JUST three points separate the top three sides in the Bolton League second XI Premiership Division after the latest round of fixtures.

Westhoughton lead the way with Farnworth Social Circle a point behind and Heaton a further two back.

Westhoughton’s latest win came with a five-wicket triumph against strugglers Blackrod at Vicarage Road.

The home side batted first and had little answer to the bowling of Simon Ashcroft (3-23) and Oliver Dixon (3-31), with the only prolonged resistance coming from Daniel Cooke as 36 extras helped them to reach 103.

The leaders reached their target with five wickets down and Arun Pindoria top-scoring on 22.

Social Circle’s charge faltered a little as they suffered a 14-run defeat to Horwich RMI, despite bowling their visitors out for just 105.

A superb spell of 6-33 from Andy Taylor, backed up well by Ramakrishnan Mangineni (3-30), helped dismiss them for just 91 in reply, despite Matthew Knight making 26 and Jamie Bohannon 22.

Bohannon had earlier taken 3-8 to back up Joshua Roscoe’s 4-48 as Phil Cavill (39) and Mark Knowles (32) held the RMI innings together.

Heaton moved closer to the top two after beating Daisy Hill by an impressive 154 runs despite having slumped to 37-3. Ryan Tierney, with a superb 123 not out, and Kishan Patel (94) then joined forces to share a stand of 217 and set up a total of 254-4.

Patel then starred with the ball, too, as he grabbed 5-26 to help skittle Daisy Hill for just 100 in reply, despite Mike Leeming hitting a battling 42.

Bradshaw also posted more than 200, hitting 220-8 in what turned into good game against Kearsley.

The home side recovered well from 27-4 through Daniel Robinson (40), Abishek Karigowda (30) and Rajesh Pushparajah (28) before closing on 173.

Thomas de Gelde, Ross Dickinson and Chris McGuiness each took three wickets for Bradshaw.

The Bradshaw total of 220-8 had been primarily built around good knocks of 77 by Nick Palmer and Robert Hardman’s 66 as Robinson completed a good personal game with 4-76.

Astley Bridge beat Farnworth by 43 runs in the other game in the division after posting a total of 184-9 batting first.

James and Ady Cooper set them up nicely with 62 and 28 respectively before a late flurry from Luke Wainman 28no added valuable late runs.

Sam Bradley (5-31) and Matthew Hicks (4-45) worked to restrict the total before both then starred with bat in the run chase.

Bradley posted 43 and Hicks 28 but fine spells from Mehr Jhan (5-30) and Paris Patel (4-42) restricted them to 141.

Darcy Lever have now moved six points clear in the Association Division following a relatively straightforward seven-wicket win against Tonge.

Tonge went in first and had no answer to the bowling of Toseef Hanif (5-22) and Adeel Hanif (4-30), apart from Iqbal Gulzar, who made 20, as they compiled just 57.

Darcy made no mistake as Wayne Hopkinson led them to a comfortable win.

Top score of the day came at Walkden where they rattled up 251 batting first against Golborne on the way to a 117-run win.

Kashiup Lalji, with 61, and Mo Rezzaq (55) led the run-scoring with Andrew Salami adding 32 as Jack Kidman took 5-53. Ben Lyon, Roger Gwinnett, Jordan Close and Scott Noble all passed 20 but none could go on to make a larger score as Golborne reached 134-9, with Rezzaq taking 3-43.

A minute’s silence was observed at Chew Moor for former Atherton stalwart Steve Walsh before the game against Lostock, but it was the home side that would come out on top.

Mark Davies (40), Michael Tomlinson (30) and Matt Nolan (26) seemed to be setting Atherton up for a big score but Ryan Crombie swept away the tail with 4-11, and they were all out for 152.

Lostock lost an early wicket, but a fine unbroken stand between Harry Stockton (54no) and Tom Senior (45no) saw them to a nine-wicket win.

There was a remarkable low-scoring game at Victory Road where, despite being bowled out for just 74, Little Lever managed to beat Little Hulton by 43 runs.

Lever had been floundering on 9-4 before Jack Barlow added a little respectability with 20, with Ian Lee taking 4-27, Neil Jarvis 3-25 and Brian Kelly 3-8.

Hopes of an easy win, though, were swept aside quickly as Jon Pendlebury took 5-18 and Tamoor Jehangir 3-11, with extras top scoring on 16.

The final game of the day saw Eagley coast to a seven-wicket win against Adlington.

Chasing a target of 143, Jordan Lomax crashed a fine 75 to take them to the brink of the win as they got home with 15 overs to spare.

The win was very much a team effort as evidenced by five bowlers sharing the Adlington wickets as Eddie Haddon (46) and Andrew Chamberlain (30) provided the bulk of the 142 total.