By Bob Moffat

THE league’s backlog was eased slightly with the completion of four Sam Ashworth Trophy games and six league matches.

Wigan Town and Horwich St Marys’ much-delayed Sam Ashworth Trophy second-round game was finally played and Second Division Horwich triumphed 8-2 against their Fourth Division opponents and will host Royal Farnworth Vets in the third round.

Dean Ainscow and Mark Cowburn scored for the home side, but Wigan were blown away by Mike Cowburn’s double plus goals by Paul Yates, Jay Clarke, Michael O’Rouke, Dan Purnell and Chris Tonge.

Three third-round games saw Division One leaders Rochdale Sports progress thanks to Daz Smith (two), Paul Sykes and Andy Clegg netting in a 4-0 home win against Division Four high-flyers Heaton Casuals.

Radcliffe Town of Division Two went out 5-2 at home to top-flight Salford Victoria.

Brendon Kimmins and Grant Chapple scored for Radcliffe, but goals from Carl O’Mally (two), Allan Houghton, Lee McNamara and Richard Jackson gave Vics the victory.

Radcliffe Old Boys A beat Barr Hill 3-0 in the other cup tie which was reported to be an unsavoury affair with two Barr Hill players sent off and a police presence required.

In Division One, Lee Murgatroyd scored two as Greg Richardson and Dion Alphonso added one each for Bar Lane Bowling Club, but these proved insufficient as Russell Fox netted a hat-trick while Arron McCarthy and Lee Whiteley scored in Queen Lizzy’s 5-4 win.

AFC Dobbies A faced Salford Waggon, who started four points below them but made up ground with a 3-1 win.

The game in Division Two resulted in a 3-1 home victory for fourth-placed Turton Vets against Old Bolts in third, who are still 11 points ahead. Darren Holt scored two and Gary Burns one while Morgan Barlow scored for Old Bolts.

Division Three saw two convincing away wins.

Mark Owen (two) and Paul Bentley scored for leaders Radcliffe Old Boys B, whose 3-0 win at Tavern put them three points ahead of Bolton Wyresdale, who kept up the pressure by scoring six without reply at The Lever Arms. Mark Grundy (two), Ric Fielding, Neil Davis, Wez Booth and Dale Newbrook all scored.

Only one goal separated the teams in a Division Four thriller as, despite Tony Dunn (two), Ian Warburton and Steve Erskine netting for PF Bury, they were undone by Peter Carson (two), Martin Walker and Dennis Hilton as Atherton Town took the points.