The Bolton Cricket League was back in full force with a busy weekend of championships and cups starting the new season.
The new 15-team championship competition kicked off on Saturday before the teams face off in the first round of the Hamer Cup on Sunday.
In the league, Horwich has been the winner of eight home wickets against Farnworth Social Circle.
There were two centuries of partnerships in the game, the first unbeaten between Circle’s Tim Barrow (90) and pro Ryan Ayres (69) as they posted 195-2.
Horwich followed that up with a triple-digit stand for the win with Dean Bell making exactly 100 and Tom Billington 74 not coming out.
Little Lever won nine wickets at Eagley.
An opening partnership of 117 between Dane Hargreaves (79) and Josh Gent (39 not released) led the visitors to victory.
Previously, an 81-point stand by Jack Hancock (42) and Martin Eccles (38) had helped save the home side from 24-4.
Curtis Anderton’s 5-37 was Little Lever’s best bowling performance of the day.
Jimmy Walsh Hill (30) was the mainstay of Darcy Lever’s innings as they were eliminated for 155 against Lostock, Dave Flanagan (3-48) and professional Lukman Vahuluwela (3-25) the main wicket takers.
Lostock sealed the victory in just 26 assists, with Vahuluwela hitting 85 balls on 52 balls and sharing half-century partnerships with Connor Hicklin and Robbie Holgate.
Mo Jameel (4-21) and Dave Mather (4-25) did the damage for Kearsley as 2019 champions Walkden were sacked for 79 with only skipper Nathan Rushton offering plenty of resistance with 27.
Taylor Heyes was Kearsley’s leading points scorer with 28 in a five-wicket win.
Blackrod’s final pair came just two points away from their rain-revised goal at Little Hulton.
An 81-innings partnership between Kashi Raja (47) and Habib Ur Rehman (33) took Little Hulton from 89 to 5 to register the first over-200 total of the season, beaten for 225.
At 156-2 with pro Akash Senarathna (90) and Tush De Zoysa (62), Blackrod appeared to be heading for victory. However, seven wickets fell in 46 races as they tasted defeat.
Astley Bridge collapsed 53-1-105 against Farnworth, with assistant pro Asher Zaidi taking 4-14 and Dan Higham 3-35. Zaidi then hit 28 and Chris Baxendale 33 as
Farnworth won by six wickets. In the final league game, Atherton assistant professional Thikshila De Silva recorded half a century, but Tonge pro Hashan Dumindu played a big part in his side’s six-wicket victory with 3-28. and 54 steps out as they hunted 110 for the win.
Tonge pro Hashan Dumindu watched by Simon Booth from Farnworth. Image: Harry McGuire
Dumindu finished a fine individual weekend in the Hamer Cup going 80 in his team’s 195 at first batting against Farnworth, the last seven wickets falling for just 21 points, with Kian Patel taking 4-44 and the assistant professional Umega Chataranga 4-35.
The visitors crossed the line with two wickets in a tense finish, Ross Sutton was Farnworth’s leading scorer with 47, Simon Booth and Dan Higham hit 26 apiece and their cause was helped by 35 extras. Naseer Ahmed took 3-19.
It wasn’t the tightest game of the day as Kearsley progressed against Walkden through a faster run rate with both sides knocked out for 129.
A dramatic finish saw Walkden’s final pair, after putting 25 in a low-scoring game, undergo a run for the second inning that would have given them a berth in the second round.
Cameron Murray (31), Mo Jameel (30) and a valuable 21 from Dave Mather at bat at 10 led Kearsley in their total, Akbar Rehman taking 4-25 and Tahir Maqsood 3-28.
Walkden dipped to 12-4 in response before Nathan Rushton started the rally with 27. Oliver Gaskell then took Walkden to the edge of victory with 35 before being the last to come out. Jameel finished a good full day with 4-24.
Dane Hargreaves at 35 was the lone point scorer as Little Lever was knocked out for 130 in their nine-wicket loss to Blackrod.
Tush De Zoysa took 3-23 then scored 56 in an opening partnership of 127 with Joe Pryle (58).
Professional Adeel Baig hit 96 on just 60 deliveries to give Eagley a six-wicket win over Darcy Lever, with James Richards taking 4-23 in Darcy’s 148-7.
Tom Billington continued his prolific weekend with 93 as Horwich posted 198 in their 28-point win over Farnworth Social Circle.
Billington shared an 82-point stand with pro Brett Pelser (48) as Richard Dempster took 3-34.
FSC struggled early to reach 71-6, before Chris Barrow turned 39, followed by a last-wicket partnership of 38 between David Dempster (32) and Andrew Brooks (21).
Sam Bell and Jordan Higham both took three wickets.
Matthew Morris and Aneeq Hassan added 144 as Westhoughton posted 251-7 in their relatively straightforward win over. Lostock. They were all eliminated for 160, with Robbie Holgate scoring the best score at 46.
n Tomorrow – Overview of the 2nd XI of the BCL and GMCL action