Sut­ton 16 points away from seal­ing South­port Premier League

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY TOM EVANS tom.evans@trin­i­tymir­ @TomE­van­sE­cho

SUT­TON are on the brink of seal­ing the South­port and District League Premier Divi­sion after a two-man show from Jamie Greener and Chathura Ranawaka led them to an eightwicket win at Goose Green.

First, Ranawaka took 4/11 and Greener 3/17 as the hosts stum­bled to 103 all out; then the pair shared an un­beaten stand of 85 – Greener fin­ish­ing on 50, Ranawaka on 43 – to make short work of the chase.

The St He­lens men need 16 more points from their re­main­ing two games to be sure of see­ing off the chal­lenge from in­form Nor­ley Hall, who saw off Hay­dock by 91 runs. Wicket- keeper Mathew Wood hit 75 and skip­per Chris McLough­lin 53 in Hall’s to­tal of 230/7; McLough­lin then took 5/23 as M Redman’s 50 proved in vain for the vis­i­tors.

Third placed Hal­sall West End edged a low-scor­ing thriller by five runs at Birken­head St Mary’s.

The vis­i­tors were 90/5 be­fore Mike Bowe ran through their lower or­der with 5/26 to leave them 117 all out.

Jack John­son’s three early wick­ets had St Mary’s floun­der­ing at 21/5. Dane Bryan played a cap­tain’s knock of 49 to swing the pen­du­lum back to­wards the hosts, but he fell with the score on 92, and a last wicket stand of 20 wasn’t quite enough.

Cheshire Lines warmed up for Sun­day’s Pochin Cup fi­nal with a 149-run crush­ing of Moss­ley Hill. Tauseef Ahmed top-scored with 63 in Lines’ 243/6, be­fore Aaron Do­ran’s 4/26 brushed Hill’s re­ply aside.

Bot­tom side Aig­burth made a good fist of chas­ing an im­pos­ing to­tal at New Vic­to­ria, but ul­ti­mately fell 86 runs short. Matty Howard and Ste Hawksworth each hit 59 – the lat­ter un­beaten – while Gareth Wil­liams claimed 4/56 as Vics fin­ished on 282/7, which proved too much de­spite Chris An­der­son’s 82 – Jack Saw­bridge’s 3/11 ap­plied the fi­nal blows.

Mike Houghton’s 63 set up a win­ning to­tal of 168/8 for New­burgh against Hes­keth Bank, who were dis­missed for 66 as new ball pair An­drew Gam­ble and Andy Birks took three wick­ets apiece.

Merseyside Com­mon­wealth Con­fer­ence are all but cer­tain of a place in the top two of the Sec­ond Divi­sion – whether they can be pro­moted or not, with­out a sec­ond XI, re­mains to be seen. And Birken­head St Mary’s 2nds are well clear in sec­ond place, but they can’t join their own first XI in the Premier Divi­sion. It could be a tricky winter for the league’s ad­min­is­tra­tors; all the play­ers can do is play.

On the pitch, Com­mon­wealth’s Ed­ward Her­bert took 3/19 to run through the ten play­ers of rel­e­gated New Vic­to­ria 2nds for a round 100, a tar­get reached for the loss of two wick­ets thanks to Dis­han­tha Badalge’s 52*.

St Mary’s 2nds also won by eight wick­ets, run­ning down Church­town’s to­tal of 151.

Third beat fourth as Win­stan­ley Park’s Joe Hether­ing­ton took 4/6 to dis­miss Aughton for just 53, a tar­get knocked off with nine wick­ets to spare.

Sut­ton 2nds made short work of White­field, knock­ing them over for 76 thanks to Akesh Shetty’s 3/22, then wast­ing lit­tle time – and only one wicket – in reach­ing their tar­get.

And rock-bot­tom Moss Side Maghull slumped to a sev­en­wicket de­feat at the hands of Brether­ton, for whom Stu­art Id­don took 3/11 in dis­miss­ing the hosts for 112.

The pro­mo­tion pic­ture in Divi­sion Three is a lit­tle clearer. Ear­lestown have a 100% record and noth­ing should stand in the way of their richly de­served pro­mo­tion. Hal­sall West End 2nds pushed them closer than most on Satur­day, es­pe­cially after Dave Richards’ 4/15 dis­missed them for 102. West End man­aged six wick­ets be­fore the lead­ers reached their tar­get – not many sides have got that far down the Ear­lestown or­der this sea­son.

The bat­tle for sec­ond took a twist as Bed­ford Park moved ahead of Aig­burth 2nds with a three-wicket victory, chas­ing down 144. Park should be able to be pro­moted; Aig­burth’s sit­u­a­tion de­pends on that of their first XI, who will fin­ish in the bot­tom two of the Premier Divi­sion, but could be re­prieved if no-one can be pro­moted from the Sec­ond Divi­sion to re­place them.

Lee Brown’s un­beaten 71 saw White­field 2nds to a four­wicket win over the short­handed Nor­ley Hall 2nds, for whom Ke­iron Ashcroft hit 62.

Win­stan­ley Park 2nds’ 136/8 proved too much for the nine play­ers of Goose Green 2nds. Scott Gray led the way with 56 for Park; Les Hunt and Daniel White took three cheap scalps apiece in the re­ply.

Dal­ton 2nds fell 25 runs short of Moss­ley Hill 2nds’ 146/7.

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