FARNWORTH Social Circle began the defence of their Anthony Axford Indoor Cricket Trophy title by beating a young Westhoughton team by six wickets.

Batting first, Westhoughton made 84-4 off their 12 overs with Matthew Morris top scoring with 45 not out accompanied by captain Rob Houghton who hit 25no.

In reply, FSC scored 85 without loss, Jake O’Byrne with 25no Andrew Lane 27no, Stephen French 15no and Zac Wilson 11no.

The second match of the day saw Horwich beat Blackrod.

Horwich batted first, making 123-4 with Phil Cavill scoring 49no and Dean Morris 27no.

Extras were the next highest score with 15 as the Blackrod bowlers struggled with bowling wide balls.

In reply, Blackrod set off well chasing the large total, and reached 30 before they lost their first wicket. But four quick wickets followed which left Tony Tipping having to bat the last six overs on his own with the score at 48-5.

He performed admirably but was finally dismissed in the last over when he was bowled by Adam Knowles on 43, taking Blackrod’s total to 97 and leave Horwich 26-run victors.

Game three saw Darcy Lever bat first against Astley Bridge and score 73-4.

Captain Jimmy Walsh-Hill top scored with 21 followed by Andrew Trengrove with 19.

For Astley Bridge there were good bowling performances from Joe Ducker, who took 13 runs off three overs, and captain David Cryer with 1-19 off his three.

However, an all-round performance by Jack Bentham helped Astley Bridge to 75 without loss.

He took 2-16 off his two overs and scored 25no ably supported by Matthew Hargraves who finished on 19no.

The final match of the day saw Tonge take on Farnworth. Tonge batted first and were all out for 45 in the 11th over due to some fine bowling and catching by Farnworth.

Leading wicket taker was Ross Sutton with 2-11 off his three overs and he was ably supported by Neil Hyde with 2-7 off 2.3 overs. Tonge made Farnworth work hard for their runs early on before they reached 47-2 in eight overs for a four-wicket win.

Top scorer was captain Simon Booth with 17no and the best bowling performance for Tonge came from Adam Rodzoch with 2-12 off his three overs.

Sunday's fixtures: 12.30pm Kearsley v Walkden, 1.45pm Lostock v Heaton, 3pm Daisy Hill v Bradshaw, 4.15 pm Adlington v Eagley.