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Cricket: Northop Hall finish on a low with defeat at Newton-le-Willows

NORTHOP Hall Cricket Club finished their season just one place outside the relegation zone in the Liverpool and District Competition Premier Division after losing at Newton-le-Willows.

After the hosts opted to bat Hall, skippered by Gareth Williams due to the absence of regular captain Danny Nolan, got off to a great start, Adam Hodgkins and Will Higginson claiming the wickets of openers Mark Fearnley and Mike Walkden for just 10 runs.

When number three Alex Lyon was dismissed for 17, caught by Martin Burger off Hodgkins, and David Evans succumbed to Higginson’s charms for a golden duck the game looked like a banker for Hall.

And when Higginson sent Ian Walkden back for another nought Hall could have been forgiven for looking at the tail and thinking they might get home early.

But Newton were not in a forgiving mood. A serious wag of the tail saw Mark Wilkie make 35 and Danny Barlow 49 as Newton got to a defendable 182-9 (Higginson 4-36, Hodgkins 3-66).

After tea all was not well with Hall’s batsmen however. The top four went for just 24 runs between them, including a duck for Michael Littler.

The wickets continued to tumble and Anthony Sparks finished as top-scorer with 24 as Hall, without the benefit of a late rally with the willow, were bowled out for 92 to end their rollercoaster campaign on a disappointing note.