BOLTON LEAGUE: Kerrigan's men claim title despite defeat
Reigning champions Farnworth needed to win to keep the title race alive, but after they lost in devastating fashion at home to Horwich the result at Walkden was incidental.
Jonny Kerrigan’s side were not to know that, however, and the nerves must have been fraying as 17-year-old Ryan Ayres (51) and Iqbal Patel (58) put on 120 for Walkden’s sixth wicket.
The hosts eventually reached 240-8 from 46 overs in the rain affected match, with Little Lever pro Kamran Younis the top bowler with 4-109.
The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Younis, who went into the match on the back of four successive ducks but opened the Little Lever innings with two off the first ball.
He only managed 25, however, as the visitors fell 30 runs short of the revised target of 206 from 35 overs.
Andy Worden was their star batsman, coming in at number nine and finishing on 43 not out, while Ayres (4-30) and Patel (4-67) picked up where they left off with the bat.
Farnworth will have been kicking themselves after they relinquished their title in disappointing fashion, crumbling to defeat at home to Horwich.
Opener Adil Nisar struggled to stem the tide of wickets, sticking around to score 19 runs, but it didn’t take long for Liam Bones and Adam Street to carve through the Farnworth line-up.
They shared all 10, with Bones ending on 5-31 and Street not far behind with 5-37.
Horwich rattled off 77-1, with Jonty Settle hitting 46 on their way to a convincing nine-wicket victory.
Westhoughton moved above Farnworth into second and, with the second team championship title already in the bag, effectively sealed the Crumblehulme Cup after beating their closest rivals Bradshaw by 48 runs.
After falling to 39-3, Ian Pilkington and wicketkeeper Kieran Paisley steadied the ship, putting on 144. Pilkington hit 11 fours and two sixes in his century, and was eventually out for 104, while Paisley made it to 71.
Bradshaw’s Chris Wilson finished with 4-69 as Westhoughton posted 237-7.
In reply, Bradshaw were set a revised target of 211 from 41 overs, but fell to 163 all out from 35.4 overs.
Jordy Mason top scored with 36 while Kieran Edwards (4-66) and Dan Reeve (3-21) shared the wickets.
Greenmount capitalised on results elsewhere to move back up into the Lancashire Knockout places with an 84-run win at home to Heaton.
Ryan Senior was the pick of the home side’s batsmen with 33 as they struggled to cope with Imran Mirza, who took 5-89.
But captain Mark Stewart cast a similar spell over Heaton, taking 5-56 as they folded to 86 all out. Only Oli Sutcliffe posted any kind of resistance with 44.
Stuart Hornby laid the foundation for Egerton with 96, while Astley Bridge pro Syd Da Silva finished with figures of 4-115.
The visitors were then set a revised target of 196 from 45 overs, but spinner Amal Dalagoda’s spell of 5-7 off seven overs ensured they never made a game of it.
Dalagoda was backed up by 17-year-old Adil Vali, who opened the bowling and took 3-30.
Farnworth Social Circle made it four wins in five games as their late-season surge continued with a 95-run victory at Kearsley.
Tim Rees and Brenton Parchment shared a second-wicket stand of 118 to take the game away from Kearsley.
Rees was eventually out for 81 while Parchment finished unbeaten on 94, scoring eight fours and four sixes in his match-winning knock as Social Circle ended on 245-3.
Parchment then took 5-54 as Kearsley were all out for 151. Circle Deputy pro Wesley Lansdale scored 46.
Bottom side Eagley went down by three wickets at Tonge.
Ali Azmat took 7-56 as Eagley were bowled out for 129.
Tonge’s target was reduced to 120 from 44 overs, and they reached that with 15 overs to spare.
Yousaf Anwar was top scorer with 46.