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North Wales League: Northop close in on Division One promotion

NORTHOP are tantalisingly close to a North Wales League top-flight return after they made it eight wins in their last 11 Division One matches on Saturday.

The Flint Road outfit moved 35 points clear of third-placed Gresford with a seven-wicket success at Chirk.

Although it is highly unlikely they will be able to peg back long-time leaders Llay Welfare, Northop could effectively seal promotion with back-to-back wins at home to Menai Bridge on Saturday and relegation-threatened neighbours Halkyn on Monday.

Chris Brooks’ men will certainly be confident after they brushed aside mid-table Chirk.

The hosts struggled to contain Jonathon Haupfleisch (5-31) and had it not been for the efforts of Nicholas Flack (99) and Andrew Swarbrick (55), the total they set would have been far lower than 205-8dec.

Jack Darcy (1-17) and Nathan Howatson (1-31) nabbed the other wickets for Northop, who would have been concerned when Mark Allman (34) and Darren Williams (28) joined Harry Lewis (5) back in the hutch.

But they needn’t have worried as Andy Poynton and Thomas Peaerson-Jones combined to take the game away from Chirk.

Former captain Poynton cracked 71no and Pearson-Jones 27no as the second-placed visitors raced to 209-3 inside 36 overs.