Table toppers Ormskirk travelled a short distance down the A59, in beautiful midsummer sunshine to play bottom placed Maghull in a bid to maintain their unbeaten run and put pressure on other challengers for the league title.
Maghull, on the other hand, desperately needed the points to lift themselves away from the relegation places.
Maghull won the toss and surprisingly put Ormskirk into bat on a wicket that, on initial inspection, did not appear to be anything other than docile.
Ian Robinson, the Ormskirk skipper, would surely have opted to bat had he won the toss to leave the home team struggling to chase a big total.
Andy Baybutt and John Armstrong opened the batting and with just 11 runs on the board Baybutt called for a risky run.
When Paul Johnson fielded cleanly and made a direct hit at the stumps the Ormskirk opener paid the price for taking a chance and found himself walking disconsolately back to sit out the rest of the innings.
The new partnership of John Armstrong and Ian Robinson steadily made progress and with the score on 109 Robinson was bowled by Jack Snowdon which brought Gary Knight to the crease.
Because of his terrific recent form, a lot was expected of Knight but on this occasion the expectation was not realised and he fell to the bowling of Snowdon, who was the pick of the Maghull bowlers, with the score at 131.
John Armstrong had been batting well but shortly after the dismissal of Knight he strode down the wicket in an attempt to hit Snowdon for six and found himself out stumped by wicket keeper Paul McKenna having contributed 74 runs.
All of a sudden, from being in an excellent position, things did not look as rosy for Ormskirk, especially with Snowdon being troublesome with the ball.
The new partnership of Matty Glayzer and 16-year-old Michael Jones knuckled down to somewhat dampen Maghull’s newly found confidence until Jones lost his wicket to the menacing Snowdon, who had now picked up his 4th wicket.
Matty Glayzer had nursed the youngster along for his useful innings and with the score at 168-5 he was joined by Liam Hurt who was not prepared to be intimidated by Snowdon or any other bowler.
He set about the bowlers with a ferocity that frightened the spectators never mind the fielders.
In 23 balls he hit 44 runs to include two fours and five sixes. He hit the ball with such power that one ball was lost, by clearing the ground and ending up at the bottom of the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Even the fish were not safe from his onslaught!
With Glayzer undefeated on 35 Hurt hit another huge 6 on which Robinson put Maghull out of their misery and declared the innings on 224-5.
When Maghull players came out to bat after tea they knew that they faced an uphill battle and that was what it turned out to be.
They couldn’t, however, have contemplated how bad things could get with the first 4 wickets falling with only 3 runs on the board.
Nicky Caunce started the rot taking the first wicket with an lbw decision.
The next 3 wickets, quite amazingly also fell to lbw decisions with Gavin Griffiths dismissing Gregory Gillespie and Caunce claiming the other two.
After a brief respite, with Christopher Tonge and Christopher Jones offering some resistance, Caunce got his 4th wicket tempting Tonge to snick a catch to Matty Glayzer in the slips.
Liam Hurt was then brought into the attack and proceeded to rattle through the Maghull tail end, taking 4 wickets off 8 overs for just 13 runs.
With the score at 52 Dane Currency took the last wicket to leave Maghull a hapless 52 all out.
Ormskirk’s victory was a good all round performance, highlighted with the fine display of Liam Hurt with bat and ball.
They were by far the better team and it wasn’t hard to see why they are top of the table while Maghull are languishing at the bottom.
Next Saturday Ormskirk travel to Lytham, who are second in the table, where much sterner opposition can be expected but will be travelling in the opposite direction up the A59 full of confidence.