PLAY-OFFS are required to determine the qualifiers through to the knockout stages of the Peter Stafford Trophy after four teams were left tied on points following the culmination of the group stages on Saturday.
Along with the group winners, the three best second-placed teams qualify for the quarter-finals. The best second-placed side, Heaton, have qualified automatically, meaning the remaining four teams must battle it out for the remaining two spots.
A date for the draw has not yet been confirmed, but the winner of each play-off match will complete the quarter-final line up.
Heaton progressed from Group A by securing a vital bonus point during their win against Darcy Lever.
A strong start from opening batsmen Matt Fray and Sam Hardman, who scored 50 and 58, respectively, put the Lower Pools side in the driving seat.
Raheel Majeed added 46 as Heaton posted 223-8.
Jake Cooper hit a half-century in reply but Majeed (3-37) and Kishan Patel (3-22) helped to bowl out Darcy Lever for 126.
Also in Group A, Horwich became the only side to secure maximum points in the group stages as they knocked out Blackrod.
Ryan Chaisty hit 37 before Dean Morris (89no) and Phil Cavill (32no) moved the Recreation Ground outfit to a total of 222-4.
Blackrod failed to get going in their reply, with an unbeaten 32 from ninth man Graeme Walsh the highlight of their innings.
Lewis Haydock (3-16) finished with the best figures of the Horwich attack as Blackrod were dismissed for 142.
Stuart Hornby (80), Tom Liversedge (75), Jordan Evans (37) and Marwan Mohammad (32) helped Bradshaw to 275-6.
Matthew Hargreaves top scored with 44 in reply as Astley Bridge finished on 169-9.
Also in Group B, David Tonge and Ryan Ayres both hit 39 for Farnworth Social Circle as they set Atherton a target of 245-8.
Muhammad Baig (89) and David Tantsis-Hall (48) tried to chase it down but they fell 45 runs short.
Kearsley topped Group E despite losing to Little Lever. Adam Carter (91) and Anthony Hilton (55) impressed with the bat as Little Lever finished on 260-4.
Kearsley did well in reply, with Charlie Dorsey (65) and Richard Hamblett (58) getting in on the runs but they fell 19 runs short on 241-5.
Farnworth secured their first win of the season against Little Hulton.
Ross Sutton top scored with 35 for the Lavender Road side, who were bowled out for 180 thanks to a fine performance from Fida Hussain (4-35) and Naveed Ullah (3-43).
In reply, only Asim Bhatti (34) achieved double figures for Little Hulton as Imran Mirza took 7-13 and Danny Higham 3-38 to dismiss them for 57.
TONGE look to be making progress following a difficult start to the season after they beat Bolton League Premier Division side Eagley in Group D of the Peter Stafford Trophy.
It took until the final game of last season for Tonge to chalk up their first win of the campaign.
But they are off the mark at the third time of asking this season.
Eagley struggled with the bat, with Will Shuttleworth (33) posting their biggest score as they were all out for 131 following good bowling from Alex Rodzoch (4-51) and Tonge pro Tilaksha Malshan (3-14).
Malshan also added an unbeaten 36 with the bat, while Tonge wicketkeeper Craig Naylor hit a half-century and Australian Cameron Lucas chipped in with 20 not out to cement a seven-wicket win for the Association side.
“It was a good game and you have to say it has been coming,” said Tonge skipper Danny Delvard. “Everything came together and it was not a surprise at all.
“The monkey is off our back now, we have got that win and we can try to see if we can get one or two more.
“The lads have progressed well and there is a difference in culture now.
“The team and the club is in a better place than this time last year and we have shown now we can be competitive.
“I told the lads not to run away with ideas beyond our capabilities, but we know we can be competitive and are not frightened of anyone.”
Delvard is hoping the result can act as a catalyst for further improvement and revealed the club was in talks to sign three young prospects to bolster their revival.
“We are in talks with three really good young players at other clubs who are probably not getting as much game-time as I think they should be,” he said.
“It could take six or seven weeks for them to really make their minds up because it is a big decision to join another club, especially us because we’re not seen as the most fashionable club at the moment.”
Adlington pulled off a shock win against Walkden to finish in second place in Group D but must win a play-off to qualify for the quarter-finals.
The Huyton Road side’s professional, Majid Majeed, put in a magical display on his way to a classy 109.
Key support came from Simon Trim, who added 50, as Adlington posted 243-9.
Jonathan Fowler (4-45) and Tayler Hayes (3-27) impressed with the ball.
Walkden started their reply well, putting on 91 before the first wicket fell.
Sub-professional Zain Abbas (57), formerly of Little Lever, and Heyes (29) opened the batting well.
But Majeed came back to haunt Walkden, taking 6-80 as their reply stuttered and they eventually finished on 204-9.
TOM Sheen starred with the ball as his career best figures of 7-21 helped Lostock to a first win at their new ground against Golborne.
Long-serving Sheen has spent 14 years with Lostock and christened his new home with an impressive seven-wicket haul.
In the first innings the Chew Moor outfit scored 209 all out as professional Hasnain Abbas (63) and Nick Jeffs (32) shone with the bat.
But only Jake Waterworth hit double figures in reply as Sheen and David Flanagan (3-34) wrecked havoc with the ball, dismissing Golborne for 63.
Lostock skipper Geoff Earle was delighted by his side’s bowling display and is happy they are finally making the most of their home comforts.
“We had not been how we know we can be in the last two games but we put in a good performance on Saturday,” Earle said.
“Hasnain Abbas really led from the front with the bat and held the innings together.
“Tom Sheen produced his career-best figures and was backed up really well by the fielders. Overall, it was a great performance.
“The new ground is still a work in progress but it’s just good to have a place to call home after spending 10 years without one.
“We now have a big game against Horwich on Friday in the T20. Hopefully the weather is nice, the barbecue will be on and we can get a few people down.”
Both Lostock and Golborne were knocked out of the Peter Stafford Trophy after finishing below Westhoughton and Daisy Hill in Group C.
The Howfeners finished top after Qaiser Abbas helped them earn victory over Daisy Hill, who now face a play-off for a place in the quarter-finals.
Abbas made 47 of his side’s total of 147 and then turned his hand to the ball, taking 4-28. Kieran Edwards also took 5-41 as Daisy Hill were bowled out for 75.
Heaton 223-8, Darcy Lever 126. Heaton won by 97 runs.
Horwich 222-4, Blackrod 142. Horwich won by 80 runs.
Atherton 200, Farnworth Social Circle 245-8. Farnworth Social Circle won by 45 runs.
Bradshaw 275-6, Astley Bridge 169. Bradshaw won by 106 runs.
Lostock 209, Golborne 63. Lostock won by 146 runs.
Westhoughton 161, Daisy Hill 75. Westhoughton won by 86 runs.
Adlington 243-9, Walkden 204-9. Adlington won by 39 runs.
Eagley 131, Tonge 136-3. Tonge won by 7 wkts.
Farnworth 180, Little Hulton 57. Farnworth won by 123 runs.
Kearsley 241-5, Little Lever 260-4. Little Lever won by 19 runs.