With Gary Knight out through injury, Liam Hurt unavailable because of calls by the County and Gavin Griffiths recovering from an injury which precluded him from bowling, the game against Birkenhead Park was destined to be a tricky hurdle on Ormskirk’s charge for the championship and that is exactly what it turned out to be.
Things could not have got off to a better start with Ormskirk winning the toss and putting the visitors in to bat on a damp green wicket.
Success came quickly when with the first ball of the innings Nicky Caunce had opener Chris Bellis caught behind by stand-in wicket keeper Jonny Glayzer. He quickly followed up to dismiss Mike Barnes, leaving the visitors reeling at 7-2.
Jamie Barnes who undertook the role of opening bowler alongside Caunce was rewarded for his spell of accurate pace bowling by taking the next three wickets to leave Birkenhead in deep trouble at 50-5.
The opening bowlers had done a fine job before handing over to the spinning partnership of Martyn Farrell and Dane Currency to polish off the lower order batting.
Both bowled tightly, making runs very difficult to come by and with only Chris Stenhouse, the Birkenhead Park skipper, putting any sort of meaningful resistance (27) the innings came to an end with 107 runs on the board.
With such a meagre total to chase it was seen by many around the ground to be a foregone conclusion that Ormskirk would run down the required runs comfortably to win the game.
As events turned out the realization came during the Ormskirk innings that in the game of cricket there is no such thing as a foregone conclusion.
The opening partnership of John Armstrong and Andy Baybutt put 28 runs on the board before Baybutt lost his wicket to a catch off the bowling of Adam Hodgkins.
Michael Jones joined Armstrong but the partnership didn’t last long when Armstrong was bowled with the score at 38.
Things were looking bleak, both batting and weather wise, when Jones (1) and Ian Robinson (1), both playing poor shots, lost their wickets as the score limped along to 56-4.
The next to go was Jonny Glayzer without him troubling the scorer, leaving Matty Glayzer as the last recognised batsman with the score at 56-5.
Ormskirk needed a hero and found one when Gavin Griffiths came into bat. He lost his partner Glayzer shortly after joining him at the crease.
Dane Currency was the next to go with the score at 78-7. Griffiths batted cautiously and was on 15 when Nicky Caunce joined him as his next partner.
He continued to play with determination and consideration, showing the batsmen how it should be done.
He picked his shots and had taken his score to 34, to include three 4s and two 6s, when the winning runs were scored.
Nicky Caunce was still with him at the end on 15 and had done well in supporting Griffiths though a very difficult period of play.
It was a tight win due to some excellent bowling and the heroics of Man of The Match Gavin Griffiths, which yielded maximum points enabling Ormskirk to extend their lead at the top.