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Cricket: Northop Hall welcome rain as relegation battle rages on

MOTHER nature, so often the scourge of the cricket club, may well have thrown Northop Hall a timely lifeline in their bid for survival in the Premier Division of the Liverpool and District Competition.

Before Saturday’s encounter with New Brighton, Danny Nolan identified the need for three wins from their final three games to avoid the drop.

Hall must now make it two from two after rain forced the abandonment of their match at Wirral club New Brighton.

But the rain may have prevented damage to Hall’s relegation battle, as they were 55-5 with a slender prospect of victory when the umpires wrote the game off after only 11 overs.

Batting first in gloomy conditions, Hall found themselves staring down the barrel of defeat.

Michael Barnes, restored to the first team having plundered runs for fun in the reserves recently, maintained his form as he pushed his way to 20.

That turned out to be the top score for the game, as around him the batsmen crumbled.

Even Aussie pro Tim Buszard only managed nine runs.

Last time Hall met New Brighton, Buszard had their number with the bat, putting on 52 back in June.

Despite that, however, New Brighton won at Smithy Lane by eight wickets.

With the game abandoned, Hall are able to regroup and learn lessons they can take into their next must-win game this Saturday.

They welcome Leigh to Smithy Lane, a side still very much in the title hunt at the top, before travelling to fourth-placed Bootle to finish the season the following week.

Northop Hall 2nds scored a victory over New Brighton at Smithy Lane in the Second XI Premier Division.

Batting first Hall’s innings was hung on three performances, from Neil Worrall (30), Mark Worrall (44) and Paul Higginson, who scored an unbeaten 81.

Defending 245, Hall were confident but their belief was rocked when opening New Brighton batsmen tom Hunter made 79 and his partner Mark Hale made 43.

Fortunately their talent was not representative of the entire team and Hall were able to skittle the rest cheaply to bowl the visitors out for 147, a 98-run victory.