BRADSHAW, Egerton and the two Farnworth clubs maintained their 100 per cent starts to the season on Saturday while champions Little Lever continued to struggle, humbled by Greenmount as they crashed to a third straight defeat.
But on a day when some of the League’s more experienced players again made their marks – including Bradshaw pro Saeed Anwar who single-handedly broke Eagley hearts – it was one of the game’s brightest young stars who served notice he can also be a major force.
Josh Bohanan, captain of the Bolton League Under-18s and better known for his off-spin bowling, hit an unbeaten century as high-scoring Farnworth Social Circle trounced Tonge by 225 runs.
Together with professional Rameez Alam, who hit 104, and David Tong (62) Bohannon took apart the Tonge bowling as Social Circle reached 308-3 off their 50 overs.
And with Dave Mather in devastating form with the ball, taking 7-38, it was a target that proved way out of Tonge’s reach.
Anwar earned his money with a magnificent solo effort at Eagley, where Bradshaw, chasing the home side’s total of 180-9, were in dire straits at 53-5 and looked to be heading for a crushing defeat when they were reduced to 92-7.
But Anwar, who batted at three, was always there, hogging the strike and building what turned out to be a match-winning innings of 130 not out.
Such was his dominance, the second highest score in the Bradshaw innings was 14 while Phil Dickinson, who went in at number nine and was at the crease for 63 minutes, hit just three runs but was was still there with Anwar at the end as Bradshaw reached the target for the loss of seven wickets.
It was tough on Eagley, who had a force of their own in Michael O’Rourke, who hit 60, and with a couple of creditable contributions from under-18 players Jake O’Byrne (25) and Jack Wainman (23), posted a respectable total in the face of some good bowling by Anwar (4-57) and Steve Foster (3-57).
O’Rourke also put in a valiant effort with the ball, taking 5-72 from 20 overs, but it was not enough in the end.
Farnworth continued their impressive start to the season with a 102-run victory over Walkden.
An opening stand of 125 between Adil Nisar (57) and Chris Baxendale (53) laid the foundation for a big score, although Farnworth suffered a mini-collapse, losing five wickets for just 12 runs. But an unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 45 between Jason Raynor (33no) and Simon Booth took the hosts to 234-8.
That was too hot for Walkden who were bowled out for 132 – Victor Walcott and Curtis Anderson both taking 3-31 with Richard Ayres top scoring for the visitors with 40.
Egerton’s promising start to the season continued with a 19-run victory over Astley Bridge, with the usual suspects leading the way.
Skipper Paul Stafford top-scored with 63 and Amal Dalugoda chipped in with 44 as Egerton posted 186, a score that might have been higher but for a good spell of bowling by Syd De Silva (5-62).
Bridge gave it a go with Rick Northrop (46) leading the reply but Dalugoda (4-43) and Will Halton (5-89) came out on top.
Little Lever’s nightmare start continued with a nine-wicket defeat at Greenmount.
The champions had no answer to the bowling of Phil Ingram (4-31), Mark Stewart (3-17) and Phil Heaton (3-0) as they were skittled for just 49 – a target Greenmount reached in routine fashion in a match that was done and dusted inside two hours.
Westhoughton were grateful for big-hitting professional Qaiser Abbas who led them to a five-wicket victory over Heaton.
Abbas did well with the ball, taking 5-69 as Horwich posted 192-7, David Morris top scoring with 60no, well supported by Babar Naeem (4) and Phil Cavil (45). But he did even better with the bat, entering the fray at 42-2, taking charge of proceedings and ended unbeaten on 95.
But he might have been on the losing side but for a couple of fruitful overs - the 43rd in particular when he struck two sixes and two fours and the second last when he hit a six and a four to swing the match in Westhoughton’s favour.
Ata Ur-Rehman did a similar job for Kearsley, who won by four wickets at Heaton.
Mo Ali (72no) and Humayun Farhat (60) took on the Kearsley bowlers as Heaton posted a creditable 242-8.
But Ur-Rehman, who had bowling figures of 3-66 off 18, turned the match Kearsley’s way, hitting 21 off the 47th over to finish victorious on 56no.
Eagley 180-9, Bradshaw 181-7. Bradshaw won by 3 wkts.
Egerton 186, Astley Bridge 167. Egerton won by 19 runs.
Farnworth 234-8, Walkden 132. Farnworth won by 102 runs.
Farnworth SC 308-3, Tonge 83. Farnworth won by 225 runs.
Greenmount 51-1, Little Lever 49. Greenmount won by 9 wkts.
Heaton 242-8, Kearsley 243-6. Kearsley won by 4wkts.
Westhoughton 193-5, Horwich 192-7. Westhoughton won by 5 wkts.
Astley Bridge 216-8, Farnworth 214. Astley Bridge won by 2 wkts.
Bradshaw 148, Egerton 127. Bradshaw won by 21 runs.
Eagley 162, Westhoughton 163-2. Westhoughton won by 8 wkts.
Kearsley 271-9, Horwich 114.Kearsley won by 157 runs.
Little Lever 268-9, Heaton 251-9. Little Lever won by 17 runs.
Tonge 63, Greenmount 111. Greenmount won by 47 runs.
Walkden 155, Farnworth SC 260-8. Farnworth SC won by 105 runs.