Ti­tle favourites Kirk go down to first loss PREMIER DI­VI­SION

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Celebrations - BY PAUL ED­WARDS

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.

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