OLD Boltonians stormed to the top of the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division with a thumping 6-1 victory against Hindley Juniors.
Julian Stevens’ side, who had struggled to a 2-1 win at the second-bottom side the previous weekend, got off to the perfect start, with Tom Whittaker catching the visitors flat-footed in the first minute. They were 3-0 up inside 10 minutes, Kyle Rose scoring the second before winger Sean Rushton bagged the first of two first-half goals.
And while Hindley pulled one back from a corner to make it 4-1 before half-time, Josh Melling sealed the result from the penalty spot and Rushton capped a fine personal display with his hat-trick five minutes from time.
The victory moved Old Bolts – who are also in the last four of the LFA Amateur Cup – two points clear of Horwich Victoria.
Second-placed Vics slipped to a second successive defeat, going down 2-1 at home to Old Mancunians.
The visitors, who moved up to fourth with the win, took the lead on 20 minutes, only for a 40-yard volley from midfielder Sean Jones just before half time to give Martin Farrell’s men hope.But they fell behind again midway through the second half and could not force an equaliser.
Little Lever SC’s dwindling title hopes were dealt a further blow with a 4-3 defeat at home to Rochdale St Clements.
Early strikes from Pat Furey and captain Craig Bingham put Little Lever 2-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes, but a fluke goal from an attempted cross kept the visitors in it before the break. Furey edged the home side back in front with a breakaway goal, but the Little Lever defence were caught napping three times in the final 10 minutes to see them slip to sixth place.
Castle Hill also suffered a disappointing defeat, going down 6-1 at Failsworth Dynamos. The third-bottom side were missing their regular goalkeeper and two other key players and it showed as Failsworth went into the break 5-0 up. But attacking midfielder Stuart Schofield pulled one back in a much-improved second-half performance.