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ECB Premier League - Jackson gives Sandgrounders win over champions
Saturday 21st April 2007

It has taken Southport and Birkdale just a week into the new season to make an impact. After a last ball defeat at Maghull on the opening day, the promoted side faced the daunting prospect of a home clash with Bootle, but they rose to the challenge magnificently to topple the champions by three wickets. Undoubtedly the hero was Aussie Patrick Jackson, who steered Southport towards victory with a quality century, after the visitors set a target of 221-8d from 50.2 overs. Ian Cockbain jnr (56, 8x4s, 1x6) set the standard after Bootle elected to bat, Graham Lloyd and Adam Warren each contributing 47. Having starred with the ball by taking 4-70 with his left arm spin, Jackson struck a superb 115 (15x4s) in the victory chase. Chris Firth, only 19, also played a crucial part. Earlier, he had taken 2-15, but his 41 in a partnership of 135 with Jackson gave the home reply the impetus, which Jason Marsh (17*) and Josh Hine (12*) maintained in a total of 223-7 (53) with an unbroken partnership of 19 for the eighth wicket in four overs.

Northern’s prolific pair of Carl Hey and Steve Mullaney, having put paid to New Brighton last week, repeated the dose with a tense close fought win over neighbours Hightown. Hey (101, 13x4s) – his second successive century – and Mullaney (64, 11x4s, 1x6) shared a second wicket stand of 144 as the Crosby club looked well set at 145-2 but leg spinner Shahid Mahmood (6-59) and Ian Sutcliffe (3-36) instigated a collapse to 204 (51.1 overs) after being inserted. Shaun Vosloo launched the reply with 50 (11x4s) out of a score of 59-2 and Martin Stoker (72*) then took on the mantle. His stand of 74 for the seventh with Tony Symondson (35) gave them a great chance at 190-7, but they collapsed to 199 all out (52.5 overs). Jack Woosey (3-37), Mullaney (3-52) and John Wildman (3-72) all bowled well.

New Zealander Jesse Ryder delivered a first win for New Brighton with a magnificent all round effort. From 59-6, having elected to bat at Fleetwood Hesketh, the left hander came to the rescue with a brilliant 105 (8x4s, 5x6s) out of 184 (39 overs), Jamaican Nikita Miller taking 4-64 and Neil Rimmer 3-19. With 18 off the first over, the home side looked to be on their way, with Miller making a useful 52, but Ryder’s medium pace had the last say, taking 6-18, to restrict them to 172 in 50 overs.

Ormskirk recovered from 85-6 to reach 231-9d in 46 overs in the draw with Maghull, thanks to Lancashire's John Simpson (76) and Nick Caunce (44), who added 79 for the seventh wicket, Paul Bower taking 5-44. Skipper Niall McDonnell (74) and Greg Gillespie (47) top scored in Maghull's reply of 206-9, Sawanji Madanayake ending with 4-63.

Sion Morris’ excellent 110 (18x4s, 2x6s) and Dave Taylor (51) set Colwyn Bay up for a comfortable win against Leigh at Penrhyn Avenue. They totalled 257-7d after 50.5 overs, 198 of them coming in boundaries (45x4s, 3x6s), after losing the toss, before Paul Jenkins (4-23) and Kabir Khan (3-18) skittled the visitors for 89 in 37.2 overs with Joe Davies top scoring with 28.

St Helens Recs romped to a superb five wicket triumph at Wallasey, thanks to solid batting by Simon Brown who carried his bat for 78* (6x4s), Stuart Lyon (48) and Ian Knowles (45). The Wirral club had totalled an impressive 250-7d in 49.5 overs, the highlight being a stand of 97 for the fourth wicket between skipper John Pugh (99, 15x4s) and John Ford (50, 7x4s, 1x6). Gary Freeman took 4-64 and Shaun Anders 3-97 for Recs.

Dave Hutton struck a fine century, but Huyton lost at home by three wickets to Lytham. His unbeaten 105 off 102 balls contained one six and 13 fours out of 236 (55 overs), after the visitors won the toss. Jimmy Wisniewski took 5-56 and Michael Rigby 3-42. Richard Openshaw (60*) won the match with his ninth four, Wisniewski adding 47. Hutton returned 3-76.