FARNWORTH Social Circle maintained their eight-point lead at the top of the Second XI Premiership table after a hard-fought 21-run victory against Horwich RMI.

Having posted an imposing 292-3 Social Circle must have been confident of a comfortable win, but Phil Cavill, with 72, and Zac Hollis, with a splendid unbeaten 104, had other ideas and helped RMI to 271-7 as Simon Harrison took 5-58.

Social recovered from losing both openers for a duck in their innings with excellent centuries from Tim Barrow (139) and Michael Daley (121 not out).

Astley Bridge stay second after edging to a one-wicket win at Bradshaw, which now leaves the top two 17 points clear of the rest.

Robert Hitchen gave them a decent start with 35 but in the end it was the last four batsmen – Luke Wainman, Mehr Khan, Nick Ford and Ramesh Patel –who saw them home, despite three wickets each for Jamie Legg and Tim de Gelder.

Bradshaw had found themselves 82-5 despite Ryan Counsell making 25 before Legg, with 43no, and Daisy Mullen (27) helped them reach 159. Paresh Patail (4-28) and Mehr Khan (3-45) took the bulk of the wickets.

Darcy Lever moved fourth with a 97-run win at Farnworth.

Batting first, they made 207 thanks in the main to Sajiwal Khan (58) and Aaqib Pervez (27) as Victor Walcott took 3-36 and Mohammed Khan 3-42.

Farnworth then had little answer to the bowling of Zakir Bashir (3-34) and Adeel Hanif (3-32) and struggled to 110 with only 31 from David Rushton showing major resistance.

Kearsley came out on top in a close game at Heaton, reaching their target of 242 with four wickets to spare.

The chase was a real team effort with seven men in double figures, led by Phil Morris (75) and Stephen Pellowe (34no) as Faizan Anwar took 3-53.

Heaton’s innings of 241-7 had followed a similar pattern with six batsmen in double figures, led by 67 from Gary Garner and 34 from Joe Cumberbatch, with 5-49 by Raj Pushparajah helping keep them in check.

The final game of the day saw a comfortable win for Westhoughton at Little Hulton by eight wickets as Niall Dunn (23no) and Jamie McAndrew (68) saw them home in 18 overs at the Old Vicarage.

The home side batting first had been undermined by two of Westhoughton’s youngsters – Dunn capping a fine day with 3-9 and Mason McKenna taking 3-25 as they were dismissed for 107.

Another youngster, Ben Hamilton, made 24 as he and Roger Kumah (31) scored the bulk of the home runs.

Eagley and Lostock remain locked at the top of the Association table with both winning again last weekend and in the process opening up a 12-point gap to third-placed Walkden.

Michael Craig was the hero for Eagley as he followed up a useful 26 with a superb spell of 7-59 to help dismiss Tonge for 169 despite Daniel Hunt (57), Mohshin Patel (32) and Lloyd Sayers giving them a decent start. Harvey Seigne picked up 3-20.

Tom Mitchell led his side with 47, while Stu Leigh and Craig Faulkner each hit 27 to help them post 205-9, Hasib Patel taking 4-55.

Lostock beat Golborne in a low-scoring game at Chew Moor which left the visitors counting the cost of donating 47 extras to Lostock’s total of 103.

Only Ryan Crombie reached double figures as George Corfield and Ben Lyon each took three wickets.

Golborne also found it hard work as Will Berry (5-20) and Mark Christie (4-16) skittled them for 72 in reply.

Walkden moved third after a 42-run win at Adlington.

Having made 213-7, Khalil Lalji (4-44) and Mason Sutherland (4-61) helped restrict the home side to 171 in reply.

Andrew Chamberlain (44), Eddie Haddon (22) and Elliott Forrest (20) provided the main challenge.

Earlier, Stephen Thomasson (41), Cameron Jones (33no) and Stephen Edwards (26) had the way with the bat as Leon Morris took 3-36.

Little Lever enjoyed a 48-run win at Atherton where they made 229-8 batting first.

Marcus Barlow came agonisingly close to a century, being dismissed for a fine 97, with Tuseef Ahmed providing good support on 31 as the wickets were spread across five bowlers.

In reply, Stefan Holmes led the chase with 54 together with 34 from Connor Gilluley, but Joseph Brookes (4-35) and Matthew Mills (3-39) helped restrict the total to 181.

A depleted Daisy Hill proved no match for Blackrod as the bottom side took full advantage to win by 165 runs.

Tom Keegan led the way with an unbeaten 88 with Matthew Westhead hitting 75 and Chris Readey chipping in with 25 as Blackrod closed on 261-6.

Stephen Glover (3-55) and Will Powell (3-29) then made pretty short work of Daisy Hill’s reply as only Adam Irish (23) and Philip Lloyd (21) made much progress with the bat.