FARNWORTH Social Circle’s bid to steal a march on their title rivals was scuppered by a determined display from neighbours Farnworth.
Bad weather wrecked the rest of the programme, with no play possible anywhere else in the league, and it looked like there would be a third full washout of the season.
With no reserve dates left that would mean two points would be awarded to every team, but as the rain clouds cleared at around 4pm, the Social Circle ground staff worked wonders to get their game on.
If the league’s early pace setters had been able to continue their 100 per cent start to the season, they could have opened a considerable gap, but Simon Booth’s Farnworth side had not read the script.
After putting on 153-9 from their 25 overs – reduced for both sides following the late start - Farnworth held their nerve in the field to restrict Social Circle to 140-7 to claim a 13-run victory.
There was little to choose between the two sides, but after being set just under 6.2 an over to win, Social Circle fell behind the run rate early in their innings and despite a late rally were never able to claw themselves back on level terms.
Farnworth opener Adil Nisar hit 39 and Michael Daley, coming in at number three, scored 24 to get the visitors off to a good start before Dave Mather and Josh Bohannon, who took 4-53 and 4-66 respectively, reined them back in.
In reply, Bohannon opened instead of the unavailable Tim Rees and scored 24, but it wasn’t until Andrew Lane rattled off 32 after coming in at number seven that Social Circle were able to get amongst the Farnworth bowlers.
And, ultimately, it was a disciplined display from Jason Raynor, who took 3-29, and Victor Wallcott, who claimed 2-30, that proved the difference between the two sides.
Victory for Farnworth - who bounced back after defeat to Westhoughton last time out - put them right back into the title race.
They moved level on points with Bradshaw and Westhoughton, in joint second place, and just eight points behind Social Circle, who picked up a bonus point for their unsuccessful run chase.
Results: Farnworth Social Circle 140-7 Farnworth 153-9 (both from a reduced 25 overs). Farnworth won by 13 runs.
Matches between Greenmount and Egerton, Horwich and Bradshaw, Heaton and Eagley, Kearsley and Astley Bridge, Little Lever and Walshaw, and Westhoughton and Tonge were all abandoned with no play possible.