Victory closes gap on leaders

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New Longton 1st XI 131 all out

Longridge 2nd XI 135-1

Longridge won by 9 wickets

After last week’s win over Mawdsley, Longridge 2nd XI travelled to New Longton to take on their first team looking for a good win to get back in the title race.

On a hot and sunny day Wilkinson lost the toss and Longridge were asked to bowl first in energy-sapping conditions.

Will Baines and Matt Jones opened the bowling and from the off made scoring difficult with a mixture of pace and good length bowling.

Haydock was put down early on at point and just when it looked as though the New Longton openers were going to punish the visitors Baines bowled Fairhurst with an inswinging Yorker.

Jones followed suit removing Haydock thanks to a sharp catch by Andy Simpson at Gully and New Longton’s early platform was in tatters.

Swann and Afser batted patiently but the introduction of Andy Simpson and Tom Howarth into the attack saw the demise of them both as Andy Simpson picked up two quick wickets by putting pressure on the home side to score.

Wickets continued to fall as the home side put themselves under increasing pressure to score runs and Longridge took tea very satisfied with their first half’s work bowling New Longton out for 131.

Simpson returned figures of 5-35, and Tom Howarth 3-34 bowling an excellent spell of off spin.

Oliver Pye and Tom Howarth opened the batting as the visitors knew they had plenty of time to bat sensibly and not panic.

They did just that picking off plenty of singles and punishing the bad bowl.

The home bowlers could make no impact on the Longridge pair who moved to 50 for no wicket at a steady pace.

New Longton rotated their bowling in the heat but nothing they did had any impact as Pye and Howarth upped the scoring rate as they pushed on from 75 to a hundred partnership for the opening wicket.

Howarth brought up his 50 first with a flurry of boundaries.

Pye was then bowled out on 49 as he lost concentration for a second, but with 120 scored for the opening wicket he had all but guided his side home.

The home crowd were very generous in their applause for both Pye and Howarth as they had witnessed a batting master class in sweltering conditions.

Longridge ran out comfortable winners in the summer sun by nine wickets.

They remain in the top four but have closed the gap on the leaders who suffered surprise defeats which left captain Nick Wilkinson even more delighted with his day’s work.