FARNWORTH are still alive in the Premiership title race, but captain Simon Booth accepts it is only just.

Leaders Walkden suffered their first league defeat of the season on Saturday, against Kearsley, when a victory would have seen the defending champions retain their crown.

So, with Farnworth securing a home win against Bradshaw, it means the gap is now five points heading into Saturday’s final round of fixtures with seven on offer.

Walkden remain favourites as they head to bottom side and relegated Adlington, while Farnworth travel to arch-rivals Social Circle.

“It’s a local derby – Farnworth v Social – and anything can happen in those games,” said Booth after Saturday’s 19-run win, defending a target of 205 in 46 overs.

“It’s not a game we’ll definitely win, but we’ll try our best and see what happens.

“I’m not massively hopeful with Walkden v Adlington, but you never know.

“We’ll just concentrate on our game, which is a big one. Bragging rights over Social Circle are massive.

“We had our chance against Little Lever a couple of weeks ago.

“They beat us on our home patch, and that’s where we messed up. If we’d have won that game, which we should have done, we’d be sitting pretty. That sticks in me.

“We’ve played some good cricket through the year. But if I’m going to be really critical, we’ve not scored enough runs.

“Myself and Kamran Younas have scored the runs, and the other lads are probably missing 300 runs between them if I’m being brutally honest.”

On Saturday, Farnworth were without professional Noman Ali, who has returned to Pakistan and fielded five under-18s.

But they rode on a fabulous day out for Younas and controlled the game.

He underpinned 204-5 from 46 overs after a delayed start with 109 at the top of the order before returning 5-57 from 17 overs of left-arm spin as the visitors responded with 185-7, having been 116-1 in the 30th.

“Kamran’s just a really good cricketer,” said Booth.

“It was a tough game on quite a tough wicket. We got enough runs and then managed the game accordingly.

“Bradshaw started off steadily and were scoring at three an over. But it just wasn’t enough for them. Someone needed to come in for them and whack 20 or 30 in no time, which no one could do.”

The fact that Younas bowled the final 17 overs of the chase from one end was key in stifling Bradshaw, who sit second bottom.

Booth is resigned to finishing the season in second place – so much so that he has passed on congratulations to Walkden for an excellent campaign.

“If you’re winning the cup and probably the league, you’re doing a lot of things right,” he said. “So well done to them. They’ve had a very good season.”

But he has also admitted that losing to Little Lever last month isn’t his only frustration.

“I’m frustrated with the weather and the fact the Bolton League haven’t had reserve dates,” he said.

“The weather has played a massive part this year. No one can tell you any different.

“We haven’t played Walkden in the league this season, and they have only played Horwich once.”