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.
CHAMPIONS Little Lever got off the mark at the fourth time of asking after a torrid start to the season.
Twenty-four hours after crashing to a third successive defeat – bowled out for 49 in a nine-wicket hammering at Greenmount – they beat Heaton in a high-scoring, closely-contested match.
More than 500 runs were scored and 18 wickets fell at Victory Road yesterday with Lever taking the points by just 17 runs, although Heaton pro Humayun Farhat gave them a few anxious moments, making a game of it with a superb 101.
Anthony Hilton (79), professional Kamran Younis (63) and Dane Hargreaves (55) laid the foundation for victory as the champions posted 268-9 in their 50 overs, Mo Ali the best of the Heaton bowlers with 5-96.
Nevertheless, it was a total that looked under serious threat as Farhat led Heaton’s reply, but with Younis (4-103) and Rakeb Mahmood (3-78) chipping away, the innings ended on 251-9.
Bradshaw, who beat Egerton by 21 runs at The Rigbys, and Farnworth Social Circle, who enjoyed an impressive 105-run victory over Walkden, remain the only teams boasting unbeaten records after the weekend’s double-progamme – previously unbeaten Farnworth going down to a two-run defeat at Astley Bridge.
Liam Bones took a hat-trick, dismissing John Berry, Sam Morris and Mason Sutherland in the 42nd over of Social Circle’s big win at Walkden, who were always up against it chasing a total of 260-8.
In-form youngster Josh Bohannon followed up his century against Tonge on Saturday with a knock of 94 in 117 balls, and with David Tong hitting 93 the Piggott Park men were comfortably in the driving seat.
Travis Townsend, who had earlier taken 4-81, gave Walkden’s reply some momentum with a knock of 91 but Bones, with his hat-trick in figures of 5-64, and Dave Mather, who took 4-72, were too strong for the home side.
Bradshaw cannot have been too confident of victory when they were bowled out for 148 in the 49th over of their innings – the Egerton attack of Will Halton (5-34) and Mustafa Bashir (3-46) having kept a rein on the home batsmen, of whom pro Saeed Anwar was top scorer with 41.
And when Egerton, for whom Stuart Hornby top scored with 36, had reached 115-6 with Declan Dudley and Amal Dalugoda in the middle, the visitors looked well on course for a fourth successive win.
But they lost four wickets for just 12 runs – Saeed finishing with figures of 4-31 – to turn the game Bradshaw’s way.
A knock of 60 by opener Chris Baxendale helped Farnworth post a challenging 214 at Astley Bridge, but it was not enough as they suffered their first defeat of the season.
Nigel Partington (68) spearheaded the Bridge reply which earned them a two-wicket win.
Tonge must have thought they were heading for their first win of the season when they bowled out Greenmount for just 111 inside 35 overs, Gulam Abbas doing the damage with 5-27 while Andy Kerr (46) was the only one of the visiting batsmen to make a fist of it.
But Phil Heaton choked off the reply bowling seven maidens for figures of 5-33 from 15 overs, and Tonge were bowled out for just 64 inside 30 overs.
Kearsley and Westhoughton claimed their second wins of the weekend at the expense of Horwich and Eagley, respectively.
Chesney Hughes (85), Charlie Dorsey (57) and Siraj Patel (38) helped Kearsley post 271-9 – a target the visitors never looked like challenging.
Adam Street had been the most impressive of the Horwich bowlers, taking 5-83, but his figures were eclipsed by Kearsley’s Sarva Ghaus, who took 6-45 off 15 overs as the visitors were bowled out for 114, losing by 157 runs.
Westhoughton’s eight-wicket win at Eagley owed much to professional Qaiser Abbas.
He took 5-27 as Eagley were bowled out for 162, Danny Counsell their top scorer with 30.
Abbas was also in the runs, chipping in with an unbeaten 39 in support of Ian Pilkington (71 not out) after skipper Rob Houghton had opened with 30 as the visitors recorded their third win of the campaign.