Run-fest at Ormskirk – but Formby secure tight win
ARUN-FEST at Ormskirk, in Love Lanes Leagues Group B, saw more than 500 runs scored for the loss of just eight wickets – but visitors Formby prevailed by 10 runs after Callum Turner’s 126* and Sam Oldham’s 71 helped them to 258/4.
George Lavelle and Gary Knight struck half-centuries in return, but the hosts’ chase came up just short.
Firwood Bootle join Formby on two wins after a 111-run opening stand between Will Hale and Owais Shah, on his club debut, broke the back of their pursuit of 160 against Northern.
Elsewhere, Group C of the Love Lanes Leagues now has three teams on two wins apiece, after victories for Sutton and Maghull over Hightown St Mary’s and Alder respectively.
Sutton’s win was a nailbiter – they crept over the line by two wickets chasing 190, after Hightown’s Tatenda Taibu top-scored for the day with 65.
Adam Burton scored 70 and Chris Hewson 50 as Maghull closed on 262/7; Tom Connolly’s 5/18 made sure Alder never got close.
In the top division, a maiden firstteam century for Jack Carney and a fine supporting act from former Ormskirk man Harvey Rankin gave Southport & Birkdale skipper Adam Phillips a glimpse of the future – and he liked what he saw.
The teenage pair put on 120 together for the third wicket in S&B’s Love Lanes Leagues Group A clash with Fleetwood Hesketh, laying the foundation for a 135-run victory.
After a two-run defeat against Ainsdale on the opening day, Phillips’ side have bounced back strongly with two wins – and the new skipper is all the happier for seeing his youngsters play a leading role.
“Jack’s been a breath of fresh air since he came into the first-team set-up last year,” said Phillips, after Carney’s unbeaten 101 and debutant Rankin’s 60 dominated a total of 246/3.
“A lot of people like to give 15-yearolds first-team experience, but he’s a genuine first-team player. He’d be in outright as a wicketkeeper, but to come in and be the star of the show with the bat is superb.
“He’s shown glimpses of it in the last few weeks, but he was getting a bit frustrated when he was getting out in the 20s. So I had a word with him and said just relax, enjoy it, and your quality will come through.”
Rankin – a leg-spinning all-rounder – was recruited from Ormskirk over the winter amid rave reviews from the Lancashire Academy.
Seeing him making an impact on a game so early into his time at Trafalgar Road was particularly pleasing for Phillips.
“It’s a few weeks earlier than we could have hoped for, because he’s a young lad and he needs time to bed in,” the skipper said.
“For them to have that partnership at 3 and 4 is exactly what we’ve been looking for and what we’ve been wanting.” See facing page for a fuller report.
Group A’s other game saw an unbeaten 126 for Stephen Lucas, as Ainsdale kept up their perfect start with a 75-run win over Southport Trinity. Adam Friar and Oliver Green then took four wickets each as Trinity fell well short of their target of 199.
Ainsdale’s Stephen Lucas after his century
Left, Ormskirk’s George Lavelle struck a half-century