MAWDESLEY first XI held their nerve to record a morale boosting victory in a low scoring contest at local rivals Croston.
The hosts won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first and made two early inroads into the batting card as the pace of Sam Marsh accounted for Jay Bethell and Alex Berry. Dave Whiteley (16) and Ben Ward (13) did their best to steady the ship and spent time occupying the crease, something which the Mawdesley men have failed to do in recent weeks.
Both fell in quick succession and were soon followed back to the pavilion back skipper Darren LeMarinel for just 6. That brought Ian Caunce and Michael Greenaway to the crease to salvage something from the first innings.
Caunce, the senior partner, set the tone with some lusty blows on his way to a very useful knock of 27. Greenaway, the junior apprentice, followed suit with some excellently timed shots on either side of the wicket. Caunce fell going for one shot too many but Greenaway (25*) batted with a maturity which bellied in years to guide his side to 113-8 from 45 overs.
Mawdesley knew that early wickets would be the key to successfully defending a low score and they duly came off the bowling of Louis Rothwell who accounted for both Croston openers.
Home skipper Lee Childs showed that he wasn't in the mood for hanging around by dispatching his first ball through the covers for four and followed that up with three further boundaries.
His brisk innings came to an abrupt end when he top edged a pull shot back to Neil O'Malley who safely held on to a high catch off his own bowling.
O'Malley (4-29) bowled with great control in tandem with LeMarinel during the middle overs as Mawdesley continued to pick up wickets to reduce Croston to 66 for 7.
The home hopes rested on the shoulders of Jake Parsons who batted very sensibly despite wickets falling at the other end.
His well built 33 took his side to within sight of victory until he was the last man out, clean bowled by Alex Berry to bring the innings to a close with Croston all out for 104.
The precious nine run win maintains Mawdesley's survival hopes as they head into the final three games of the season just one place outside of the relegation zone. They host South Shore next weekend with just two points separating the two sides in the league table.