An excellent all-round performance from Josh Henry could not save Salford Blue Jays from defeat against title-chasing West Didsbury.
With stormy conditions certain to make it a difficult day for cricket, West Didsbury won an important toss and put Salford in to bat.
Josh Henry (40) and skipper Jonny Wineberg (5) opened the batting and moved the score on at a good rate between rain stoppages before Wineberg fell in the fifth over, deceived by a slower ball.
Henry was joined by Caleb Blake and they added 19 runs before Blake (5) fell to a swinging ball just as the rain lashed down again.
Wickets kept falling at the other end with none of the Salford middle order making it into double figures.
Henry and John Egan added 26 for the sixth wicket before Egan (6) was caught trying to force the score on.
At 83-5 in the 21st over Henry, having survived one catching chance, was joined by the Salford tail and pushed the side up to 90 runs, before being caught at point for a career-best 40 runs.
Daniel Paul, on loan to his former club, and Chaim Harris helped add another 10 to the total before Salford were bowled all out for 100.
With the weather brightening up, West Didsbury went on the offensive, attacking Paul (4-12-0) and Adam Schogger. Both Didsbury openers gave chances that Salford were unable to capitalise on.
Grant Pakter (5-15-0) showed good line and length and helped frustrate the opening partnership. Henry (4-12-1) finally found the breakthrough with a good catch at mid-wicket by the returning Moishe Harris, who did well to hold on to the ball after a nasty collision with Pakter.
Wineberg (3-14-1) then brought himself on and bowled a tight line, frustratingly creating more chances, but his fielders failed to back up his good work. He finally got his wicket with an edge to Blake at slip who held on at the third attempt. Blake (1.3-10-1) added a third wicket before West Didsbury made it home safely with seven wickets to spare.
There were many positives to take away from the match, none more so than Henry’s battling batting display hopefully inspiring him to many more runs in the future.
Offerton’s withdrawal from the league sees Salford drop to sixth with one more match to play against
bottom club Foresters in two weeks.