A HORRIBLE injury to all-rounder Martin Flanagan cast a shadow over Castrol’s second successive victory in Division Three of the Meller Braggins League.
The Oilmen did their chances of avoiding the drop the power of good on Saturday by notching up a convincing home win over fellow strugglers Wistaston Village.
But they will be unable to call upon Flanagan for the remainder of the season after he broke his collarbone while batting.
After completing a quick single, his momentum carried him straight into Wistaston’s James Hogben. Flanagan bounced off the big bowler and landed awkwardly.
He left the field and immediately headed to hospital where he was ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
After watching his side go on to wrap up a resounding win, Castrol skipper Mike Garvey said: “This was coming. A superb effort and no dropped catches, that’s as good as it gets.
“The down side is the injury to Martin. He is by far the best fielder in the club, has just started to find his feet at the top of the order and was really causing batsmen problems with his bowling.”
The visitors had been asked to bat first by Garvey, mindful of the threat of bad weather.
Wistaston proceeded to capitulate. Nishan Bhandary (2-12) and Damian Walters (5-19) tore into the batting line-up and left them devastated.
Wistaston went from 1-1 to 3-2 in the opening two overs and things improved little after that.
A tentative approach meant not one batsman imposed themselves on the game as Wistaston were returned to the pavilion for 49, Flanagan chipping in with 2-11.
Such a low score did not inspire confidence in Castrol, however. This season has seen them squander plenty of chances to win games but openers Mark Evans (26no) and Flanagan (6no, retired hurt) survived a couple of early scares and looked comfortable.
For Wistaston, Hogben (0-17) was at least economical, attempting to delay the inevitable.
The score was 19-0 when Flanagan was forced to retire hurt. But Tony King (16no) strode to the crease as a replacement and, after a couple of early scares, made it look very simple.
The runs were knocked off in just 11.3 overs and Castrol had managed a shut out against one of their nearest rivals.
On Saturday, Castrol travel to Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge.