MEMOREX Leigh CC had to work hard to beat relegation threatened Lytham at Beech Walk but eventually recorded a convincing victory by 76 runs.

Having been asked to bat first, Leigh made a disastrous start, losing both openers with only six runs on the board.

This brought together Ronnie Davis and Jo Angel and Angel took control as he started his innings in his usual aggressive fashion. He was given steady support by Davis and their partnership was worth 80 when Davis was bowled for 22.

Gareth Cross then joined Angel and these two normally free scoring batsmen were tied down by some accurate spin bowling by Wisniewski and Bartholomew with only 26 runs coming from the next 12 overs.

As the run rate then began to increase Angel played on with the score on 130 having scored a fine 76 off 118 balls including 50 runs in boundaries. Cross finally began to cut loose but was caught out for 28 and after this the remainder of the Leigh batsmen surrendered disappointingly against the persistent Lytham bowling, the innings ending with the total on 169 after 54.1 overs.

Marathon stint

For the visitors, Wisniewski got through a marathon 21 over stint to claim 3-58 and Bartholomew took 1-11 off 7 overs before being taken off after injuring a finger. New Zealander Peter Fulton took 3-61.

After his long innings Angel still had plenty of energy left as he produced another fiery opening spell in which he disposed of Lytham's three main batsmen, Thompson, Fulton and Wisniewski at a personal cost of only 13 runs.

The ensuing batsmen tried hard to resist the Leigh pressure but Davis steadily worked his way through the middle order during another long spell which earned him figures of 17-9-32-3. Spinner Chris Melia also impressed as his persistence paid off for him to take 3-27 off 10.1 overs including 3-2 off his last 7 balls. Angel returned to help polish off the tail and he completed another brilliant all-round performance with 4-27.

On Saturday Leigh travel to take on Maghull at the Old Hall Field and will expect another difficult contest after the high scoring draw against them back in May.