FOR the second time in three years Hawarden Park go into the final weekend of the North Wales League Premier Division campaign with the threat of relegation hanging over them.
Although victory in their season finale would banish the Castle Ground outfit’s safety fears, to do that they must rediscover the form that took them to the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup and within a game of playing at Glamorgan’s SWALEC Stadium.
And third-from-bottom Hawarden’s task on Saturday is far from an easy one as they face a daunting trip to a Bangor side intent on sewing up the runners-up place.
Not that Chirk, who sit 24 points behind Park in the second and final remaining drop spot, will have it all their own way at a Pontblyddyn team pushing hard for a top-three finish.
Pont will do Flintshire neighbours Hawarden a massive favour if they can make it seven wins from their last nine outings.
The on-fire Alder Meadow boys romped to a 121-run victory at Menai Bridge on Saturday to maintain their impressive form.
A number of the visiting batsmen were in good touch in Anglesey.
Australian Angus Reckford (55), Mark Hughes (42), captain Andrew Roberts (34no) and Glenn Chambers (32) all made important contributions as Pont declared on 209-7 after 50 overs.
After slumping to 8-2, that was a total Menai were never going to chase down.
The home side began to show signs of recovery thanks to captain Robbie Jones (40), but with Chambers (4-28), Richard Davies (2-6), Kevin Owen (2-17) and Ben Mason (2-31) in ferocious form with the ball, they were eventually bowled out for just 88.
Hawarden, meanwhile, were suffering a damaging eight-wicket home defeat to Brymbo.
The result was hard to take for century star Tom Ducker on his return to the team.
The opener fired 11 fours and two sixes on his way to an excellent 100 and, without his efforts, the hosts would not have been able to declare on a decent 203-9.
Park’s hopes were raised further when Craig Wilson clean-bowled Stewart Williams, but neither Wilson nor six other bowlers could dislodge David Lloyd (86no) and Joss Roberts (68no).
The duo saw Brymbo to 206-2 and to a win which secured the Wrexham outfit’s safety.
In turn, it also prolonged Hawarden’s agony for a further week.