Ton for Rafique as Euxton win derby battle with Brinscall

Photo Neil Cross'Euxton v Brinscall'Waqir Rafique hits the boundary on his way to 100
Photo Neil Cross'Euxton v Brinscall'Waqir Rafique hits the boundary on his way to 100
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Waqar Rafique hit a superb century as Euxton beat derby rivals Brinscall by 72 runs on Sunday to top Ramsbottom Cup Group 1.

The opener crashed 102 off only 82 balls, hitting 18 fours and two sixes, in an innings which laid the foundation for victory.

Photo Neil Cross Euxton v Brinscall Aneeq Hassan of Euxton is caught brilliantly

Photo Neil Cross Euxton v Brinscall Aneeq Hassan of Euxton is caught brilliantly

He shared 90 for the first wicket with skipper Andrew Winrow, who won the toss and elected to bat at Balshaw Park.

Winrow was the first man to fall for 33, caught by Jonathan McDonald off Brinscall professional and the Ribblesdale League’s top wicket taker in Sehan Weerasinghe.

Brinscall had a boost 18 runs later as Joshua Andrew took a brilliant catch to see off professional Aneeq Hassan for four, handing McDonald his first scalp.

But Euxton rallied, and Rafique and Oliver Marsden shared 52 for the third wicket, before the former was finally out, trapped by McDonald.

Photo Neil Cross'Euxton v Brinscall'Waqir Rafique hits the boundary on his way to 100

Photo Neil Cross'Euxton v Brinscall'Waqir Rafique hits the boundary on his way to 100

Marsden anchored the remainder of the innings, putting on 31 with James Bone, who was run out by another fine piece of fielding from Andrew for a run a ball 20 with the score on 191.

Marsden finished unbeaten, one short of his half-century, with Euxton on 223-8 after their 40 overs.

Andrew went on to take 2-38, McDonald 2-45 and Weerasinghe 2-49.

Brinscall’s reply never really got going, as they fell short.

Ben Dowling had visiting skipper Liam Winstanley caught by Marsden for three with the score on five, and Dowling also saw off opener Stuart Parker for nine at 31, caught by Hassan.

And when overseas amateur Joshua Van Der Linde was run out by Hassan for eight, Brinscall were 36-3.

Weerasinghe and Andrew added 31, before James Bone bowled the latter for nine, and the paid man shared 40 with Sam MacLachlan (19).

But when Weerasinghe was run out by Bone for 43, the end was nigh.

Matt Hunt batted well for an unbeaten 28, but Maclachlan was seventh man out for 19, bowled by Marsden, and the reply petered out.

Dowling finished with 2-25, and Marsden 2-33.

Euxton head Group 1 by two points from Salesbury, with three wins and an abandonment from their four ties.

Brinscall have two points from their one victory.

However, in the Twenty20 competition, things look good for Brinscall after a battling performance at Barnoldswick on Friday night in Group 1.

The School Lane side defended a total of 96 at Victory Park, and sit second in the table, with the group winners and runners-up guaranteed a home draw in the quarter finals.

Euxton, who were without a game, are third, on the same points, having played a game more.

On Thursday night, Euxton travel to Ribchester Road to face group leaders Salesbury in the Ribblesdale League Twenty20 Group 1.

And on Friday night, Brinscall are at Preston Old Road to face Cherry Tree in the same group.

Wickets are pitched at 6-15 p.m. on both nights.

Saturday then sees Euxton and Brinscall do battle again at Balshaw Park, this time in the Ribblesdale League, as the hosts look to climb off the foot of the table.

Wickets are pitched at 1-30 p.m.