FARNWORTH finally secured the Premiership Division title on Saturday, defending their target at home to struggling Eagley.

The visitors did not make it easy for them, but they fell 44 runs short as Farnworth took the championship earned with every man playing a part throughout the season.

Captain Simon Booth says the high standard in the Bolton League this year makes their achievement, winning their first title since 2012, all the sweeter.

“We have come through with a great team effort,” he said. “No one has done anything spectacular – no one has scored a hundred – so that is some statement on how strong the league is. Anyone can beat anyone else and Eagley certainly didn’t play like a team that, unfortunately for them, look like they’ll be going down.

“They could have beaten us twice this year, and Heaton gave us one of our toughest games too, so there hasn’t been any easy games but at some stage everyone in the team has either won us a game or made a major contribution to winning a game.”

Booth’s side got off to a flyer as they batted first on Saturday, opener Jon Kerrigan racing to 64 off 78 balls. Imran Mirza made a more watchful 61 in the middle-order and Kamran Younas contributed 43 as Farnworth reached 247-8.

And Younas then bowled through in the Eagley reply, accounting for seven wickets for 77 runs in his 23 overs. Danny Counsell made 54 at the top of the order for Eagley and pro Agha Salman 35 at number three, but once they departed there was always a sense around the Farnworth players they were on the verge of getting over the line.

And when Eagley’s final wicket fell on 203 the celebrations, put on hold after the previous week’s defeat at Kearsley, could get going.

“I’m so pleased to have won it after we didn’t turn up against Kearsley the week before,” said Booth. “We knew the wicket was very good and the conditions were good too, so we always felt it would be a high-scoring game.

“You have to give credit to Eagley too, they gave a good account of themselves but they were always slightly behind, they certainly didn’t play like a relegation team.

“Their pro, Salman, is as good as it gets so we felt once he and Danny were out they didn’t have anyone who could go at seven or eight an over so we knew we’d given ourselves a good chance.

“Jon (Kerrigan) scored very quickly, he raced to 40 in no time, we thought he’d go on to score a hundred but he chased one ball too many, but that’s pretty much how we play. The possible exception is Mirza, who manages his innings well, he can steady the ship if need be, he’s our anchor.

“Kammy (Younas) has been very good for us too, he started off slowly, but he went off to Mauritius to play in a tournament there and since he came back he’s been fantastic.”


Premiership Division: Bradshaw 284-6 Farnworth Social Circle 281-7, Bradshaw won by 4 wkts.

Farnworth 247-8 Eagley 203, Farnworth won by 44 runs.

Heaton 102 Horwich RMI 247-7, Horwich RMI won by 135 runs.

Lostock 139 Walkden 124. Lostock won by 15 runs.

Westhoughton 209-8 Kearsley 152. Westhoughton won by 57 runs.