Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Cairns goal seals Town’s first win of the season


With both the first team and second teams games cancelled due to the weather, attention is turned towards Oulton Park, who are this week’s visitors to Beaconsfie­ld Road.

First-team captain, Tom Evans is looking forward to the clash which sees Oulton Park in fifth place, but just one point and one place above Widnes in the table.

Evans recognised that his team’s win at Pinfold Lane earlier in the season, kick started the teams climb up the table and is determined to see his team do the double.

However, Evans knows the game will not be easy as Oulton are a side brim-full of talent.

Previewing the game, Evans recognised the key players, who are likely to have an influence on the match.

Opening batsman, Michael Robinson, has been in fine form, scoring 377 runs at an average of 37.

The veteran, Danny Leech has scored vital runs on a regular basis, averaging 21, and keeper, Robert Sehmi is also averaging more than 37 with the bat. The Oulton bowling attack is headed by leading wicket-taker, Ben Gibbons, whose 50 victims have come at an average of just 11, supported by the ever reliable, Martyn East, who has claimed 22 wickets at just 18 a piece.

Evans will be relying heavily on his opening batsman, Ali Chughtai, who has been a model of consistenc­y. With over 580 runs at an average of 41, Chughtai has been the foundation stone upon which many of the Widnes innings have been built on.

The McCoy brothers, James and

Luke, have scored 638 runs between themselves with older brother James just outscoring his brother by two runs.

All rounder, Majid Majeed has been the man of the match in recent weeks and his 415 runs and 25 wickets have been integral to his team’s climb up the table.

Of the bowlers Qamar Hafiz has recently found his best form with 31 wickets at just over 20 per wicket and Evans has been impressed with the developmen­t of young bowler, Aaron Soni, who has opened the bowling and taken 28 wickets at just over 20 per wicket.

With home advantage, Widnes may be slight favourites, in what promises to the tie of the round, and hopefully, the weather will be kind and ensure a full days play.

The second XI will be hoping that captain Steve Dean can return for the away fixture against Neston on Saturday.

The team remains on track for promotion and a win at ninth-placed Neston will go a long way towards the goal of promotion.

LITHERLAND REMYCA ...... 0 RUNCORN TOWN ................. 1

RUNCORN Town picked up their first points of the season with a 1-0 win against Litherland REMYCA.

There was one change for the trip to Litherland Sports Park with Callum Richards coming in at centre-back in place of John Shaw.

Town started well and could have opened the scoring inside five minutes. Liam Turner’s long throw was helped on by Kevin Exell and Craig Cairns shot just wide.

On 19 minutes Litherland created an opening down the left and Charles Ball’s low cross was cleared in the sixyard box by Owen Dursley.

Two minutes later Town took the lead.

A poor back pass couldn’t be controlled by Ciaran O’Loughlin in the Litherland goal and Cairns was well positioned to fire the loose ball into the net.

The game opened up after the goal.

Ball was causing problems for the Town defence and after dancing past a couple of tackles his shot was blocked by Callum Richards.

Francois Antoine had a shot from 20 yards that stung the hands of the keeper before James Murphy was allowed too much space in the Town box, but fortunatel­y he shot wide.

Cairns had a great chance to make it 2-0 but his header from Dursley’s cross was brilliantl­y saved by O’Loughlin.

Town had the better of the first half hour, but it was Litherland who finished stronger. James Hammill cut in from the left and fired a shot against the far post.

Then Neil Monoghan was put through on goal but shot wide. Just before half time Hammill forced his way into the box and his shot was pushed over the bar by Adam Reid.

The second half took a while to get going but chances came eventually. Kevin Exell’s ball across goal was just in front of the strikers.

Then Marcus James’ ball found Exell who played in Turner and his shot was saved.

Town then struck the woodwork three times in an incredible couple of minutes.

Kieran Holsgrove’s corner found James and his header was touched onto the post, then Holsgrove crossed to Cairns who headed against the other post. From another corner the ball eventually fell to Dale Jennings who cracked a shot against the bar to complete the full set!

Chances for Litherland were rare but there was a nervous moment following a bit of penalty box pinball, but the ball was scrambled away.

Cairns could have doubled the lead on 77 minutes when Cox got free and squared the ball to him, but the keeper was out quickly to smother the shot.

There was one final chance for Litherland when Anthony Cato played in James Murphy and Reid made a vital save.

Town saw out the five minutes of injury time to claim a welcome three points.

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