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Duffy delights with the bat as Hyde cruise to victory

Cheshire County Premier Division: Hyde 283-5.  Widnes 248ao

Just hours after announcing that James Duffy would be leaving the club at the end of the current season the talismanic batsman made a match winning 85 as Hyde beat Widnes on Saturday.  

After scoring more than 16,000 runs for the club Duffy made his way to the crease for the final time at his home ground with Hyde well placed at 81-2 with Keshana Fonseka (28) and Noah Vickery (27) the two men out. 

He played with the style and panache that has been a blueprint of his career at the club as he made light of the Widnes bowling attack. 

Batting with youngster Charlie Barnard, supporters rose to celebrate as he reached his half century, his 103rd senior fifty for the Werneth Low side.

Whist Barnard went for a well-made 46, Duffy looked set for yet another century until he was dismissed for a brilliant 85. 

Adam Worrall (38no) and Cole Turner (29no) made sure that Hyde had posted a challenging 283-5 off their 55 overs. 

In reply the visitors reached 23 before Jason Whittaker removed Ali Chughtai for 11, but Chris Kirby and Matt Burns played well on a good batting track. 

They moved the score on to 87 before Danny Cranmer claimed the first of his four victims having Burns caught behind for 19. 
From 87-1 the visitors then slumped to 100-4 and the game looked over when they lost further wickets to leave them 142-6 including that of opener Kirby for 77.

However, Alex Hewitt (60 from 35 balls) and Qamar Hafiz (47 from 25 balls) put the game back in the balance as they smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. 

Skipper Tom Partridge made the brave decision to bring back his two spin bowlers and it paid immediate dividend as Barnard removed both men in quick succession to leave Widnes eight down with more than 50 needed for victory. 

With Hyde now firmly in control it was just a matter of time before the victory was confirmed and it duly arrived when Barnard had skipper Tom Evans caught by Vickery and Hyde had secured another 25 points. 

All that was left was for the Hyde players to form a guard of honour for Duffy who left the ground he has graced for the last time as a Hyde player. 




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