S&B vir­tu­ally seal pro­mo­tion with win over Burscough

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY SAM CAR­ROLL sam.car­roll@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @SamCar­roll0

SOUTH­PORT & Birk­dale have all but sealed pro­mo­tion fol­low­ing vic­tory over bot­tom club Burscough on Satur­day.

Chris Firth’s men posted 223-9 against the strug­glers with Isaac Lea’s 82 from 112 balls the pick of the top-or­der bat­ting.

Lea was re­placed at the crease by spin bowler Chris Cun­ning­ham and the num­ber eight pro­vided a ter­rific cameo in the late or­der by smash­ing 43 off 28 balls.

Cun­ning­ham then com­bined with An­gus Gai­ley to un­der­mine Burscough’s in­nings as the pair notched four wick­ets apiece.

Gai­ley’s 4-24 came in­side eight overs while the spin­ner plun­dered his across 15 for the loss of 56 runs.

South­port are now 77 points clear with three games re­main­ing and look set to re­join the Premier Di­vi­sion next sea­son.

The fu­ture looks bleaker for their op­po­nents, how­ever.

Jon Stone’s side are now 32 points from safety with four matches re­main­ing.

They were were not helped by Fleet­wood Hes­keth’s first vic­tory in six games, over Or­rell Red Tri­an­gle last week­end.

Hes­keth have now climbed above New­ton-le-Wil­lows in the ta­ble, who hold a pre­car­i­ous 21-point lead over sec­ond-bot­tom Liver­pool, who drew at Sefton Park on Satur­day.

Marc De Bra­ban­der’s men lost a close af­fair with Ains­dale – the vis­i­tors limped to a two-wicket vic­tory – to re­main firmly in the rel­e­ga­tion fight. Wil­lows have now failed to win since mid-July.

Ains­dale, how­ever, con­tinue to put pres­sure on Or­rell Red Tri­an­gle for the fi­nal pro­mo­tion place.

With their vic­tory at The Lane – plus Tri­an­gle’s de­feat to Fleet­wood Hes­keth – the third-placed side are less than 30 points be­hind their ri­vals with three games re­main­ing.

Or­rell do, how­ever, pos­sess a game in hand but face Ains­dale this week­end in a crunch en­counter that could go a long way to de­cid­ing the fi­nal out­come of the ta­ble.

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