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Cricket: Northop celebrate return to the North Wales League top flight

NORTHOP finally clinched a return to the North Wales League top flight on Saturday with a 10-wicket thumping of nearest promotion challengers Llanrwst.

The 25-point haul guaranteed Chris Brooks’ side runners-up spot in Division One behind runaway leaders Llay, four years after they dropped out of the top flight.

Speaking after the Flint Road victory, skipper Brooks praised the input of coach Paul Roberts and said: “In the four years since relegation we have come close to going back up but now we have finally nailed it is fantastic.

“We are a young side and hopefully we can continue to improve and cement our place in the Premier Division next year. This is a great club with excellent facilities and successful junior set up that belongs in the Premier Division.”

On Saturday, opening bowlers Jonathon Hauplfleisch (5-32) and Andy Poynton (3-5) skittled Llanrwst for 74 before David Foulkes (46no) and Harry Lewis (28no) reached their target in only 10 overs before the rain struck.

At the other end of the table, HALKYN’S fight for survival will come down to the final game after their crunch clash with relegation rivals Bethesda was rained off.

While Northop were celebrating promotion to the Premier Division, CONNAH’S QUAY’S celebration of finally wresting the league title from Llandudno after six years were put on hold despite a convincing win ffor the Deesiders over bottom club Pwllheli.

In poor weather, Pwllheli batted first and made a respectable 154ao thanks to a 71 from Nadeem Rehman.

Darren Leach was the star man for Quay claiming 5-28,

Following the interval, Quay got stuck into the visiting bowlers.

Opener David Fox found himself back in the runs and he made 55.

When Martin Burger came to the crease he brough his own brand of firepower and set about scoring an unbeaten 72 to guide Quay into a commanding position as they made 158-3, winning by seven wickets.

Technically, that result rendered them uncatchable at the summit of the Premier Division with a game to go.

But Llandudno hope to give themselves a chance of retaining their title after appealing two league penalties they deem unfair.

One, the scratching of their game against Pwllheli, could be resolved if the game can be rearranged.

The other, an appeal over a points penalty, is still up in the air, but ’Tudno will need to win both appeals to have a hope of catching Quay.