Joe Cooper's Heroics In Vain As The First XI Suffer Narrow Loss - Hale Barns Cricket Club

Joe Cooper's Heroics In Vain As The First XI Suffer Narrow Loss - Hale Barns Cricket Club

15 May 2018

Joe Cooper struck a magnificent 95 as Hale Barns First XI almost completed a tremendous run chase, but ultimately fell just short of the required target as Weaverham sealed their first win of the season by eight runs.

Ben Hicks took two wickets and scored 47 with the bat, but his efforts were in vain after Ian Eaton’s unbeaten 97 pushed the home team’s total just out of reach for Hale.

Barns were in the ascendancy early on when Sam Smith claimed the first scalp before Hicks (2-43) took two dismissals in two balls to restrict Weaverham to 9-3.

However, a partnership worth 95 runs followed for the hosts as Salman Hanif and Eaton pulled off a terrific recovery. Smith finally made the breakthrough by removing the former for 50, and the teenager soon took another to end with figures of 3-64.

But there was no further joy for the visitors, with Eaton continuing to accumulate runs at one end, while Ryan Simm was aggressive from the off in a destructive 35-ball cameo.

Weaverham captain Eaton completed the innings unbeaten on 97, which included 11 fours and three maximums. Alongside Simm (41 not out), the duo added 89 together to steer the home side to 205-5 from their allotted overs.

Barns’ reply got off to a stuttering start as Mike Hunter departed without scoring, but Cooper looked in imperious form to continue his impressive start to the campaign.

While three more batsmen were sent back to the pavilion, Cooper raced to his half century and finally found a partner capable of providing suitable support in the form of skipper Hicks.

The pair put on 75 for the fifth-wicket partnership, but with 59 runs still required, Cooper’s terrific knock came to an end five runs short of what would have been a deserved hundred.

And Hicks’ resistance was also soon broken, becoming James Ollier’s third victim for a well-made 47. And any hopes of a remarkable run chase were fading when James Fullerton-Batten (12) and Christian Dodson (8) both fell, with Ollier (4-62) claiming his fourth dismissal.

With just nine runs to go, Jordan Collins was left stranded on nine not out as Weaverham took the final wicket with eight balls remaining to snatch victory in an incredibly entertaining contest.