ECB Premier League - Griffiths demolishes Rainford as Ormskirk take the title
Saturday 17th September 2011

Peter Rogan

back row (l-r): JM Armstrong, MJ Farrell, G Knight (wicket keeper), MS Glayzer, SC Kerrigan, NT Caunce, J Sampson, C Rimmer (scorer)
front row (l-r): CSJ Smith, GT Griffiths, IR Robinson (captain), JA Glayzer, IM Glayzer

At 5:13pm, the champagne corks flew at Brook Lane as Jye Sampson hit two fours to give Ormskirk a nine wicket win over Rainford and their second ECB Premier League title in four years. There were, however, two things missing from the celebrations, the John Tristram Trophy and the championship pennant.

Hampered by the weather, the match didn't start until 2:30pm but Gavin Griffiths didn't waste any time in ripping through Rainford's top order. He finished with 5-20 as the visitors crumbled to 60 all out. Simon Kerrigan, fresh from Lancashire's LV= County Championship celebrations at Taunton and Old Trafford, took 3-6 from seven overs. There was also a wicket apiece for Nicky Caunce and Martyn Farrell. Ormskirk lost Matty Glayzer for 16 but John Armstrong (24*) and Jye Sampson (9*) made sure the title went back to Brook Lane. scorecard

The weather determined where Leigh finished their season. Lying in second place this morning, ten points behind Ormskirk, their match with Colwyn Bay was abandoned without a ball being bowled at Beech Walk and the Leighers ended in third place with the Bay, seventh. scorecard

Bootle slip to fourth place after they finally gave way to the weather in their match at Wadham Road against already relegated Northop Hall. Michael Barnes (81) and James Hurlin (32) opened Hall's account with a partnership of 114 but David Snellgrove (4-18) and Stephen Parry (4-41) took over and dismissed them for 164. Michael Swart was 15 not out when Bootle's reply came to a premature close at 20-0. scorecard

Northern, fourth this morning, took advantage of Leigh and Bootle's misfortune by gaining a crucial 24 points win against Highfield at Moor Park that took them to runners up spot in the table. Northern lost Chris Tipper for 4 but Ben Sloan's unbeaten 90 along with valuable contributions from James Cole (37) and John Wildman (31) guided them to 194-3d after only 29.4 overs. Only Mike Farrell (66) mastered the Northern bowling as Highfield slid from 122-5 to 140 all out with Tom Sephton taking 4-35 and Tom Bailey 3-34. scorecard

Last season's champions, Lytham, finished the season in sixth place after a 16 run win against lowly Newton le Willows who suffered their eighteenth reversal of the campaign. Opener Nick Knight remained unbeaten on 77 as Lytham declared on 171-7 with Chris Edge taking 3-42. Newton put up a valiant reply, recovering from 60-6 to 155 all out thanks to a run a ball 62 not out from Danny Barlow and 36 from Mike Walkden. Fayaz Ughradar took 4-33 and Ben Saunders 3-32 for Lytham. scorecard

New Brighton's match with Hightown at Rake Lane was a victim of the weather with the teams finishing fifth and eight respectively. The match was to have marked a unique double for it would have been the last match as captains for Tim Watkins (New Brighton) and Ian Sutcliffe (Hightown) with Paul Hale and Shaun Vosloo lined up to replace them in 2012. scorecard

Ormskirk, Northern, Leigh, Bootle and Lytham will play in the LCB Knockout next season. The draw will be on Monday 24th October 2011.

New Brighton, who finished fifth, will enter the Cheshire Knockout.