ECB Premier League - Huyton close in on Bootle
Saturday 23rd August 2003

Huyton's win in a low scoring game against New Brighton took them into second place in the table after Bootle and Wallasey lost their matches.

New Brighton's Lancashire player, Sajid Mahmood (5-50), kept Huyton to 124 from 33 overs at Huyton Lane, Kevin Murphy (24) and Timmy Watkins (23). After the interval, it was Marlon Black who claimed seven New Brighton victims for 35 in 19.1 overs as the Rakers fell to 106 all out after Chandika Hathurusinghe had top scored with 48.

Bootle were asked to bat at Lytham and faced 45.2 overs for 167 with John Hitchmough leading the way with 53, but Lytham had to thank their skipper, Daniel Thompson, who took 5-31 with Marcus Sharp adding 3-71.

Lytham lost two early wickets, Nick Knight (2) and Ben Hall (3) before Jack Kelliher (70) and Warren McSkimming (60) put on 118 for the third wicket. Lytham went on to 170-4 in 48 overs with Jimmy Wisniewski ending on 15*.

Wallasey played Ormskirk at the Oval. Paul Strang hit his second century of the summer, 106* from 105 balls with 13x4s and 4x6s, and added 112* for the fourth wicket with David Conlan (38*) before Mike Beaver made a sporting declaration at 226-3 with 50 overs bowled.

Ormskirk responded to record their seventh victory of the season from the first ball of the last over after John Armstrong (96) had steered the innings, adding 86 for the third wicket with Abel Podger (55), 45 for the fourth with Ian Glayzer (11) and 60 for the fifth with Jon Steele (40). A tumble of wickets took them from 210-4 to a winning total of 227-7 after 59.1 overs.

Northop Hall's meeting with Newton le Willows at Smithy Lane was a must win situation for both sides as they started the day in the Premier League's danger zone.

Northop Hall decided to bat but Newton's Gareth Breese took 7-35 from 16 overs to keep them to 153, James Dyer (29) and Lee Griffiths (27). On a spinner's track, Newton fell to Arshad Khan (6-39) and Majid Khan (4-37) with Mark Fearnley (25) and Martin Murnan (23) as they were all out for 127.

Hall's win takes them above Leigh and Northern, who fought out a draw at Beech Walk. Carl Hey (85*) hit his highest score since joining Northern as they went on to 198-5d in 57 overs, David Brown (37), Greg Jennings (3-32). Leigh had 41 overs to reply but finished on 139-6 with Gareth Cross (30), Phil Unsworth (3-42).

In the day's relegation tussle at Maghull against Wigan, both sides ended even at 5 pts apiece, but that didn't do either any good, as Wigan are bottom, 1pt behind Newton Willows, who are 8pts behind Maghull.

Maghull batted 52.5 overs in scoring 144 with Stephen Howard (46) and Kiran Powar (37) with Dave Cunliffe (4-31) and Jon Cooper (4-59).

Wigan suffered one of their customary collapses and saw themselves at 118-9 when Mark Rowe joined Mark Shorrocks. They batted for 10 overs but just failed to secure a victory at 140-9 in 54 overs with Shorrocks (49*) and Rowe (5*), Powar (4-41) and John Murphy (3-39).