Lostock won their third game in a row by brushing Eagley aside by eight wickets on Sunday and captain James Evans said: “We’ve hit form at just the right time.”

The Chew Moor Lane side claimed their 10th win and are up to fourth in the Premiership table with four rounds remaining in the inaugural Anthony Axford North West Cricket League.

They bowled Eagley out for 103 before chasing the runs down inside 30 overs for the loss of only two wickets. Conner Hicklin was their all-round star with 2-10 from 12 overs of off-spin and then 48 not out opening the batting.

“We’ve played two teams close to us this weekend, so it’s been quite nice to get two relatively comfortable victories,” said Evans, who also oversaw Saturday’s win against Tonge.

“It’s the top four which qualify for the Lancashire Knockout next season, and that’s our end goal now.

“Four or five weeks ago we were saying to ourselves, ‘We just want to get in that top 12 and we’ll be happy’. But we’ve come together as a team. We’ve had a consistent team out for for the last month or so, and that’s been key.

“We’ve gone under the radar. It’s been a really nice weekend, and the lads have stuck at it. We’ve come out with two great wins, and we’re hoping to carry on the momentum now into the last few games.”

Lostock could realistically still finish as high as second given they are only 12 points behind Farnworth Social Circle, who currently hold that spot.

“Over the last few years, we haven’t achieved what we wanted to,” continued Evans. “We got to T20 Finals Day three out of the last four years before it split and never got over the line. But inconsistency in our team was a big issue.

“This year, we’ve had a good core of lads who have been there added to some good juniors coming through. We’ve got Reece Gray, who is only 15 and has taken 20 wickets in the first team.”

Lostock actually jumped over Eagley with this victory. They are now seventh.

The game was settled thanks largely to Hicklin’s all-round effort. He has now scored 435 league runs and taken 13 wickets with his off-spin.

Evans said: “Connor has been our standout amateur batter of the season. He’s been the one who’s set the standards for everyone else.

“I open the batting with him, and we’re like chalk and cheese. I’m more of the aggressor who doesn’t come off all the time. He’s the one who bats time. He occupies the crease and is really clever.

“He knows his shots and bats for the situation. Over the last couple of years, he’s been consistent. But this year he’s hit that different level. That’s what you need to progress.

“If you asked him about his bowling, he’d probably say he’s very under-used.

“We have (professional) Akbar Ur Rehman, who bowls leg-spin and got six-for on Saturday. He didn’t end up bowling in this one.

“Originally, I was only going to give Conner a short spell because we had two left-handers in. I just thought, ‘We’ll give him a couple of overs and see how it goes’. And he bowled really, really well. He was quite hard to take off.”

Evans says Lostock are still in discussions and assessing options regarding next year’s professional - Pakistani Rehman has scored 732 league runs added to 25 wickets.

But he added: “If we can keep the same bunch of lads together and get a good pro, fingers crossed we can kick on. This run of form has definitely given us that confidence knowing we can compete.”