Vernon Carus promotion bid goes to the final weekend of the season after victory over Eccleston
A thrilling final day of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division looks on the cards with the second promotion spot still needing to be filled.
Vernon Carus are in pole position to accompany champions Penrith to the Northern League.
Their 82-run victory at Eccleston kept them in second place, while there were mixed weekend fortunes for Barrow who are their nearest challengers.
Barrow were beaten by Preston on Saturday but won their game in hand at Croston 24 hours later.
Going into next Saturday’s last round of games, Vernons hold an eight-point lead over the Cumbrians.
Against Eccleston, they won the toss and chose first use of the Doctors Lane track.
Jamie Rigby scored 55 and Matthew Stevenson 50 as the visitors kept the scoreboard ticking.
Wes Royle and Ben Duerden finished not out on 38 and 21 respectively as Vernons closed on 187-3.
In reply, Eccleston were bowled out for 105. They made a solid enough start with both openers scoring well.
However, both were removed by Matthew Timms and wickets tumbled from then on. Timms returned figures of 7-52.
Preston’s six-wicket win at Barrow certainly did Vernons a big favour. A high-scoring game at the Ernest Pass saw Barrow post 213-6 in 45 overs.
It was a tally which proved within Preston’s reach, the visitors replying with 214-4.
Opener Navazish Ali hit 62 off 54 balls, including four sixes and seven fours.
Their top scorer, though, was Imran Mehmood.
Coming in at three, he struck an unbeaten 81 off 103 deliveries.
Kirkham and Wesham who still have a faint chance of promotion – Vernons and Barrow would both have to lose on the last day – beat Penwortham by six wickets.
Penwortham were asked to bat first and were 123 all out in 38.3 overs.
Martyn Brierley was their top scorer with 53, Charlie Parker scoring 34.
Anthony Harrison and Antony Wilson took nine of the wickets, Harrison posting 5-33 and Wilson 4-35.
K&W replied with 124-4, opening pair Stephen Wright and Michael Brooks scoring 33 and 31 respectively.
Thornton Cleveleys were e 72-run winners against Fylde at Moorland Road.
Joshua Sackfield scored 98 and Jon Eade 78 to help Thornton post 277-6.
Fylde’s reply was a gallant one but ultimately fell short, the hosts scoring 205-5.
Great Eccleston beat South Shore by eight wickets, bowling their visitors out for 76 before launching a successful chase.
Croston were beaten at Westhead Road by top dogs Penrith by 14 runs.
Penrith were 235-9, Joseph Barker hitting 93 not out in Croston’s reply.