Garstang are edging ever closer to claiming their first ever Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title.
The Riversiders were resounding seven-wicket victors over Thornton Cleveleys on Saturday to remain firmly at the top of the table.
With three games of the season to go, Mark Walling’s men hold a nine-point lead over defending champions Fulwood and Broughton, while third-placed Vernon Carus are five points further back.
Garstang were always in control at home against Cleveleys as Gareth Jennings and Coen Oosthuysen took four wickets apice to dismiss the visitors for a paltry 89 off 39.3 overs.
Despite losing a couple of cheap wickets in reply, the hosts cantered to victory – needing just 20 overs – as Michael Walling finished unbeaten on 34 while Mark Walling hit 31.
F&B are still right in the title hunt however after they enjoyed a five-wicket home victory over relegated Rufford.
Having been asked to bat first, the visitors posted 199 all out off 30 overs with Frank Nickson the mainstay of the innings. He fell one run short of a deserved half-century.
Richard Turner and Matthew Smith did most of the damage with the ball – taking four wickets each.
Smith then showed his ability with the bat, scoring an excellent 57 to guide his side home after 23 overs.
Vernon Carus were made to work hard at home to Great Eccleston before registering victory on the penultimate ball of their innings.
A number of decent scores down the order allowed the visitors to rack-up a total of 150-9. Matthew Timms was the pick of the bowlers with 5-40.
In reply, Wes Royle (35) and Mike Hardiker (34) did the bulk of the work as Vernons timed their run chase to perfection for the loss of seven wickets. Mohamed Nadeem claimed four scalps.
One-time title challengers Longridge look like they are going to end the season with a whimper after they were well beaten by Torrisholme at Chipping Road.
Luke Platt’s 49 was the highlight of the hosts 129-9, with Graham Lee taking 3-19. In reply, Chris Parry’s excellent 46 saw the visitors over line despite Rory McDowell’s excellent figures of 5-27.
Penwortham enjoyed a crushing 111-run win over Croston after routing the visitors for just 80 with three-wickets apiece for Andrew Sidgreaves and Thomas Wilson. Earlier the hosts had posted 191-8 with Andrew Tobutt hitting five sixes in an excellent half-century.
In the final match of the weekend, Eccleston thrashed already relegated Freckleton at Doctors Lane.
A brilliant 77 by Michael Atkinson enabled the home side to post 194-8. Andrew Hogarth took 4-41. In reply, Thomas Wilkinson took five wickets as the visitors were all out for 123.
Leyland are one match away from ending an indifferent campaign from their perspective with some silverware.
David Makinson’s men moved through to the final of the Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery Trophy thanks to a splendid win over new Northern League Division One champions Netherfield on Sunday.
It was a fine bowling performance which set Leyland on their way to victory in the semi-final after they had initially lost the toss.
Four bowlers took two wickets apiece as the Cumbrians were routed for a paltry 90 off 36.4 overs. A solid 31 from Henry Thompson ensured Leyland earned their place in the final where they will play Barrow, who defeated Morecambe.
It was a good weekend all-round for the men from Fox Lane as they thrashed derby rivals Chorley at Windsor Park on Saturday.
A top score of 30 from Karl Cross and some solid scoring down the card enabled Leyland to post 141-9. Edwin Moulton was the pick of the bowlers with 3-14.
In reply, Andrew Makinson (5-14) produced a superb spell of bowling as Chorley folded to 115 all out despite a decent partnership for the third wicket between Stuart Naden (460 and Gayan Maneeshan (28).
Preston were unable to rubberstamp their status in the division for next season after they were well beaten by St Annes at West Cliff.
Sajid Patel’s men are 23 points clear of the bottom two with three games of the season to go.
They never looked like winning on Saturday after a devastating spell of bowling from Matthew Grindley (5-32) reduced them to 37-5.
Some late-order hitting by Irshad Patel (38) pushed the score up to 85 all out. In reply, the visitors were never really troubled as they cantered to victory for the loss of three wickets. Atiq Uz-Zaman top scored with 52.
Meanwhile, Netherfield finally secured the league title thanks to a comprehensive victory over Kendal at Shap Road.
Knocks of 31 and 39 from Bradley Earl and Mark Clarkson respectively allowed the visitors to post 136 all out.Saeed Bariwala took 4-33.
In reply, the hosts were routed for a paltry 74 off 39 overs. Ben Phillips top scored with 33, but none of the other batsmen had any answers to Daniel Ingham (3-8) and Tom Williamson (4-24).
That result means Kendal are staring at possible relegation along with Lancaster, who were agonisingly beaten by derby rivals Morecambe at Woodhill Lane.
An unbeaten century from Billy Godleman set the hosts up for an imposing total of 196-5, but a superb 92 from Jamie Heywood put Lancaster on the brink of victory but they fellfour runs short of victory.
Elsewhere, Barrow are still in danger of the drop after they drew at Penrith, while Blackpool defeated Fleetwood .