Ecc keep promotion hopes alive with win

Wayne Dixon
Wayne Dixon
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Eccleston kept alive their Palace Shield Division One promotion hopes with a 43-run victory over Whittingham and Goosnargh.

In a rain-affected tie, Eccleston skipper Stu White won the toss and elected to bat.

Opener Tom Potter top scored with 40 as the Doctors Lane outfit closed on 160-8.

Fellow opener Sam Bromley chipped in with 33.

In reply, captain White claimed 4-36 as Whittingham were bowled out for 133.

Spinner Tom Wilkinson and seamer Dan Flannagan also shared five wickets.

Eccleston are now 11 points off table toppers Vernon Carus seconds.

It proved a good toss to lose when White Coppice took on fellow relegation rivals Mawdesley.

Both teams wanted to be bat first but the rain meant it was a rain-reduced game – which traditionally favours the side batting second.

Mawdesley captain Matthew Watkinson called correctly and then saw the 35-over-a-side match reduced to 30 overs and then 29 as the rain kept falling.

Alex Berry opened the batting and hit three big sixes in his innings of 37 but otherwise found scoring difficult on a green and damp wicket with veteran Wayne Dixon taking 4-22 and Phil Jackson capturing two wickets.

Skipper Watkinson was dropped on 0 but survived to thump a quick fire 33 but their total of 123-8 looked 30 under par.

A late flurry of wickets meant Coppice claimed two bonus bowling points.

Kyle Dixon, who cut short his holiday to play, took two fantastic boundary catches and hit 33 in a half century opening stand for White Coppice.

Captain Tony Moore, who was given a life by the Mawdesley fielders, finished the game with a six and ended up on 43 not out.

Marcus Eaton gave an indication of his talent with the bat with some lusty blows of his own to secure the seven-wicket win.

The 11-point haul sees White Coppice leapfrog Mawdesley to be fourth-from-bottom but they still only remain out three points above the relegation zone.

Withnell Fold slumped to a five wicket defeat against Vernon Carus seconds.

The tie was one of the only games not to be affected by rain.

Vernons won the toss and elected to bowl.

Skipper Josh Cunliffe and Alan Grogan put on a substantial partnership as the Fold posted a score of 191-7.

Grogan hit 74 whilst Cunliffe fell for 50.

Vernons were always one step ahead in their chase and they reached the target with two overs to spare.

Khalid Valimulla, Richard Bentham, Rhendan Pillay and Grogan each took a wicket.

Eccleston seconds were crowned Crabtree Cup champions on Sunday.

In a one sided final, which was held at Withnell Fold, Eccleston defeated Blackpool by 33-runs.

Batting first, Eccleston were bowled out for 161 off 39.3 overs.

In reply, Blackpool were bowled out for 128.

There was more Premier Division woe for both Hoghton and Eccleston.

Both sides slipped to defeats and for Croston they remain bottom-of-the-table.

Phil Hurst’s Hoghton remain one place outside the relegation places, 12 points clear of BAC/EE Preston.

On Saturday, Croston hosted in-form Fulwood and Broughton.

It was a close encounter in which Croston were defeated by 14 runs.

Fulwood closed on 168-7 off their allocated overs.

Skipper Lee Childs took 2-38 whilst Jon Driver also took a wicket.

Simon Marsh and Stephen Langton shared three wickets but their 10 overs conceded 95 runs.

Sam Marsh was the standout batsman for Croston as he scored 71 in their run chase.

But as he departed, the Croston tail failed to wag as they struggled to 154-9.

Whittle-le-Woods pipped Longridge thirds to the points in Division Two.

Whittle chased Longridge’s total of 90-5 for the loss of nine wickets.

Martin Gray hit 16.