Sutton 16 points away from sealing Southport Premier League
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.