Tons of runs for Hey and Mullaney
Tuesday 1st May 2007

Carl Hey described it as 'scratchy', but he has written his name in local cricket history as a result of the third successive century he scored at the weekend. The prolific Northern opener hit the Leigh attack for 113 to equal Southport wicketkeeper Geoff Thorntonís record of three successive tons from the start of the season in 1984.

Hey has scored 150*, 101 and 113, in the three ECB Premier Division matches so far but he said the team effort and results was what mattered. In contrast to Thornton, whose side lost all three matches 23 years ago, Northern have won theirs and sit proudly on top of the table.

"It was great to post a good total but, from a personal point of view, confidence comes when you have runs behind you and you are playing okay. Once you strike a few you are straight back in the zone. You feel almost nervous because you have scored two centuries and people are not quite expecting a third but are talking about it. It was a case of once you get a few runs just doing your job as a batsman.

"It was another good partnership with Steve Mullaney (he picked up his second hundred of the season, too). We are helping each other out and working very hard for the team."

Hey admitted his knock wasn't as fluent as the previous two. "I was given the rub of the green a few times with edges going past slips. Out of the three I would say this was the more scratchy one.

"Prior to this season I had only scored one century for Northern. When I played for Prestwich in the Lancashire County League I made 180, which was a league record at the time.

"You canít go out there thinking you are going to get a century. You just try to keep the same principles. You are also thinking about things from a team point of view. We have had three great wins and got ourselves off to a very good start. We have batted and not had to chase yet. Sometimes it can be a different feeling. You know in this cricket you have as much time as possible to post a total."

Is a fourth century next Saturday unthinkable? "You have to give the opposition respect and Lytham are a very good team," Hey responded. "We are working well as a team at the moment. There will be times in the season when Mullaney and I wonít score and we will be relying on others to chip in. At present we are just enjoying it."

Mullaney, who cracked a superb 165* for Lancashire 2nd XI at Durham on the Friday, contributed 118 in the win over Leigh.

The pair have now shared partnerships of 233, 144 and 219 in the opening three games of the campaign.