Hoghton back in the drop zone once again

Michael Atkinson(snr) for Withnell Fold
Michael Atkinson(snr) for Withnell Fold

Hoghton slipped back into the relegation zone after a 33-run defeat to Penwortham in the Premier Division of the Palace Shield.

After asking the visitors to bat, Josh Holland was the first Hoghton bowler to claim a wicket as he removed Penwortham wicketkeeper-batsmen Alex Unsworth for 21.

But on a slow track, Hoghton struggled to take wickets as Stuart Burton and Jack Aspden both passed 50.

Matt Parkinson deservedly claimed the wicket of Aspden, who was stumped.

All-rounder Will Monks chipped in with a wicket, and Penwortham posted 181-4 off 45 overs.

The Hoghton reply started poorly as Geeth Malinda was out for two.

Andy Taylor (37) and Darren Eccles (22) posted a useful partnership but after the pair fell, the Hoghton batsmen failed to occupy the crease.

James Ainscough hit 18 but Hoghton were bowled out for 148, leaving them one point from safety with three games to play.

n White Coppice lost again and all but ended their promotion hopes from Division One.

Coppice were asked to bowl first and were without the services of frontline bowlers Wayne Dixon and Phil Jackson.

Skipper Kyle Dixon bowled 22 overs straight off claiming 3-85, and Siddik Munshi also claimed two wickets.

Tom Bates was the star man in the field claiming three excellent catches as Whittingham posted 174-9 off 45 overs.

Coppice crumbled in their reply, being bowled out for 125.

Steve Cooke top scored with 25 as plenty of batsmen made double figures but failed to go.

n Also in Division One, Mawdesley won a crucial match against local rivals Croston in their fight against survival.

A low-scoring game saw Mawdesley bowled out for 113, Simon Marsh claiming 4-42.

But Neil O’Malley led the Mawdesley fightback taking 4-29 as Croston were bowled out for 104, to leave them right in the relegation battle.

n Withnell Fold won again, as experience proved vital against Penwortham 2nds.

Second-team skipper Tony Beesley was called up to the side and hit 44, while Michael Atkinson Snr smashed 61 and Alan Grogan hit 51 as Fold made 206-6 off their 45 overs.

In reply, Fold skipper Michael Atkinson Jnr claimed 4-64 as Penwortham fell 43 runs short.

n Eccleston crushed BAC/EE 2nd XI and secured the Division Two title, winning by 114 runs.

Batting first, Eccleston posted 197-9 off 45 overs.

Matt Ashcroft top scored with 48 as Tom Wilkinson chipped in with 38.

Eccleston have quality throughout the side and it showed as Dan Flanagan stole the show with the ball, claiming 5-19 as BAC were bowled out for 83.