4 wickets in 5 balls from on-field captain Chris Potts led the 2nd XI to a 4th win from 4 and move 11 points clear at the top of Division FF at the half-way point of the season.
Having being inserted to bat first by Astley & Tyldesley, in a game that remarkably started on time despite the heavy rain throughout the rest of Greater Manchester, Bury built some early partnerships to make it hard work for the home bowlers. Each of the top 5 reached double figures, with number 3 Leighton Santos making 33 in his typical quickfire manner, with Bury reaching 100 for the loss of 4 wickets in the 27th over.
However, James Carr took 3 wickets in the 28th over to spark a middle order collapse, and the threat of a decent total being posted by Bury seemed to have been vastly reduced at 103-7. Chris Potts (20) joined Donovan Flaherty at the crease, and the pair put on 40 runs inside 8 overs to push Bury towards 150 when Potts was adjudged to be short of his ground in a tight run out. Joe Spencer supported Flaherty who followed up his 35 last week with an unbeaten 38 and Bury eventually reached 163 when they were bowled out in the last over.
Astley & Tyldesley's openers looked to take the game to Bury early with 49 runs on the board before Potts took the first wicket in the 10th over. Opening batsman David Harrison passed 50 and A&T were only 2 down when they passed 100, some 5 overs earlier than Bury passed the same total. However, two overs turned the game on its head. Firstly, Joe Spencer bowled the experienced Tony Kelly with an excellent moving delivery, and then picked up the new man lbw 3 balls later. 3 overs later, Chris Potts took centre stage. With the first ball of the over, he bowled Harrison (55) with a wicket that brought Bury back into the game. The feat was repeated with the next two balls, both bowled and Potts had a hatrick and A&T were on the ropes at 116-7, having been 109-2 10 minutes earlier. Owen Broughton managed to keep out his first ball but the fifth ball of the over saw another wicket, with Donovan taking the catch at short extra cover, to give Potts his fifth wicket, and fourth of the over.
Pemberton and Vickers still threatened a late A&T comeback but Lee Halliwell took a deserved first wicket to make it 138-9 and then Joe Spencer bowled the number 11 to wrap up another 5 points for the 2nds, who move 11 points clear of 2nd placed A&T. The other game in the division was abandoned:
At Radcliffe Road, the 1st XI game with Heywood was abandoned by 1:45pm - the ground was fit to play despite persistent drizzle an hour before but two very heavy showers ended any hopes of getting a reduced overs game underway.
On Sunday, the 3rd team game at Clifton suffered the same fate, with the game called off by 11:30am.
This week, Bury Storm play their final game of the season at home to Clifton Kingfishers - a win will see Storm finish 2nd in the group behind winners Walshaw Warriors. The game starts at 6pm and will be covered by Roch Valley Radio.
On Saturday, the 1st XI host Edenfield at the Archway Oval, whilst the 2nd XI take a week off. On Sunday, the 3rd XI are away at Walshaw and on Bank Holiday Monday, a T20 XI will represent Bury at Prestwich in a Bury Hospice fundraising day - our game will be played at approx 1pm.