NORLEY HALL’s first XI narrowly failed to force a win against Haydock.
Norley Hall won the toss and elected to bat, totalling 246-6 dec on 45 overs and Haydock held on at 148-9.
Despite losing an early wicket, Norley Hall recovered thanks to Chris McLoughlin’s 43. He was caught on the deep square-leg boundary after striking seven fours.
His partnership was with Craig Hatch, who went on to score 84 from 90 balls which included 12 fours and three sixes.
Martin Caddick went for 14 but Dave Halliwell came to the crease and scored a brilliant 52 not-out from 48 balls which included six fours and two sixes.
Richard Jones went for 16 and Paul Burrows scored six with Ryan Wood not out on eight.
Ian Brown was Haydock’s best bowler with 3-62 from 11 overs.
In reply, both openers fell to successive balls after putting on 38 for the first wicket with Denis Hughes and McLoughlin taking the wickets.
A stand of 62 followed but again the batsmen fell relatively quickly. Martin Caddick and Wood took the wickets.
Gradually, Norley Hall chipped away but couldn’t dislodge Alan Martin who was 24 not-out at the end.
Brown, 29, Alan Pennington, 44 and Les Fisher, 23, reached double figures for Haydock.
Norley Hall needed two wickets from the last over bowled by Hughes and he got a wicket with his first ball, however, last man John Cumberbatch held on.
McLoughlin, 3-30 off 12 overs, Hughes, 2-28 off 15, Wood, 2-38 off nine and Caddick, 1-13 off four were the wicket takers for Hall.
This coming Saturday the first XI visit Halsall.
The second XI visited Tarleton but went down by nine wickets.
Norley Hall were bowled out for 77 with Mike Collins 15 not-out and Dave Leyland, 13, the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Wilkinson and Aspinall each took three wickets.
Chris Payne was the only wicket taker as Tarleton cruised to 78-1.
Highfield lost their unbeaten league record with a defeat at Sefton Park but retain their top spot in the Liverpool and District First Division.
Mike Farrell won the toss and decided to bat on a good looking wicket, hoping to maintain their recent good form.
But things didn’t quite go as the skipper planned with Baird claiming three early wickets including those of last week’s centurions, Farrell (29) and Jy Mirza (second ball duck), as the visitors stumbled to 40 for 4.
Simon Mollitt (18) looked to be repairing the damage but once he and Richard Farrell had gone, things looked very grim at 73 for 6. But a feature of this season has been the resilience of the lower order and so it proved again as first Jake Borrows with Joel Welsby added a crucial 80 runs before Welsby was dismissed for a fine 30.
Sam Rotherham (17) also provided good support to Borrows, before Chris Liptrot joined the 18-year-old, Liptrot scoring an unbeaten 26.
But it was Borrows who retained centre stage, scoring a marvellous 71 not out as Highfield declared on 223 in the 53rd over
Sefton Park were looking for their first win of the season and started very positively against the bowling of Liptrot and Rotherham, adding 60 for the first wicket.
Mirza may have failed to trouble the scorer with the bat, but he was certainly effective with the ball, taking a further three wickets alongside one for his skipper as the home side were reduced to 116 for 5.
A sixth-wicket partnership of 70 runs was decisive, although first Liptrot and then Mirza with his fifth wicket did offer to derail Sefton. However there were no late dramas and Sefton won by three wickets.
Highfield host Colwyn Bay next Saturday when the players hope to bounce back and put in a winning performance in front of the ex-players reunion (reunion from 12.30pm onwards) as part of the club’s 90th anniversary celebrations.
Highfield second team continued their own good form, outplaying the league leaders Lytham, but had to settle for a draw with the visitors showing little ambition to chase down 208. Highfield batted first with captain Steve Atkinson top scoring (61) with good support from Tom Shiel (56) and Martin Jenks (43).
A generous declaration ensured Lytham received the same number of overs in return, but once their skipper had departed after a quick fire 73, they became less interested in the chase.
The Highfield bowlers chipped away with Scott Cornish claiming three wickets and Craig Aspey two victims, but couldn’t get the key breakthrough and the game petered out with Lytham closing on 146 for 6.
There were wins on the Sunday for the thirds and fourths. Highfield dismissed Lytham for just 66 but then lost five wickets of their own in reaching the target.
The fourths batted first at Spring View with the visitors posted 166 all out. The home side fell for 115.
The longest day of the year was a bad one for Hindley St Peter’s as the 1st XI suffered their first defeat of the season against table-toppers Prescot & Odyssey and lost ground to their title rivals.
Batting first in fine conditions, HSP had a steady start but then began to build up a score thanks to a third-wicket partnership of 99 between Steve Hampson and Phil Moorfield.
The stand was broken one short of three figures when Hampson was stumped for 37, and another wicket fell soon afterwards, but then HSP began to take the initiative back.
Moorfield was joined by Ishtiyaq Shaikh and the two added 104 in the last 14 overs of the innings. Moorfield reached his second century of the season, finishing unbeaten on 113, while Shaikh hit 51 from only 49 balls as HSP closed on 238-4 after their 50 overs.
With HSP’s bowling attack, few would have backed Prescot to chase that total down, but the league leaders had other ideas and were rarely troubled as they picked off HSP’s score.
Opener Peter Crookes hit 75 and Kenny Highdale was unbeaten on 94 as Prescot reached their target with just three wickets down and 11 balls to spare. The only two wickets to fall to bowlers went to Paul Mather and Ian Chesworth as HSP slipped 12 points behind at the top of the table.
Back at Hindley, Bretherton’s first XI won the toss against HSP’s seconds and opted to bat first.
HSP bowlers Abu Shakhede and Mark Hardman had Bretherton tied down in the early stages and only eight runs came from the first ten overs.
With two wickets down Bretherton finally managed to find their feet through Dave Bertram and Jamie Ashton, who both hit the ball hard within their chosen areas to put a decent score on the board for the visitors.
Paul Snape finally removed Ashton to a catch by Graham Hart for 71 before Yusef Suleman bowled Bertram for 72 but, although the following batsmen offered little else, the damage was done for HSP and Bretherton closed on 186-6.
A useful stand between Sajid Munshi (26) and Behzad Malik (20) put HSP into a reasonable position at 72-2 but the familiar collapse soon reared its head again as they slumped to 74-5.
Paul Snape hit out and made 28 but HSP were all out for 141 with four overs remaining as they slipped further towards the wrong end of the league table.
On Sunday the third XI travelled to face New Victoria seconds in the Hampson Cup semi final. Batting first, HSP scored quickly but lost wickets and were all out in under 24 overs for 119.
Anthony Hart was the only batsman to make any real impression, remaining unbeaten on 38.
New Victoria knocked off the runs in 22 overs for the loss of three wickets, two of those falling to Faamin Ullah, as HSP exited the cup and New Vic went through to the final.
Next Saturday the first XI will be aiming to regain lost ground, but they face a challenging visit to Southport Trinity.