First Division - It's now Maghull's turn at the top after Recs defeat
Saturday 6th August 2005

There was no greater contrast of a contest than the one at Maghull, where the promotion hopefuls were playing bottom club Caldy. The home side, who had won five out of six, were facing a Wirral side which had lost eight in succession. The outcome was not a surprise - Maghull winning by four wickets - but the losers showed plenty of fight, although it is unlikely to save them from dropping out of the First Division.

Caldy won the toss and battled to 163 from 52.3 overs, with Neil Flemming hitting 46, while Jeff Parsley (4-26) and Kiran Powar (4-63) were the top home bowlers.

Maghull then slipped to 46-5 and were 89-6 when Dave Priestley (55*) and Parsley (48*) came to the rescue with an unbroken stand of 77 to take them to 166-6 (44.4 overs) and the top of the First Division with 294 pts. The side relegated last season are in the mood to regain their Premier League status.

Previous leaders St Helens Recs lost out at Ruskin Drive against Southport and Birkdale, who have been finding some form of late. Richard Chee Quee blasted 80 in a Recs total of 145 (49.1 overs), with Dave Britton taking 4-31 and Nilesh Kulkarni 4-75.

The Sandgrounders slumped to 53-6 but Mark Fletcher (55*) and Ather Abid (56*) guided them home with an unbroken stand of 93 to go to 146-6 (52.4 overs), Chee Quee completing an all round performance with 4-34.

Two other promotion rivals played out a draw. Newton le Willows remain in second place after rattling up 261-7d (52 overs) after being inserted, the highlight of which was a third wicket stand of 99 between Shiv Das (95, 89 balls, 14x4s, 1x6) and Danny Barlow (62, 11x4s, 2x6s). Debasis Mohanty took 3-37.

In reply, Colwyn Bay battled to a good position but could not force a win. They had to settle for 247-5 (51 overs), with Patrick Leach (76) and Sion Morris (75) putting on 83 for the second wicket.

St Helens enjoyed one of the day's quickest wins at Windleshaw Road. Sanjay Pandey (5-31) and Gary Sheppard (3-27) blasted Ainsdale out for 75 in 34.4 overs (Malcolm Swift 31) before easing to a six wicket win, in which Ian Montcrieff made 30* out of 76-4 (15.5 overs).

By a strange coincidence, compare this week's result with that of last week when Ainsdale were bowled out for 76 in 44.1 overs by St Helens Recs who went on to make 77-5 in 17.1 overs.

Orrell Red Triangle's batsmen had cause to celebrate after overcoming Worsley to win by five wickets at Walkden Road. Skipper Danny McKeown (62) and Andy Hayhurst (61) added 106 for the fifth wicket in Worsley's total of 208-6d (Lee Martinus 4-65). Steve Pegg (65*) and Nick Cullen (58) responded with an opening partnership of 138 for Orrell Red Triangle en route to victory at 209-5 (47 overs), Michael Gould taking 4-52.

Liverpool's James Titmuss took 6-94 at Highfield, who hit 233-7d in 58 overs after winning the toss, with Craig Heaton (57) and Tariq-ur-Rehman (51) adding 105 for the fourth wicket. The visitors stumbled to 133-9 in reply after 48 overs (Steve Nealey 47*, Chris Liptrot 3-46).

Wigan scored 191-9d in 66 overs against Formby at Bull Hey as Sean Casham (47) and Ashraf Rana (42) top scored, while Mark O'Connor (3-38) and Sam Hinton (3-44) did well. In reply, the visitors held out at 109-8 after 44 overs, Andy Eastwood top scoring with 30 and Hinton 27.