ST Helens Town’s latest confrontation was away to Old Xaverians. The home side batted and after losing their first wicket with only 4 on the board, they batted positively with the second wicket falling at 91.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals and, at one time, a total of less than 200 looked likely but a 9th wicket stand of 50 took them to a total of 241 for 9 after 54.1 overs with their run machine Ian Carroll top-scoring with 69. For Town, veteran Gary Freeman, making his first appearance since 2012, took 4 for 42.

In reply, Town lost early wickets, slipping to 60 for 4 but a stand of 53 between Josh Davies and stand-in captain, Steve Garvey, took the score to 113 for 5. Steve Martindale, batting with great style, then got Town to 232 for 8 with two overs left.

An umpiring decision then controversially stopped Town’s progress with Martindale given out stumped for 84 (13 4’s & 4 6’s); baffling the batsmen and providing Old Xavs, unfairly, with an opening. Town ultimately lost their last wicket off the last ball of the match with the score on 234; giving a win and 25 points to the home side.

Town came away with 9 points which keeps them on top of the league.

Entertaining Leigh 2nds at Ruskin Drive, Town’s 2nds were put in. When Dean McNicholas was caught & bowled by Nikhil Bahl, they were 5 down with the score on 69: then in stepped Sri Lankan Deshan Wijisekera (103 not out) who kept his wicket through to the end, enabling captain David W Platt, to declare on 218 with 2 wickets intact.

Losing early wickets, Leigh persevered to 102 all out. Leading wicket takers were D W Platt (5 for 27 off 6.1), Dave Gregson (4 for 44 off 10).