THE battle for the runners-up slot behind title winners Greenmount intensified as contenders Walkden and Horwich both won.

Walkden scraped home by two wickets at Westhoughton in a low-scoring encounter in which the hosts were dismissed for 90 runs.

The visitors from Harriet Street then reached their target, but at one point were 70-8 with professional and captain Usman Tariq top scoring on 30.

But it was left to Dale Jones – who had also taken 5-22 in the Westhoughton innings – to hit a match-winning 24 not out to get Walkden over the line for a win by two wickets. Horwich had a more comfortable sixwicket victory at Little Lever who were all out for 175, Ian McLellan and Matty Mills hitting 50 and 30 respectively while David White took 6- 60.

Horwich then reached 176-4 with pro Martin Walters hitting an impressive 106 not out.

Other contenders for second place Farnworth SC suffered an abandoned game at Bradshaw before a ball was bowled, while Farnworth were beaten by 111 runs at the hands of Heaton at Bridgeman Park.

Heaton’s Mick Fray (50) and Chris Baxendale (42) helped the visitors to 177 all out.

Heaton pro Karman Hussain then took 6- 26 and Steve Holt 4- 39 to skittle Farnworth for 66.

Greenmount beat lowly Tonge, who were all out for 99 before the Bury men rattled off the runs for the loss of just one wicket.

Egerton edged a tight encounter at Astley Bridge by four runs.

Eagley and Kearsley’s match at Dunscar fell victim to the weather.