NORTHOP Hall remain on the fringes of the Liverpool and District Competition Premier Division relegation dogfight after a Gavin Griffiths hat-trick consigned them to defeat at Smithy Lane.
By the end of the game 68 runs separated the Hall and visiting Ormskirk and it was virtuoso displays by Griffiths with the ball and Ian Robinson with the bat that proved the difference.
Robinson was in fine form as he chalked up an unbeaten 124 runs from 107 balls, including nine fours and three sixes.
He was ably assisted by Matthew Glayzer (59) as the hosts set Hall a target of 226-2dec.
In their current position, playing for the draw was the best option for a return and Hall got stuck into their task.
They were facing an Ormskirk attack featuring a host of Lancashire County CC under-21s but initially their resistance was firm.
Michael Barnes survived for 74 balls, scoring 37 and his opening partner, skipper Danny Nolan, stuck around for an impressive 122 balls, adding 46 runs to the total.
So far, so good but further down the order Hall’s resilience faded.
Alex Smith used up 35 deliveries and Martin Burger 18 but after that Hall capitulated.
Michael Littler, Gareth Williams and Darren Peters all fell to Lancashire’s Griffiths in a sensational hat-trick, the perfect send-off for Griffiths after he was called up to the England player development squad.
The tail pulled together to restore some stability and waste a few more overs, but they were fighting a losing battle by now.
Eventually only Colin Henrys was left standing, having not faced a ball, as Hall were bowled out for 158, just 29 balls from earning the valuable draw they had set their sights on.
The defeat leaves Hall on 172 points, 44 points ahead of the relegation zone.
NORTHOP Hall 2nds drew with Ormskirk 2nds at Smithy Lane.
Hall set 243-3dec with 72 runs scored by both Gareth Fox and Samuel Jackson.
Fox remained unbeaten however and with Anthony Sparks adding 42 Hall were confident as they declared.
Ormskirk however got the bit between their teeth and reeled in Hall, running out of overs on 240-6, Hall bowler Wayne Smith claiming 4-50.