Accrington Cricket Club

Accrington 140-8, Ramsbottom 148
11th September 1988

Accrington 1988
Accrington 1st XI 1988
©Lancashire Telegraph

Accrington went down to an 8 run defeat at Thorneyholme Road by Ramsbottom in the final match of the 1988 season. Ian Birtwistle rounded off one of his ever seasons by taking a career best 8-49 at the age of 43. Birtwistle's haul took him to 44 wickets for the season. It was young Damian Clarke who took the first wicket in only his second senior outing by bowling Ian Bell for 12 with the score on 20 in the 9th over. Brian Taylor made 29 before being one of three stumpings for Billy Rawstron off Birtwistle who took the remainder of the wickets apart from Brian Fielding who was run out. Professional Wasim Raja was caught behind for 7 at 85, skipper Jack Simpson was caught by Clarke for 9 at 107 and 6 runs later opener Steve Ashworth was stumped for a boundary-less 52 from 101 balls. Steve Hall (2), Steve Ratcliffe (4) and finally a young Jon Fielding (8) completed the list of Birtwistle's victims in Ramsbottom's 148 all out. Accrington's batsmen toiled in reply with Raja taking 5-36 and Ratcliffe 3-47 to restrict the home side to 140-8. Rawstron made 16 from 53 balls before falling to Brian Fielding. Professional Rod Tucker 5 from 17 balls before becoming Mark Stewart's last ever Lancashire League wicket. Needing 28 from his final innings of the season to become the first Accrington professional to reach 1,000 runs for the season since Alan Sieler in 1973, Tucker ended the season on 977 league runs. Andy Barker hit 25 from 63 balls before falling to Raja. Trevor Hatch made 27 from 47 balls and stand-in skipper Graham Beech 13 from 40 balls. Paul Barratt hit an unbeaten 32 from 39 balls but wickets tumbled in the chase for runs with Mark Demaine (4), Neil Barnes (2) and Neil Holmes (3) all perishing. A second defeat of the final weekend meant that Accrington dropped down to ninth place in the table. Scorecard

Damian Clarke remembered the game: "I came on first change and bowled Ian Bell with an arm ball first delivery, bowled pretty steady then watched Birty weave his magic, took a couple of catches in the deep and got a real rollicking off Rod Tucker for not getting to the stumps quick enough when he threw the ball in like a missile. "

If you have any memories of 1988 please email Nigel Stockley