Ormskirk take T20 crown; PREMIER DIVISION.
ORMSKIRK saved their best for last to claim the Liverpool Gin Liverpool Competition's T20 crown on Sunday.
Skipper Nicky Caunce admits his side weren't at their best in their semi-final win over New Brighton - but he described their triumph over Bootle in the final as their best T20 display of the season.
Tyler McGladdery's unbeaten 100, backed up by 17-year-old Rob Rankin's breezy 50, left Bootle needing 183; they didn't get close, closing on 120/8. The semi had seen the other Rankin twin, Harvey, taking four wickets with his leg-spin as Ormskirk defended 155 following an iffy start with the bat.
"We've been giving them a chance in the first team this season," said Caunce of the young pair. "They're allowed to fail, and they know it won't affect their selection - but it's good that they performed like that."
Earlier in the day, Bootle had booked their final spot when Will Hale's unbeaten 55 led a nine-wicket win over Southport & Birkdale.
In Saturday's league action, New Brighton skipper Andy Clarke continued his blistering form with the bat as he led his side to a six-wicket win over defending champions Northern.
Arriving at the crease at 7/2, with the visitors' 220/5 looking a distant dream, Clarke simply demolished the Crosby side's much-vaunted attack.
He smashed 139 out of a partnership of 172 with Tom Horrocks, whose patient unbeaten 49 steered the hosts home.
He's now more than 200 runs ahead of his nearest Premier Division challenger, and averaging a Bradmanesque 97 for the season.
Earlier, Taylor Cornell and captain James Cole had scored 82 and 70 respectively as Northern hurried to a declaration.
Clarke's counterpart at the top of the wickets chart, Wallasey's Sumit Ruikar, also stretched his advantage by taking 7/26 to roll Southport & Birkdale for just 41. Ruikar had been one of five Wallasey players to pass 20, with none reaching 50, as they piled on 213/7. Firwood Bootle stayed on top of the tree with a fraught win over Lytham. Sam Kershaw's 83 underpinned the hosts' 224/7, and another thumping win seemed on the cards with Lytham on the ropes at 100/7. But late-order runs from Ben Saunders (53) and Alex Mason (72) threatened an upset, before Will Purser returned to deliver the killer blows.
Formby's struggles continued as Tom Hartley inspired Ormskirk to a four-wicket win - unusually for him, with the bat. His unbeaten 67, along with 70 from Gary Knight, dragged the hosts to their target of 202.
Rainhill's Qaiser Ashraf and Peter Kelly split 10 wickets between them to dismiss Orrell Red Triangle for 153 - captain Andrew Mottram carrying his bat for 79. The home batsmen wobbled, but made it home by four wickets.
Colwyn Bay held on for a draw with Leigh, after visiting skipper Thomas Foster's unbeaten 82 set up a total of 224/5. Bay closed on 165/8.
Ormskirk CC celebrate their T20 triumph: Back row, from left: Kev Wilson (scorer), Gary Knight, Josh Thompson, John Armstrong, Ryan Maddock, Tom Hartley, Ian Robinson. Front row, from left: Harvey Rankin, Robert Rankin, Nicky Caunce (captain), Tyler McGladdery, George Lavelle