HORWICH RMI successfully defended their title in the Anthony Axford Indoor Cricket Tournament when they were victorious against Astley Bridge in Sunday’s final .

The holders batted first and scored 110-6, with top scorer Jack Berry hitting 45.

In reply, Astley Bridge made 82 with run-outs being the main method of dismissal as they tried to force the score along.

Yasser Rashid top scored with 25, while Berry bowled tightly for figures of 1-6 off his three overs.

This fine effort, combined with his 45 runs, earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Earlier in the day, Horwich played Tonge in the first semi-final.

Tonge batted first and scored 71-6 as extras played a large part in the total with the bowlers finding the new ball a little difficult to control at first.

Connor Thompson was the top scorer, while Sam Little was Horwich’s best bowler with 2-17 off his three overs.

In reply, Horwich reached the target score in the ninth over having lost just one wicket. Josh Little made 26 not out and Berry hit 23.

The second semi- final saw Astley Bridge play Farnworth and bat first.

Some great one-handed catches early on by Farnworth’s Neil Hyde and Rizwan Purvis saw Bridge struggling at 2-8.

But a superb knock from Haaris Aktar, with 41, ably supported by Irfan Puda (21) saw Astley Bridge get to 93.

In response, Farnworth succumbed to four run-outs as they chased the total and were finally all out for 67, despite a fighting effort from Matthew Hicks, who scored 28, and James Fox, with 14.

Horwich’s triumph in the final sees them go on to represent Lancashire in the next round against a team from Derbyshire, which is booked for March 6 at a venue yet to be confirmed in the Lancashire area.