TIM Rees maintained his incredible run of form to keep Farnworth Social Circle flying high at the top of the table.
The Piggott Park opener hit a superb century to put Greenmount to the sword at Brandlesholme Road on Saturday – a 100-run victory underlining the remarkable impact he is having on the in-form double-chasers.
It was not a faultless performance – he was dropped on 30 – but he went on to dominate the innings to such a degree that when he was eventually out, Social Circle were 185-5 and he had scored 147 of them.
Chris Barrow, batting a seven, added 45 as the visitors reached 272-9 – Phil Heaton (4-51) and Phil Ingram (3-64) the pick of the Greenmount bowlers.
It was a total the home side never seriously threatened - Andy Kerr top-scoring with 57 for Greenmount, who were all out in the 48th over in the face of a tidy bowling attack of Barrow (5-50) and Liam Bones (4-75).
The only cloud on the immediate horizon for Social Circle is the fear that in-form bowler Dave Mather could be out for some time after needing surgery on a hand injury he suffered in the field.
Second-placed Bradshaw exacted revenge for last week’s Hamer Cup defeat at the hands of Little Lever to score a resounding win at Victory Road, where Steve Foster (5-37) and Tom Liversedge (4-22) skittled the home side for just 94 in 26 overs.
Lever, who scored 200-plus against the same attack six days earlier, were chasing Bradshaw’s 189 – the foundation for which was laid by Bradley Yates, who top-scored with 89. It was a total that might have been higher but for a terrific spell of bowling by Craig Mann, who took 8-57 – five of which came in his last two overs.
It was high enough, though, with only Kamran Younis (26) and Simon Anderton (20) showing any serious resistance.
Horwich beat Egerton in a last-ball thriller at the Recreation Ground, where 15-year-old Joe Baldwin shared the glory with Andy Taylor.
Babar Naeem took the individual honours with 7-69 as Egerton were restricted to 170-9 in their 50 overs then top scoring with 75 in the reply. But a hard-fought contest came down to the final over with the last pair at the crease – Will Halton having done the damage with the ball taking 5-58.
Young Baldwin hit a single off the third from last ball before a dot ball left Taylor on strike for the final delivery, from which he hit two to secure victory.
Another youngster played a role in Westhoughton’s 15-run victory over Walkden at St George’s Oval.
Dan Higham, promoted from the under-18s and making his third senior appearance, took 3-24 in seven overs, as the home side successfully defended a total of 225-4, based predominantly on a partnership of 159 for the second wicket between Atiq Uz-Zaman (103) and Ian Pilkington (66).
They handled the pace of Walkden’s West Indian Corey Collymore, who was without a wicket in his first 13-over spell but returned to finish with figures of 3-77 in 17.
Walkden took on the challenge and got to a stage where they needed 100 off 10 overs with six wickets in hand, having just lost top-scorer Rafal Afridy (62).
But after yong Higham had taken two of his three wickets in his first over, Westhoughton pro Qaiser Abbas (3-24) did enough to stem the tide.
The depth of Kearsley’s batting line-up took them to a match-winning total of 304-9 in high-scoring encounter with Eagley.
Siraj Patel top-scored for the home side with 62 but there were also big contributions from Charlie Dorsey (59) and Darren Whittle, Richard Hamblett and Atur Rehman, who all got in the 30s and were aided and abetted by the Eagley attack bowling 34 wides in a total of 40 extras.
Opener Michael Ward (47) got Eagley’s reply going and Paul Rayment top-scored with 63 while Ross Brown, who had taken 4-50 off eight overs, scored an unbeaten 42 batting at number eight. But they fell 69 runs short with Rehman the pick of Kearsley’s bowling with 5-90 off 19.
Former Tonge star Syd Da Silva showed his all-round qualities in Astley Bridge’s two-wicket victory against his old club.
Da Silva took 4-44 as the home side were bowled out for 154, then top-scoring with 49 as Bridge reached 155-8 with just an over and a half to spare.
An unbroken eight-wicket partnership between Scott Mather (33no) and Curtis Anderson (27no) was key to Farnworth’s 34-run win at Heaton.
The pair took Farnworth to 184-7 and although home pro Humayan Farhat (66) made a fist of it, Heaton were bowled out in 41 overs.
Results Greenmount 172 Farnworth Social Circle 272-9.
Farnworth Social Circle won by 100 runs.
Heaton 150 Farnworth 184-7.
Farnworth won by 34 runs.
Horwich 172-9 Egerton 170-9.
Horwich won by 1 wkt.
Kearsley 304-9 Eagley 235-9.
Kearsley won by 69 runs.
Little Lever 94 Bradshaw 189.
Bradshaw won by 95 runs.
Tonge 154 Astley Bridge 155-8.
Astley Bridge won by 2 wkts.
Westhoughton 225-4 Walkden 210-9.
Westhoughton won by 15 runs.