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Cricket: Northop Hall hand Lytham title advantage after defeat

NORTHOP Hall were not the only ones rueing their defeat to league leaders Lytham on the penultimate weekend of the Liverpool and District Competition Premier Division season.

The result at Smithy Lane was disappointing for Hall but it was not damaging for the club as they had already assured their survival in the top flight.

But for Ormskirk, who are chasing leaders Lytham, Hall’s defeat was the worst possible result as it leaves the league leaders needing only seven more points to secure the Premier Division crown, scuppering second- placed Ormskirk’s title bid.

Hall skipper Danny Nolan won the toss and chose to allow Lytham to bat.

But the league leaders unleashed a storm on Hall’s bowlers and set a target of 242-7dec.

That was despite Hall’s Lancashire Academy star Adam Hodgkins claiming all seven of the Lytham wickets that fell (7-104).

In reply the Hall could only manage 109ao from 43.2 overs.

Nolan and Gareth Williams shared the top-score for Hall with 23-runs apiece.

The result leaves Lytham with a 19 point cushion going into their concluding match with Bootle on Saturday.

After an heroic performance from Sam Jackson and Josh Smith saw Northop Hall 2nds chase down 230-7 at Formby for a 10-wicket victory last week, the side were without their two young in-form batsmen for the long trip to face Lytham 2nds in the Second XI Premier Division.

In fact Hall’s team included only five of the all-conquering side that faced Formby.

Lytham raced to 173-4dec in 32 overs but it was after tea that disaster truly struck for Peter Urwin’s Hall.

Their top six batsmen were all blown away without scoring.

Up stepped 13-year-old Jeevan Kurukkal to take responsibility and get Hall off the mark, scoring nine before two more ducks led to Hall being dismissed for a paltry 14 runs.

Despite eight duck dismissals and just 10 runs scored by batsmen, as skipper Urwin made one with four extras awarded, astonishingly the innings lasted for 13 overs and Lytham’s Jonathan Millward ended with astonishing figures of 5-1.