Hoghton dashed but Croston still fighting

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Hoghton’s hopes of escaping the drop may be dashed, but Croston still have a chance of survival.

Hoghton’s relegation from the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division was sealed by a 52-run defeat at the hands of Garstang on Saturday.

Garstang batted first and Hoghton managed to skittle them all out for 194 as Matt Parkinson picked up five wickets for 47 runs.

But Hoghton’s reply was a stop-start affair as Garstang took wickets at regular intervals.

Number eight Parkinson picked up where he left off with the ball, top-scoring with 25 before he was snared by Gareth Jones.

Rob Bolton was left at the crease on one as Garstang’s bowlers contained Hoghton to 142 all out.

But as Hoghton slip to the first division, Croston are four points from safety with just one match left.

Croston travel to Penwortham on Saturday hoping that BAC/EE slip-up against Great Eccleston so they can leapfrog them to safety.

Croston ensured they still had a fighting chance after beating Vernon Carus by four wickets on Saturday.

Croston bowler Simon Marsh took four for 35 as they restricted Carus to 172-9 from 45 overs.

In reply Croston’s opening trio only made 12 runs between them as Adam Sexton fell for eight, Simon Marsh failed to score and Stephen Langton was bowled for four.

In came Sam Marsh and Lee Childs, who built a fine partnership to steady the ship and steer Croston towards victory.

Sam Marsh was snared for 55 and Lee Childs was trapped lbw for 75.

Jack Marsh made 12 before Lewis Bland (0) and Jake Parsons (14) drove Croston over the line with a total of 176-6.

In Division One, Eccleston could still pip Longridge 2nds to promotion.

Eccleston kept the heat on second-placed Longridge by beating Norcross by 81 runs.

They are six points behind Longridge and have a chance of leapfrogging them if they beat them.

At the bottom of the table White Coppice, Withnell Fold and Mawdesley are battling the drop.

White Coppice fell to the foot of the division with 92 points after Longridge beat them by 59 runs.

Wrea Green lie two points above them in the other relegation place and Kirkham and Wesham have the same points tally as Wrea Green but are just above the drop zone.

Mawdesley are ninth just one point above the drop after beating Wrea Green by 66 runs.

They host Torrisholme on Saturday and White Coppice host Withnell Fold as the relegation battle goes down to the final day of the season.