There were scares for the Bolton League’s top two teams this weekend, and defeats for the sides occupying third and fourth places.

Leaders Westhoughton dismissed Darcy Lever for 143, with Adam Patel taking 3-46.

Westhoughton made a poor start slipping to 28-3, then found themselves in difficulty again with 40 required for victory and only four wickets in hand, however Marlon Welcome-Goodman steered them to victory with an unbeaten 77.

For the second successive week, second-placed Horwich were indebted to their tailenders, moving them from a precarious 121-8 to 173.

Blackrod’s professional Akash Senarathna took 6-68, then hit 61 as they progressed to 137-6, but the last four wickets fell for just two runs.

For Horwich Jack Berry took 5-32 and Brett Pelser 4-47.

Little Lever moved back into the top four with a six-wicket win after dismissing Farnworth for 58, Curtis Anderton taking 4-19 and Agha Salman 4-26.

Little Levers Curtis Anderton celebrates the wicket of Farnworths Gavin Moriah

Little Lever's Curtis Anderton celebrates the wicket of Farnworth's Gavin Moriah

Lever struggled to 11-3 before Salman saw them home with an unbeaten 32.

Previous leaders Farnworth Social Circle had to chase 209 against Walkden, thanks chiefly to a century partnership between Akbar Ur Rehman (78) and Mumtaz Mirza (42).

Ryan Ayres and Richard Dempster both took three wickets for Circle, who finished 40 short of victory, Matthew Knight top scoring with 34 and Tahir Maqsood taking 7-39 for Walkden.

Lostock’s recent good run came to an abrupt end at the hands of Atherton who bowled then out for 82, Saif Ur Rehman recording figures of 4-29 and Josh Gilluley and Zain Abbas taking three wickets apiece.

Abbas then finished 45 not out as Atherton raced to victory in 13 overs.

Krish Patel hit 61 for Astley Bridge, sharing half century partnerships with Harsha Rajapaksha (42) and Matthew Hargreaves (43). Their eventual total of 223 proved to be exactly one hundred too many for Kearsley, with Owen Thomson making 38 and Rajapaksha taking 3-31.

Jack Hancock (44) and Jack Wainman (31) had a half century partnership for Eagley before Adeel Baig smashed 96 from 63 deliveries in taking Eagley to 210-7. For Little Hulton Adil Samal took 4-38.

A century for Saj Patel, including a 72-run partnership with Shahzad Ahmed (37) helped Hulton to a five-wicket victory.

In 2nd XI action, Darcy Lever opened up a six-point gap at the top of the table following a hard-fought two wicket win over rivals Westhoughton at St Georges Oval.

The home side batted first and recovered from 58-4 to post a respectable 175-6.

Simon Ashcroft then took 4-31 to ensure that Darcy didn’t have things all their own way but Bilal Khan, 41 not out, helped see them home with five balls to spare.

Farnworth Social Circle moved level with Westhoughton after defeating Walkden by four wickets in a good game at The Oval.

Chasing a target of 230 they got home with four overs to spare, Adam Cornes leading the charge with 75.

Jamie Bohannon had starred with the ball earlier taking 5-63 as Walkden made 229-9. Josh Wilson top-scored with 68.

Astley Bridge moved level with Horwich RMI after beating Kearsley by eight wickets at Springfield Road.

Grant Cordin, 60, was the mainstay of a Kearsley total of 127 as Mehr Khan took 6-26.

Bridge short work of their target as Ady Cooper made an unbeaten 68.

RMI meanwhile won a thriller at home to Blackrod by just one wicket.

Chasing just 106 to win only Jake Swindells with 28 really got going against the bowling of Nathan Mayor who took 5-40 but the last pair got the five runs needed for victory.

Thomas Westhead had been the mainstay for Blackrod making 36.

Lostock picked up a five-wicket win over Atherton at Chew Moor thanks mainly to an unbeaten 77 from Stephen Kaye which led them to their target of 137.

Farnworth chased down a target of 211 to beat Little Lever by four wickets at Bridgeman Park.

Shujat Ali led the chase with 69 with good support from Michael Daley, 58, as Lever’s bowlers shared out the wickets.

Little Lever had made 210-6 with contributions coming throughout the order, Bob Waller top scoring with 40.

Eagley travelled to Little Hulton and came away with a hard fought two-wicket win.

Having bowled out their hosts for 122 they found themselves struggling on 55-6 before an unbeaten 55 from Michael Craig turned the game on its head despite Dylon Wylie returning figures of 4-21.

Oscar Smith’s spell of 5-36 had been largely responsible for restricting Little Hulton to 122 batting first.