Centurions set new record to rescue Greenfield Cricket Club

GREENFIELD CRICKET Club could never have envisaged what happened next after slumping to 20 for three against Shaw in the Saddleworth League.

They produced a remarkable recovery to finish with a club record breaking total of 433-4 in which three players scored centuries.

And that helped Greenfield to a 299 run margin of victory as hapless Shaw managed only 134 in reply.

Deputy professional Christi Viljoen struck 183 not out to create a new Greenfield batting record as he bettered the 182 scored by current captain Chris Gill.

The South African Viljoen, who is paid man at Blackpool in the Northern League struck 15 sixes and 11 fours in a 115 ball stay at the wicket in which he and Adam Hayes (100 not out) added 250 for the fourth wicket in a whirlwind 15.4 overs.

Alex Peters also scored 117 as Greenfield obliterate their previous best total of 335-7 while it was also the second highest total in a Saddleworth League match behind Heyside who amassed 473 against Micklehurst two years ago.

Greenfield’s three centurions (from left): Alex Peters, Christi Viljoen and Adam Hayes.

Greenfield have made a solid start to the season, even though they have yet to see Zimbabwean professional Tinashe Panyangara.

And secretary Michael Moore concedes there is a chance they may never see the pace bowler who they were excited to sign earlier this year as he opened the bowing for Zimbabwe in the Twenty20 World Cup.

Mr Moore said: “Zimbabwe organised an impromptu tour to Pakistan which is why he is not here.

“They also have tours to India and New Zealand coming up so we may never see him.”

Fortunately clubs are allowed to field deputy professionals, but that means having to find a replacement for each match.

Mr Moore said: “Luckily there are a lot of leagues with an odd number of teams so there are professionals available.

“Sunday is also an easier day to find somebody as a lot of leagues don’t play. Saturday is more difficult.”

Saddleworth primary schools will be taking part in the Norman Heap Trophy at Greenfield on Sunday, July 5.

And it will be a special year for the cricket competition which celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Norman Heap started the competition to encourage local children to play cricket.

And since his death in 1996, Norman’s son Nigel has carried on the mantle.

Nigel said: “I started playing cricket in my teens at Greenfield after my dad moved from Middleton to takeover the post office in Greenfield.

“He only became involved with the club through me playing there and he went on to serve on the committee and be chairman.”

The Heap family’s association with Greenfield spans 50 years and there will be three generations of the family at the Norman Heap Trophy as Nigel will be joined by his children Emma and Andrew and grandchildren Jake and Oliver.

Nigel says he is indebted to Watersedge Dental Care, Greenfield, for sponsoring the competition his father founded.


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