Ormskirk dodge the showers but clean up with 208-run victory
WHILE Ormskirk’s title-hungry players were dodging ferocious showers and opening up a 73-point gap at the top of the Liverpool Commpetition ECB Premier League with a thumping 208-run defeat of Ainsdale on Saturday, other teams were mopping up and hoping for the best.
And perhaps nowhere were the soppers put to better use than Rake Lane, where New Brighton maintained their distant pursuit of the leaders with a one-wicket victory over Southport and Birkdale, who were denied their first league victory of the season in a minor epic.
The game had seemed set on a fairly conventional course when S&B were 87-1 but the dismissal of Chris Brownlow for 54 sparked a collapse to 150 all out with David While taking 6-40 and Ashraf Nawab chipping in with three more wickets.
Yet Mark Rowland’s batsmen were also tested on the helpful pitch and the home side were almost 50 runs short of their target with five wickets in hand when a prolonged shower caused a 90-minute hold-up.
When the players returned Chris Brownlow picked up three wickets but Louis C Botes’ nerveless 29 not out steered his side home by the narrowest of margins.
Sponges and mats were of little avail at Wadham Road where Ormskirk’s main challengers, Firwood Bootle and Northern, saw their match come to an early conclusion with the home side on 38-0 in reply to their visitors’ 179-9 declared.
Stephen Lucas made 54 in Northern’s score but Chris Liptrot put a brake on the James Cole’s batsmen by taking 4-59 in the first half of the contest. However, Bootle and Northern are now two of the five clubs in the top half of the table who are covered by six points.
But those teams barely have Ormskirk in sight after the Brook Lane team annihilated Ainsdale.
Michael Jones’ 90 was the centrepiece of the home side’s 249-5 declared in 46 overs, to which Andy Barlow’s men replied with 41 all out, Josh Bohannon taking four wickets and Simon Kerrigan collecting three more without conceding a run.
Formby eased their relegation anxieties a little more with a 45-run victory at Leigh. Sam Oldham made 69 before Ian Cockbain declared on 190-6 after 53 overs. Gary Keedy’s 5-31 and Ajmal Shahzad’s 3-77 ensured that Matt McKiernan’s 40 was of no more than statistical significance.
Rainhill reinforced their growing reputation with a 124-run defeat of Lytham at Victoria Terrace. Danny Edwards picked up 6-57 for the Church Road side but Sam Kershaw’s unbeaten 65 saw the home side to a formidable 206-8 declared.
Akshay Darekar then demolished Lytham’s batting by bagging 7-25 and Rainhill are now level in fifth place on 216 points with Colwyn Bay, who beat Wallasey by three wickets in a low-scoring game.