FARNWORTH continued to showcase their title credentials with a crushing 137-run victory over Walkden.

The Lavender Road side remain top of the Bolton League Premiership Division thanks to Nakash Qamar’s impressive knock.

Batting first, the league leaders initially struggled to deal with the bowling of Tahir Maqsood (3-43) and Jonathan Fowler (3-61) and looked vulnerable on 42-4.

But Qamar put the innings back on track with 84, while skipper Simon Booth added 44.

Tayler Heyes top scored with 16 in reply, but Walkden crumbled under the bowling of Imran Mirza (4-29) and Kamran Younas (3-20) for a score of 63-9.

Farnworth skipper Booth said: “In the end it was comfortable but we had a tricky start.

“It’s always a tough game against Walkden and they bowled really well, taking our top-end batsmen quite early.

“The wicket wasn’t a batters’ paradise to say the least, but Nakash was outstanding, he started slowly and then accelerated.

“I should have got 50 but I was being a bit greedy going for boundaries. I’ve not really batted this year because our top-end batsmen have been in such good form.”

Booth acknowledges that pressure comes with being the front-runners, but feels, after losing just one match so far this season, they do have a little leeway in the run-in.

“I think who ever wins the league can afford to lose four games,” Booth said.

“I’ve said it before but this is going to be one of the toughest years to win the league. We nearly lost to Eagley a couple of weeks ago and they’re near the bottom of the table.

“When you’re top you always try to stay top, but it’s difficult because it’s everyone else’s target to knock you off.”

Elsewhere, Dave Mather bowled an eight-wicket haul to ensure Kearsley remain hot on the heels of Farnworth following a comfortable victory at home to Heaton.

The Springfield Road side put on an impressive performance with the bat as Darren Whittle (34), Devendra Bundela (51) and Jack Berry (34 not out) all scored high to post a total of 206-9.

Raheel Majeed (4-47) and Ahmed Matloob (3-59) starred with the ball.

Heaton had some high-scoring batsmen themselves – Matt Fray (34), Majeed (45) and Muhammad Irfan (44) the pick of them.

But Mather dismissed the majority producing figures of 8-92 to ensure Heaton’s chase fell 40 runs short.

Horwich recorded their first league win in seven matches against Farnworth Social Circle.

Captain Phil Ingram scored 29 and Fazil Hassan hit 56 as Horwich put on 181-7 from the reduced 45 overs. Ryan Ayres and Chris Barrow took two wickets each.

Social struggled to 33-5 after 16 overs. But Barrow, batting at six, tried to turn his side’s fortunes around with a solid knock of 43, which seemed to inspire a late upturn in form as Andrew Lane added 25 and Richard Dempster chipped in with 29no.

But the rally came too late as the overs ran out with the Piggott Park outfit 29 runs short of the target.

Westhoughton professional Qaiser Abbas celebrated signing a new contract with the club by scoring 89 not out in an 81-run win at Lostock.

Abbas penned a two-year extension at the weekend, meaning he will remain at the club until the end of the 2019 season.

The Pakistan-born all-rounder was supported well by Mark Atherton (29) as Westhoughton posted 171-7. Rob Holgate was Lostock’s leading bowler with 3-53.

Oliver Newby (6-42) spearheaded the Westhoughton attack as the hosts were dismissed for 90.

Westhoughton skipper Rob Houghton explained it was an easy decision to offer Abbas an extended deal.

“Qaiser has been the most consistent professional in the league over the last five years or so, so we are delighted to extend it,” he said.

“We know we are going to get a performance with him so it was a no-brainier really.

“Qaiser was exceptional with the bat on Saturday, and Mark did well batting with him, especially given the ball seamed around a lot.

“Oliver Newby bowled particularly well so all in all it was a successful day.

“We would have liked to have had another win or two to our tally so far, but it is still all to play for.”

Sachithra Serasinghe and Marwan Mohammad both took five wickets as Bradshaw won at Eagley.

Michael Ward opened with 36 for the hosts but then wickets began to tumble quickly.

Eagley were bowled out for 124 and Bradshaw were cruising along on 110-3 when rain stopped play.

Stuart Hornby hit 55 and Tom Liversedge 32, putting Bradshaw well above the required run rate, which eventually sealed the win as no further play was possible.


Eagley 124 Bradshaw 110-3, Bradshaw won on run rate.

Farnworth Social Circle 152-8 Horwich 181-7, Horwich won by 29 runs.

Kearsley 206-9 Heaton 166, Kearsley won by 40 runs.

Lostock 90 Westhoughton 171-7, Westhoughton won by 81 runs.

Walkden 63-9 Farnworth 200-9, Farnworth won by 137 runs.