Title favourites Kirk go down to first loss PREMIER DIVISION
AMATCH fit to grace any league in any season saw Ormskirk suffer their first defeat of the season on Saturday when they lost to reigning Premier League champions Leigh by five wickets at Beech Walk.
The game’s many dramas began when Lancashire’s batsman-turned-useful seamer, Karl Brown, put his bowling skills to good use in engineering Ormskirk’s collapse to 93-8.
However, Ian Robinson then put on 148 for the ninth wicket with one of the players of the season, Scott Lees, who whacked nine fours and five sixes in an astonishing 66-ball 102.
Robinson himself was eventually dismissed for a fine 92 but Ormskirk’s total of 248 in 50.5 overs (Brown 7-93) was eventually overhauled in fine style by the home batsmen. Luis Reece made 66 but the victory was only sealed by an enterprising and unbroken fifth-wicket stand between skipper Tom Foster, who made 46 not out, and Lewis Bailey, who contributed an undefeated 78.
Nicky Caunce took 3-53 and if Matt Glayzer’s players needed some consolation, it came on Saturday evening from the other results, which meant that they actually extended their lead at the top of the table to 53 points.
One of the most significant victories was achieved at Rake Lane where New Brighton inflicted a second successive heavy defeat on Firwood Bootle. Four wickets for Louis C Botes and three more for Jaxom Rose combined to see Craig Prince’s side bowled out for only 85 in 21.4 overs and Mark Rowland’s 29-ball 40 sealed the victory in 11.2 overs.
Northern are now equal with New Brighton in second place after the Moor Park side defeated Ainsdale by three wickets at Liverpool Road. Martyn Farrell took 4-44 in the visitors’ 191-8 declared but rain then interrupted the visitors’ reply.
Nevertheless, Andy Barlow’s 40 and a spirited ninthwicket stand of 28 between Farrell and Tom Wainwright saw Ainsdale get to within 15 runs of victory before Tom Sephton dismissed both batsmen to finish with 7-73.
But that rain also helped to ensure that neither Formby nor Southport and Birkdale achieved victories.
Formby’s Sam Oldham made 103 not out off 121 balls in his side’s 240-5 declared at Cricket Path but the visitors were restricted to 112-7 off 34 overs in reply, Gary Keedy collecting four wickets and James Seward taking five catches.
The billowing showers arrived at just the wrong time at Trafalgar Road where Southport and Birkdale’s spinners had reduced Colwyn Bay to 35-5 in reply to 139, only for the game to resume with the bowlers handicapped by a wet ball and any momentum lost.
Fine batting by Will Higginson, who made 38, and Michael Littler, who contributed 35 then played the key roles in the Welsh side’s threewicket win, S&B skipper Chris Firth finishing with 5-55. Earlier Chris Brownlow had made 61 and Paul Jenkins had taken 6-66 in the home side’s below par total.
However, the gap between the bottom three and the rest of the Liverpool Gin Liverpool Competition’s top division is 52 points after Wallasey’s twowicket defeat of Lytham at Church Road.
Andy Beaver’s 4-36 and Tharindu Kawshal’s 3-21 were enough to see the visitors manage no more than 132 all out in 41.3 overs but Ryan Maddock’s 6-33 ensured that a few stiff drinks were needed by the visiting supporters before the 20 points were secure.