EGERTON are three games from a Lord’s final and Horwich’s juggernaut keeps rolling after impressive Sunday performances maintained Bolton’s presence in the national and regional knockout competitions.

Egerton won their fifth round National Village Cup tie at Cheshire side Mottram by 31 runs in defence of a 194 target in 40 overs.

It means the GMCL outfit host Cumbrian side Cleator, former champions who include the father and brother of Surrey all-rounder Jordan Clark, in the last 16 on Sunday July 7.

Horwich, meanwhile, maintained their stunning unbeaten start to 2019 with a seven-wicket Duckworth Lewis Stern victory at Liverpool Competition side Formby in the Lancashire Knockout’s last 16.

Chasing 231 in 45 overs, Horwich were 197-3 after 39 when rain ended the contest.

They now travel to Lancashire League side Walsden, who beat Bradshaw on Sunday, in the quarter-finals on July 14 amid a complicated fixture schedule.

Egerton had their own dilemma on Sunday and had to field a virtual second team, including pro Janith Liyanage, in the Lancashire Knockout at home to Norden. They were bowled out for 48 and lost by 10 wickets.

Captain Will Halton admitted: “It was a tough decision, and the club was quite split on the thought process.

"But the players are 100 percent behind the Village Knockout. Lord’s is in our minds even though there’s a long way to go.”

Reduced to 60-4 after electing to bat, Egerton were indebted to fifth-wicket pair Syd De Silva (66) and Dave Hamnett (35) for sharing 103 and underpinning their 193-8.

In reply, Adam Patel claimed two wickets, new ball partner De Silva 1-12 and 13-year-old left-arm spinner George Taylor 3-18 in Mottram’s 162-8.

“We’re quite well set up for this competition this year,” added Halton.

“The rules say you have to have played for the club in the previous season, so last year we missed a few of the new players. Syd couldn’t play for example. This year, we’re pretty similar to our Saturday team apart from our pro and overseas.”

Horwich, inspired by captain and professional Brett Pelser, were tested by a Formby side including ex-Zimbabwe Test captain Tatenda Taibu and Derbyshire second-team batsman Sam Oldham, who hit an unbeaten 97 in 230-8.

Pelser claimed 3-28 and affected a run out before helping to steer the chase from 69-3 in the 19th by sharing an unbroken 128 for the fourth wicket with Tom Billington. Both finished 66 not out and were accelerating when the rain came.

“They were a top side, but Tom and Brett were outstanding - the whole team were,” said cricket manager David White.

Horwich will play at Bradshaw tomorrow night (Wednesday) in the Hamer Cup second round, a 20-over clash, while they face Longridge in the fourth round of the National Knockout on June 30, the same day they are scheduled to play in the Peter Stafford semi-finals.

The Walsden game could also clash with a potential Bolton League T20 Finals Day appearance.

White added: “The Bolton League have been brilliant, and they’ve tried to help in every way they can." We’ll have a look at the dates and see what we can all come up with.”