NEW BRIGHTON put the brakes on Ormskirk’s quest for the Bridging Finance Solutions LDCC Premier Division title by holding the division pace-setters to a draw on Saturday.
The day had started well for the leaders with a commanding performance from bowlers Gavin Griffiths and Martyn Farrell on their own Brook Lane track.
Griffiths claimed four for 26 and Farrell four for 49, as the Rake Lane side were reduced to 139 all out.
Opener Matthew Thompson held firm, making 59 and there were some useful lower order runs from Ashraf Nawab, but the low total, made off 62.4 overs should have presented little danger to Ormskirk, whose reply struggled and stuttered its way to a disappointing 116 for seven.
Ian Glayzer (43) top-scored, but Martyn Evans (3-42) and his fellow bowlers made life hard for the home XI in a stalemate that leaves Ormskirk 32 points ahead of the Wirral team.
New Brighton’s excellent efforts allowed Northern to slip into second place after a hard-fought win over defending champions Lytham.
Batting first, the Crosby side went for the win with a competitive early declaration at 200 for seven off 53 overs.
Anthony Mulligan (3-31) was the pick of the Lytham bowlers, but at 75 for five, their reply was struggling, with only Dominic O’Brien (71 not out) starring with the bat.
Tomas Sephton (4-30) and Thomas Bailey (3-13) won the game for the visitors as Lytham were dismissed for 162.
Leigh’s poor form continued as they fell to fourth, following defeat to Bootle. Josh Hine (65) top-scored as the Wadham Road side reached 188 all out, with Michael Baer (3-45) and Thomas Foster (3-21) performing well with the ball. Leigh’s reply could not cope with the slow left-arm bowling of Stephen Parry, as he claimed six for 29 to help dismiss the visitors for 146 to allow Bootle to move into fifth.
Newton-le-Willows remain rooted to the bottom after slumping to just 70 all out against Colwyn Bay.
Michael Bates (6-38) and Paul Jenkins (3-10) starred for the Welsh visitors who reached the target easily for the loss of just two wickets.
Northop Hall grabbed a vital draw against fellow strugglers Hightown to keep the Ocean Park side in their sights.
Nick Death (100) scored a century and shared a second wicket partnership of 145 with Guy Edwards (83) as Hightown reached 252 for eight declared from 58 overs. Death (3-40) performed well with the ball, as the Welsh side never looked like reaching the target, but a vital unbeaten 65 from Michael Littler helped them hang on to the draw at 154 for seven.
Rainford pulled off a vital win against Highfield to see them move further away from the relegation zone.
Four wickets for Mark Williams (4-38) and three for Michael Lambert (3-22) saw a disappointing Highfield dismissed for just 71.
Rainford reached the total for the loss of four wickets, three of which fell to Chris Liptrot (3-18).