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Looking Back - LCB Cup

Following on from the look back at the 1996 season over the past few weeks today we look back at some previous LCB Cup matches.

Over the last 13 years the club has twice reached the quarter finals of the LCB cup.

Back in 2007 we defeated Wavertree, Fulwood & Broughton and Farnworth before losing to Bootle at the quarter final stage.

However we look in depth at the 2010 campaign which again resulted in a run to the quarter final stage and was dominated by professional Ali Azmat.

The 1st round saw Earby entertain Saddleworth at the Applegarth.

Batting first Earby started with Craig Walton and Matt Haines opening the batting and Earby were soon struggling at 12 for 2 as Haines departed for a duck and Walton 11 as both openers were soon sat back in the pavilion. The innings soon gained momentum however as Chris Walton scored 22 as he was joined by professional Ali Azmat who smashed 125 from just 81 balls as he hit the Saddleworth attack to all parts of the ground in a innings which included nine 4’s and ten 6’s. Once Walton had departed Ali was supported by Aaron Pollard 69 off 61 balls and Richard Craddock 38 off 32 balls as Earby reached a total of 304 for 7 off their 45 overs.

In reply Saddleworth were never in the hunt as they could only reach 159 all out as they struggled against the bowling of the Walton brothers as Craig took 4 for 33 and Chris 3 for 52 as Earby won by 145 runs to march on to the 2nd round.

Ali Azmat (Professional)

In the 2nd round Earby again had a home tie this time against league rivals Baxenden who had ex England International Ian Austin in their ranks.

Batting first Earby got off to a solid start as Craig Walton 58 and Martin Windle 35 put on 73 for the 1st wicket. This then brought Ali Azmat to the crease as he stroked a magnificent 182 not out off just 127 balls in a innings which included sixteen 4’s and thirteen 6’s. Further contributions from Matt Haines 30 and Jonny Martin 39 saw Earby score a mammoth 361/5 from their 45 overs.

Despite the daunting task in hand Baxenden in reply put up a good fight but ultimately fell short by 51 runs as they were bowled out for 310 with Simon Payne scoring 94, Danny Hothersall 55 and Mark Rishton 51. Again Craig Walton the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 48 and Ali Azmat 3 for 34.

In the 3rd round Earby again had a home tie at the Applegarth this time against Norrhern League side Morecambe.

In a reduced overs game of 30 overs per side Earby captain Craig Walton won the toss and elected to field. With Richard Craddock and Matt Haines opening the bowling Morecambe got off to a good start as they raced to 65 before they lost their first wicket however the introduction of captain Walton to the attack slowed the rate down as he took 3 for 11 from his six overs as Morecambe reached 177 for 8 from their 30 overs.

In reply Earby opened with Craig Walton and Martin Windle and they put on 35 for the first wicket before Windle was out caught for 14. This brought Ali Azmat to the crease and once again he took the bowling attack to all parts of the ground as he scored 97 not out from just 66 balls with nine 4’s and five 6’s as he was supported by both Craig scoring 29 and Chris Walton 22 not out as Earby knocked Morecambe’s total off for the loss of just 2 wickets in only 23.4 overs.

Craig Walton

After 3 home games the Quarter Final saw Earby travel to Little Hulton however this game ended in defeat and the end of the LCB cup run however it was a successful campaign for all the team but especially Ali Azmat as he scored 404 runs and Craig Walton who took 11 wickets in the first 3 rounds.

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