FARNWORTH skipper Simon Booth says his club accept the Premiership Division title race is all but run but admits it has been a chase full of frustration.

With two games remaining, the Lavender Road outfit are 11 points behind reigning champions Walkden who are in pole position for a second successive championship.

Top spot is still mathematically possible for Farnworth with victories over Bradshaw at home and at neighbours Farnworth Social Circle next weekend.

But Booth is realistic enough to concede the leaders are unlikely to lose two games against Kearsley and bottom-club Adlington and is conceding defeat.

However, he says the fact there have been so many matches lost to the wet weather this summer has played as big a part as anything their rivals have done on the field.

Farnworth have seen a quarter of their 16 league fixtures abandoned, while Walkden have had five washed out.

Booth told The Bolton News: “IT has been massively frustrating - the weather has played as big a part as the cricket.

“We have had four abandoned and two of those were our fixtures with Walkden.

“It has been a title race where the top two have not faced each other and that is hard to come to terms with.

“It may have been a big factor if, say we could have won both but we will never know.

“Of course, no one is to blame for the bad weather but I think the fact we play so few games is important.

“Back when we had 14 teams in the league, you played 26 games so if you lost a few to rain, you still played a lot of cricket.

“Compare that with this season and Walkden could win the league playing a maximum of 13 games – that can’t be right.

“I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I am on the executive committee and still don’t know how we get it right but we don’t play enough games and that is a fact.

“But I don’t think leaving the league is a good option for anyone.

“As far as I’m concerned, not a single club who has left the Bolton League has prospered – the likes of Egerton and Greenmount.

“I think Bradshaw [tomorrow’s opponents] will also struggle when they join the GMCL after this season – the travelling is a factor.”

For now, Booth and Co just have to see out the season starting with this weekend’s home fixture against Bradshaw – a side who have lost in both the Hamer Cup and Peter Stafford Trophy finals in successive weekend recently.

Farnworth go into the game without professional Noman Ali, who is unavailable, but Booth says the team will not be looking to fill in with a deputy pro with just two games remaining.

He added: “Our pro has been picked in a representative side so he’s gone but there’s not really any point in replacing him.

“We can’t go higher or lower so we will just go with what we have.

“Bradshaw have a good pro cricketer and have got to two cup finals this season – they beat us in the semi-finals of the Stafford Trophy.

“So we know we have a game of cricket on our hands and we will be ready.”

Weekend fixtures


Bolton League

Premiership Division: Farnworth v Bradshaw, Little Lever v Adlington, Lostock v Horwich RMI, Walkden v Kearsley, Westhoughton v Farnworth Social Circle.

Association Division: Astley Bridge v Blackrod, Darcy Lever v Atherton, Heaton v Golborne, Little Hulton v Eagley, Tonge v Daisy Hill.


Premier Division: Royton v Egerton.

Division 1B: Edgworth v Droylsden, Walshaw v Astley and Tyldesley.