Orm­skirk on brink of ti­tle glory

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - RE­PORTS BY PAUL ED­WARDS

IF Orm­skirk’s crick­eters could not ac­tu­ally hold the Pre­mier League tro­phy at the end of their match against North­ern on Satur­day, they could see it gleam­ing in the evening sun­shine at Moor Park.

The Brook Lane side’s 49-run vic­tory has left them with a 69-point lead over Rain­hill and Boo­tle at the top and Matt Glayzer’s men may need only a hand­ful of points at Wad­ham Road at the week­end to clinch their first ti­tle since 2014.

Tom Hart­ley was the star of Satur­day’s vic­tory, the left-arm spin­ner tak­ing 6-42 as James Cole’s side made 179 in re­ply to the vis­i­tors’ 228-9 de­clared in 52 overs.

Andy Bay­butt made 59 in the first in­nings of the game and four other Orm­skirk bats­men man­aged more than 28 as their side pressed for max­i­mum bat­ting bonus points.

Jack Board­man gave North­ern some hope with 65.

But it was also a vi­tal af­ter­noon at the bot­tom of the Liver­pool Gin Liver­pool Com­pe­ti­tion’s top di­vi­sion where Formby’s easy vic­tory at Ains­dale com­bined with South­port & Birk­dale’s de­feat at Boo­tle left Ian Cock­bain’s team as warm favourites to avoid rel­e­ga­tion at the ex­pense of both South­port clubs.

Aj­mal Shahzad’s 6-29 and Gary Keedy’s 4-23 dis­missed Ains­dale for 89 and Dan Stan­ley’s 48no ex­posed the in­ad­e­quacy of that score in an eight-wicket win.

By con­trast S&B made Boo­tle work for their 50-run vic­tory, but Chris Firth’s side now trail Formby by 28 points and al­most cer­tainly need to win two of their last three games to have a hope of sur­viv­ing in the top flight.

Chris Brown­low took three early wick- ets for the Trafal­gar Road team be­fore Luke Proc­ter’s 48 and Danny Davies’ un­beaten 75 steered Boo­tle to­wards an early dec­la­ra­tion on 191-5 af­ter 42.5 overs.

That target seemed in reach while Adam Phillips was bat­ting very flu­ently for 77 but once he be­came one of Scott But­ter­worth’s six vic­tims, S&B lost their last five wick­ets for 28 runs.

Rain­hill’s hopes of fin­ish­ing run­ner­sup took a blow when they lost to Col­wyn Bay in an en­ter­tain­ing match at Vic­to­ria Terrace.

David Atkin­son’s 63 and Sam Ker­shaw’s 55 al­lowed Ben Ed­mund­son to call his bats­men in af­ter 55 overs with the Rain­hill score read­ing 205-7, all the wick­ets fall­ing to the spin­ners.

How­ever Col­wyn Bay’s strong bat­ting line-up coped well with this chal­lenge, thanks mainly to Zak Gid­low, who made 66, and Rumesh Bud­dhika, who con­trib­uted 61, be­fore Adam Campion fol­lowed his four wick­ets be­fore tea by mak­ing 48 not out to seal the win.

The only Pre­mier League match to end in a draw on Satur­day took place at Church Road, where Lytham re­cov­ered from 55-6 to post 193-8 in 64 overs, Joe Davies hit­ting a pa­tient 67 and Matt McKier­nan tak­ing 4-25 from 23 overs.

Leigh col­lapsed as well and had to be res­cued from 47-5 by Adam Shall­cross’s 62.

Ryan Mad­dock snapped up 4-40 for Danny Ed­wards’s team but Leigh fin­ished on 135-7 off 37 overs.

Tom Hart­ley took six wick­ets for front-run­ners Orm­skirk

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