CHRIS Baxendale scored an unbeaten century to help fire reigning champions Farnworth into the quarter-finals of the Thwaites Hamer Cup.

The opener carried his bat, hitting 18 fours in his 142 as the cup holders put on 248-5 from their 40 overs at home to Astley Bridge.

Adil Nisar heaped on the misery for the visitors, who recently beat Farnworth in the Bolton League, adding 69 in an opening partnership of 149 with Baxendale.

South African pro Carl Raubenheimer took 6-47 to help skittle Astley Bridge for 88 and hand Farnworth a 160-run victory.

Greenmount also put on an explosive batting display to dump Westhoughton out of the cup at the first stage of this year’s competition.

Openers Ryan Senior (116) and Andy Kerr (97) put on 205 for the first wicket, sticking around for 45 overs before they were eventually separated.

Greenmount’s target of 243-3 was always going to be a tough ask and Westhoughton fell 58 runs short.

Atiq uz-Zaman scored 50 and Westhoughton pro Qaiser Abbas made 45, but 4-76 from visiting pro Akbar ur-Rehman and a miserly spell of 2-17 from 10 overs from Phil Heaton ensured they were always behind the run rate.

League leaders Farnworth Social Circle carried over their fine early-season form into the cup with a 126-run victory at Eagley.

Former Eagley opener Tim Rees was quick out of the blocks with 72, but early wickets from Michael O’Rourke (2-13) at the other end reduced the visitors to 52-3 before Tim Barrow picked up the baton, hitting an unbeaten 92 after coming in at number four.

Agah Salman took 4-88 for the home side, but they never looked like getting close to Social Circle’s 237-7.

Mike Ward top-scored in their reply of 111, as Andrew Lane took 3-33 and Josh Bohannon claimed 3-25.

Struggling Bolton League reigning champions Little Lever put their recent poor form behind them with a 15-run win at home to Egerton.

The Victory Road men put on a hefty 284-7, as their pro Kamran Younis hit 47 after openers Anthony Hilton and Simon Anderton had set the ball rolling with sizeable scores of 68 and 63 respectively.

Stuart Hornby was the most potent bowler for Egerton as he took four wickets, but at a loss of 101 runs.

In reply, David Morris Jnr – who captained Farnworth to Hamer Cup success last season – top scored with an impressive 75, and Egerton pro Amal Athulathmudali hit 44.

With three overs to go an unlikely run-chase was still on, but thanks in part to Andy Worden’s 5-46, the visitors slumped from 264-7 to 269 all out with eight balls still remaining.

Heaton claimed a 100-run victory at Tonge, taking just 33 overs to bowl the home side out for 113 after setting them a target of 213-9.

Their pro, Humayun Farhat, was key with bat and ball, hitting 77 before taking 5-37.

Mohamed Ali also weighed in with 44 runs for Heaton, while their captain, Imran Mirza, took 3-21.

Kearsley also made the last eight with a 66-run win at home to Walkden.

Siraj Patel was the cornerstone of their innings, making a measured 84 before Joe McCann hit 40 as they were bowled out for 233.

Walkden pro Travis Townsend gave his side a chance with 3-34, but top scorers Rafal Afridy (46), Honey Garg (35) and captain Richard Dempster (33) were unable to transfer decent starts into a match-winning innings and they were bowled out for 167.

Kearsley bowler Ata ur-Rehman claimed 5-56 and McCann added 3-44.