ON A rain soaked day in Merseyside, Northern lost their grip on top spot in the Bridging Finance Solutions Liverpool and District Cricket Competition after failing to finish off Hightown at a damp Sandy Lane.
Play eventually got under way at 3.30pm and the leaders struggled after being put into bat as they stuttered their way to 67-5. James Cole (34no) and Justin Snow (38no) staged a recovery allowing Northern to declare on 130-5 after 39.2 overs. The win looked on for the Crosby club after they reduced the home side to 21-4 but as wickets tumbled around him, skipper Shaun Vosloo stood firm with an unbeaten 43 as Hightown claimed the draw, finishing on 113-8 off 39 overs.
Northern’s dropped points allowed Lytham to overtake them at the top of the table after they beat winless Colwyn Bay at Church Road. The hero of the Welsh side’s innings was Sion Morris who dropped anchor on the Fylde coast, scoring 75 off 157 balls as Bay were dismissed for 173 off 57.3 overs. Teenager Ben Saunders (4-55) and George Linde (3-48) picked up wickets for Lytham who reached the target in relatively straight-forward fashion led by openers Fayaz Ughradar (61no) and Nick Knight (46).
The eight wicket win gives Lytham a 10 point lead over their rivals.
Southport and Birkdale’s fantastic start to the season continued as they moved into third place after a 62 run win over bottom-of-the-table Rainford. Mark Fletcher (62) top scored as the Trafalgar Road side declared on 160-8 off 44.1 overs. Mark Williams (3-68) and Andrew Pickavance (3-58) picked up three wickets apiece for Rainford but their efforts were eclipsed by S&B’s Chris Firth who claimed 5-16 as the visitors were bowled out for just 98.
The matches between Bootle and Maghull, Highfield and Ormskirk and Leigh and New Brighton were all abandoned without a ball being bowled.