WALSHAW captain Mikey Watt hailed his side’s never-say-die attitude after defending just 104 to beat pre-game Division One B leaders Heyside in a helter-skelter GMCL clash on Saturday.

Hosts Walshaw started the day in second place chasing their third win from four matches, but were under pressure, having been bowled out for 103, including number five Mukhtar Nasir’s 40.

He shared 53 for the fifth wicket with Lee Chapman (12) to recover from 20-4, but still they looked short of a defendable total – even if Watt disagreed.

After seeing Rishton’s sub professional Mansoor Amjad take six wickets with his off-spinners and seamer Shabnan Ali chip in with three as Heyside crashed to 58 all out, Watt said: “At halfway, in our heads, we were winning.

“We got nowhere near what we were hoping for on what is always a good wicket at Walshaw. But we’re never beaten.

“We have seven or eight lads who have come through our junior system, and they’re made of stern stuff.

“Heyside made a reasonable start (32-0), but as soon as we got a couple of wickets that was it. Our backs were up.

“I’ve not played in a game like that for a long time.

“We should have got 200-220, but we didn’t bat well. Their captain said the same of them.

“We were 20-4, so we needed some lads to dig in, which they did. To get to 100, it wasn’t bad in the end.”

Walshaw needed a sub pro after Ali Sarfraz suffered a hamstring injury in a Derek Kay Trophy defeat against Roe Green last Sunday.

“Our sub pro was brilliant and Shabnan was fantastic,” said Watt.

“Shabnan doesn’t normally open the bowling or come on first change, but we knew we’d have to bowl them out. He just bowled straight and nipped it around.

“That’s in the middle of fasting too. Any of the Muslims who are turning out and doing a job at the minute, fair play.”

Walshaw finished third in Division One A last season, narrowly missing out on promotion, which had been their pre-season aim.

But this year, a top-half finish is the priority for a more youthful looking side as the GMCL move to a lineal structure from 2020.

Instead of Divisions A and B as there is now down the pyramid, next season will see a new Championship introduced below the Premier Division. Below that, it will be Divisions One, Two and Three, then Divisions Four and Five West and East.

This season, four teams will be relegated from the Premier as usual and two up from One A and B. But the top half of One A and B will form the new Championship and the bottom half Division One.

Watt said: “There are some good players who have left us, and Wasim Jaffer (Indian Test batsman) hasn’t come back.

“We are giving the juniors a chance. We had a really strong second team with lads doing well in there, and we’ll see where it takes us.”

* Walshaw are looking for hole sponsors (£25 per hole) for their forthcoming golf day on May 31.

Contact Watt for further details on 07794 376663.