ECB Premier League -
Unbeaten 93 from Davy Smith keeps Northern at the top
Saturday 11th June 2016
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On a day when rain either interrupted or caused the abandonment of many matches in the MI Dental Liverpool Competition, Northern offered evidence that they have what it takes to meet the challenges they must face if they are to win the Premier League this year.
Defending a total of 220-5 declared in 55 overs and confronted by some obdurate resistance from Lytham’s middle-order, Moor Park skipper, James Cole, called on Scott Snaylam , not a regular member of his attack, to help make a breakthrough.
The off-spinner responded by taking 4-54 and combined with Tom Sephton, who bagged 3-78, to dismiss Lytham for 177 and take his side to the 43-run win which had been set up by Davy Smith’s 117-ball 93 in his own side’s innings.
Their victory extended Northern’s lead to seven points over Leigh at the top of the ECB Premier League but they are nothing like clear of the chasing pack.
That pack includes Firwood Bootle who somehow conjured a 19-run victory over Rainford from a match in which they had seemed to be taking the high road to humiliation. After being asked to bat, Craig Prince’s side were 11-5 and 71-7 before No9 Neil Williams built on Jackson Knight’s 42 and added 70 for the ninth wicket with Chris Liptrot to leave his side with a very respectable 197.
But Williams’s fine 101-ball 70 did not prompt the meek capitulation of Paul Farrar’s men.
John Dotters made 80 and the visitors were 140-4 before Danny Davis and Greg Butterworth spun the Wadham Road side to a narrow win.
Bootle are now third in the table, 21 shy of Northern and 14 behind Leigh, who deepened bottom-placed Birkenhead Park’s woes with a 146-run thrashing.
Ross Zelem’s 68 and Lewis Jackson’s 51 not out took Tom Foster’s men to 202-5 declared before Lancashire’s Luis Reece cut through the Park batting with a spell of 7-24 which hustled out the home side for just 56.
But arguably the game of the day took place between two teams near the bottom of the table at Rosclare Drive, where Mohammad Qureshi’s 6-40 off 22 overs helped Rainhill defend 116 and beat Wallasey by four runs.
Earlier Chris Bourne had taken 6-27 as Paul Ford’s team were dismissed for their modest total despite Sam Kershaw’s vital 36. Opener Greg Beaver’s 48 had seemed to have put Wallasey in control but Qureshi had the last word in a tense finish.
Both Ormskirk and New Brighton remain in the top half of the table after they shared a rain-affected draw at Brook Lane. Upal Fernando’s 70 steered his side to a formidable 241-9 declared but the home side were restricted to 123-7 in reply with Louis C Botes taking 3-20.
However, rain at Penrhyn Avenue did not prevent Formby securing the remarkable win that takes them up to fifth in the Premier League table. Five wickets for Indian seamer Shrikant Mundhe reduced Formby to 31-5 before Dane Williams’s 49 and James Seward’s 42 not out enabled Ian Cockbain’s men to reach 142 with Mundhe finishing with 8-69.
In reply, Colwyn Bay lost their last seven wickets for 16 runs as Ben Aitchison with 4-18 and Gary Keedy, 3-17, did the damage.
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