Captain is latest Todmorden casualty as side romp to win

Covering skipper's role: Simon Newbitt
Covering skipper's role: Simon Newbitt
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Todmorden skipper Andrew Sutcliffe could be forgiven for struggling to raise a smile, even though his side lifted themselves out of a Lancashire League rut last Sunday.

The Centre Vale men romped to an eight-wicket win over visitors Colne but Sutcliffe earned himself a trip to Accident and Emergency by damaging his wrist in the field in the first half of the contest.

And it transpired that Sutcliffe had fractured a bone in his wrist and damaged the ligaments, adding to Tod’s catalogue of injuries so far this season.

He now faces a crunch trip to a specialist next week when he will have a cast removed.

“I could be out for between two weeks and eight weeks,” said Sutcliffe.

“I suffered the injury towards the end of Colne’s innings and didn’t know how bad it was.”

Sutcliffe was padded up ready to bat at five but Todmorden only needed four batsmen to knock off the 175 they needed for victory after pro Geeth Alwis (five for 43) had continued his impressive recent form with the ball.

Tod have lost Simon Newbitt, Elliott Gilford and Gideon Foster with broken fingers in the last few weeks.

Newbitt, who will captain the side in Sutcliffe’s absence, returned to the side on Sunday in some style with a match-winning 90 not out.

“He looked out of the top drawer,” said Sutcliffe.

“Colne’s pro (South African Shadley Van Shalkwyk) bowls at 80 to 85mph and he was trying to take Simon’s head off but he batted superbly.”

Tod face two trips to Burnley this weekend, in the Twenty/20 competition tomorrow and the league on Sunday.

Sutcliffe’s men were easy winners of an early-season meeting at Centre Vale but Burnley are a dangerous side when their captain Bharati Tripathi is not on Minor Counties duty.

They also have ex-Hampshire and Somerset batsman Michael Brown, who is the club chairman, and probably the best spinner in the league in pro Adnan Rasool.

Tod need to win the T20 contest to have a chance of progressing in their group, having lost their opener, and will be hoping to leapfrog their ninth-placed hosts in the league by winning Sunday’s clash.