THINGS are hotting up at both ends of the Bolton League’s Premiership, and Little Lever’s win against Farnworth Social Circle on Saturday was certainly a timely one.

Chasing only 77 on home territory at Victory Road, Josh Gent’s side won by seven wickets with 37.4 overs to spare.

It was only their second win in 10 and was particularly important, given rivals Bradshaw beat bottom side Adlington.

Little Lever and Bradshaw are level on 16 points second and third bottom in the table, with Westhoughton and Social Circle, the latter having fielded a weakened team for the last couple of weekends, still looking over their shoulders.

Adil Nisar and Pakistani professional Awais Zia stood out with ball and then bat. Nisar claimed 4-11 from five overs before Zia, who also added two wickets with the new ball, opened the batting and smacked 45 off 30 balls.

“Every win’s a good one,” said Gent. “We expected to beat Bradshaw last week and didn’t, which was a blow given they were bottom.

“We thought if we could beat the likes of them and Adlington, we’d be okay.

“Social had a few lads missing. It was a spicy pitch, although it looked a good one. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad one, but we’d have bowled first had we won the toss.

“Adil was fantastic. That’s the best spell I’ve seen him bowl in a while.

“He used the pitch to his advantage and bowled really tight lines. He has more experience than anyone. In some aspects, he was unplayable.

“Then, chasing, we were 0-1. I was thinking, ‘Oh god’, but the pro took the game away from them. Harvey Wilson (19 not out) also played a real anchoring innings.

“It was the perfect role, and you have to give him as much credit as the pro.”

Gent is confident of climbing the league, starting with a trip to face title-chasing Horwich this weekend, a side who have lost two of their last three league games.

He said: “It will be tough. But we go into that game with confidence. I still think we can beat anybody on our day.

“We will upset some of the better clubs, especially when we play at home because it’s a small ground and a different type of cricket.

“One of the reasons we’ve not won as many as we’d like this year is not having our best side out for a lot of games.

“If you look at Horwich’s team-sheet, whether it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday, it’s pretty much the same every week. It’s similar at Walkden. But Little Lever, there are two or three changes every week for one reason or another.

“The games we’ve won, we’ve had our best side out.

“Last year we’d have got away with it in the Association. But this year, to compete, you have to have your best side out.

“I hope that improves now because we only have Saturday games. When you’re playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can guarantee someone won’t play three games.

“Hopefully we can climb the league because the worst thing for us as a club would be to go back down.”