BOLTON LEAGUE PREVIEW: Bradshaw aim to bounce back as Farnworth pair look for home rule
BRADSHAW head to Greenmount in the Bolton League tomorrow looking to bounce back from a first defeat of the season against early pacesetters Farnworth Social Circle last weekend.
The Rigby’s outfit had won their first four league outings but slipped to a 76-run loss against an in-form Social Circle, despite excellent bowling figures of 5-49 from Mohamed Jameel and a fifth-wicket stand of 67 between Gary Garner (36) and Nick Lester (52).
With a bye in the first round of the Thwaites Hamer Cup on Sunday, Saeed Anwar Jnr’s team will be geared up for their trip to Greenmount in what is arguably the clash of the day in the league as fourth visits fifth.
The top two teams from Farnworth are both at home tomorrow looking to keep the pace at the top.
Social Circle, who are the only unbeaten team left in the Bolton League, host Eagley who in contrast sit second bottom after losing all five of their opening games.
Their latest league defeat – an eight-wicket loss to Farnworth – came after they posted just 87 in their innings.
And Danny Counsell’s side will know exactly how daunting a task they face this weekend after losing in the cup to Social Circle five days ago by 126 runs.
Second-placed Farnworth, meanwhile, entertain an Egerton side who also suffered back-to-back defeats last weekend.
A six-wicket league loss to Westhoughton was followed by a Hamer Cup exit when Little Lever won by 15 runs, despite a valiant effort from Paul Stafford’s men in chasing a big target of 285 for victory.
Cup holders Farnworth enjoyed a far better outcome with Chris Baxendale scoring an unbeaten 142 to help them beat Astley Bridge and progress to the quarter finals.
With Victor Walcott also top of the bowling averages, Farnworth will look to keep the pressure on neighbours Social Circle at the top.
Elsewhere, third-placed Westhoughton host reigning champions Little Lever at St George’s Oval.
Both teams had a mixed weekend in league and cup last time out with Westhoughton beating Egerton by six wickets in the league before their cup exit to Greenmount.
Little Lever, meanwhile, progressed to the last eight but their indifferent early league form continued with a five-wicket defeat to Kearsley.
This weekend Tonge visit Kearsley looking to post bigger targets than the 100 and 113 they totalled in back-to-back league and cup defeats a week ago.
Meanwhile, Heaton will look to build on their first win of the season at Walkden when they welcome Astley Bridge to Church Road.
Pro Humayun Farhat was key with bat and ball as they progressed in the cup at Tonge, hitting 77 before taking 5-37 and he will hope his form continues tomorrow.