
Worsley Cup Final
Sunday August 8th 1976

Accrington 1976
Accrington 1st XI 1976
©Garth Dawson

A crowd of around 5,000 paid record gate receipts of £1451 to see Rawtenstall take on Accrington at Bacup Road. By the start of the match it was standing room only as all seats had been taken.

Accrington won the toss and asked Rawtenstall to bat. The home side lost Terry Holt lbw to Alan Worsick for 7 with the score at 19. Skipper Keith French (31) and Peter Wood (34) put 54 for the 2nd wicket when French was bowled by Accrington skipper Ian Birtwistle. Rawtenstall's dangerous Indian professional Abid Ali came in and raced to 37 as the home side looked set for a big total on 109-2. Wood was run out and then Ali hit Tony Gallagher into Bacup Road for six but when he tried to hoist the same bowler over long on, Worsick took an amazing running catch on the boundary much to the delight of the Accrington supporters who were stationed next to the boundary. The Accrington supporters carried many banners, one of which announced that 'Worsick strikes faster than British Leyland!'

This marked a change in the game with Worsick returning to bowl in tandem with Gallagher. Worsick bowled Brian Chapman for 4 and Gallagher accounted for Graham Lord in the same manner also for 4 to leave Rawtenstall 124-6. Two runs later, Worsick clean bowled both Brian Payne (1) and Brian Manning (1), who followed after two more runs had been added. Big hitting George Croisdale was clean bowled by Gallagher for 3 and Graham Cook was run out for 6 as Rawtenstall were dismissed for 137. Worsick took 4-45 and Gallagher 3-30.

Accrington's reply began well with Peter West hitting 38 before young spinner Chris Flood had him caught by Croisdale with the score on 79. John Swanney was next to go, caught by Abid Ali for 11 with the score on 94. The Indian professional then picked up the wicket of Malcolm Taylor (1) and Flood dismissed opener Geoff Hayhurst, the rock of the innings, caught by Abid Ali for 32 made in 109 balls. Ali then trapped Alan Richardson (4) leg before as 94-1 became 99-5.

The match still favoured the visitors, but then Flood captured the vital wicket of Worsick off his first ball. The Accrington professional prodded forward, but the ball hit his boot and looped up on to his glove, spooning a return catch to Flood as 94-1 suddenly became 99-6.

Accrington now needed 36 off the final six overs with 4 wickets remaining. Alan Kennedy and skipper Ian Birtwistle put on 20, but Kennedy was run out for 7 by a direct hit by Graham Lord from cover and then Gallagher was caught and bowled by Flood without scoring. Dave Parsons hit a single off the third ball he faced, then Birtwistle was stumped by Manning for 11. Two balls later Terry Neville was bowled by Flood without scoring and Accrington's last four wickets had fallen for the addition of just 1 run to give Rawtenstall their first ever Worsley Cup success in their fifth final. Chris Flood finished with the remarkable figures of 7-40 in 10 overs to earn a Lancashire League record collection of £170.88. At total of £750 was taken behind the bar with 2,280 cans of beer and 400 soft drinks sold.


If you have any memories of 1976 please email Nigel Stockley