SKELMERSDALE first XI travelled to face lowly-placed Alder, looking to extend their recent unbeaten run. They came home deeply disappointed after being beaten by five wickets by the second from bottom placed club.
Skelmersdale won the toss and elected to bat first.
There was immediate cause for concern when two Skelmersdale wickets fell in the first eight balls.
First to go was Jonas Smith, caught by Robert Chinneck for one run leaving Skelmersdale on 3 for 1 wicket.
Smith was replaced by Mitchell Clarke, who only faced two balls before also being caught by Chinneck, without adding to the score.
Hasnain Abbas came in to join opener Ben Maddocks, and whilst Maddocks was content to play support, Abbas proceeded to attack the Alder bowlers.
The 100-partnership arrived in the 19th over, as Skelmersdale recovered from the poor start.
The Skelmersdale score had reached 130 when Maddocks was unlucky to be given out LBW for 33 runs, to a short-pitched ball that just never bounced.
Abbas had never looked in any trouble as he accumulated 85 runs in 55 balls that comprised twelve 4’s and five massive sixes.
He was eventually given out to a debateable LBW decision to Jack Hale, which left Skelmersdale on 134 for 4 wickets.
Only two more runs were added when Lewis Clarke was caught by Andrew Aitchinson off Hales’ bowling for a ‘duck’.
There was more trouble in store for Skelmersdale, when eight balls later Luke Manley was caught by Scott Aitchinson for Hale’s third wicket. Skelmersdale were rocking on 139 for 6 wickets.
For a while, Kyle Till and skipper Barry Leadbetter consolidated for Skelmersdale, but with the score on 145 the seventh wicket fell, that of Till caught by Andrew Aitchinson for 10 runs.
Mohammed Rehan came in to join his skipper, who was beginning to score freely.
Rehan however, had only scored 4 runs when given out LBW to Scott Aitchinson, leaving Skelmersdale on 168 for 8 wickets.
Skelmersdale knew that they would need a score in excess of 200 to have any chance of winning the game.
They were thankful to a ninth wicket partnership of 31 between Leadbetter and Matthew Wright, which took them onto 199 when the Skelmersdale skipper was caught by Sean Kirk for 32 runs.
Whilst youngster Wright continued to play the bad ball, the score crept to 218 when the Skelmersdale innings closed in the 47th over.
Matthew Fenney was bowled by Mark Coogan without scoring, leaving young Wright unbeaten on 29 runs. Skelmersdale were left regretting that after clawing themselves back into the game, they lost three wickets for nine runs in the middle-order.
Alder opened with Scott Aitchinson and former Skelmersdale player Hemel Watekar.
The pair soon put on 48 runs when the first wicket fell, as Aitchinson was caught by Maddocks off Rehan’s bowling for 11 runs.
With Watekar looking untroubled the Alder score moved onto 81 before the second wicket fell.
Jonathan Gillow was stumped by Clarke off Abbas’s bowling for 11 runs. Abbas took his second wicket with the score on 85 when he had Jack Hale caught by Jonas Smith for two runs. Robert Chinneck came in to join Watekar and they moved the Alder score onto 124 before the fourth wicket fell.
Chinneck was given out LBW to Maddocks for 11 runs.
If Skelmersdale could take some more quick wickets then they would be back in the game.
However, it was not to be as the Alder skipper Scott Aitchinson helped Watekar take the score onto 178 before the fifth wicket fell.
Aitchinson was eventually caught by Rehan off Wright’s bowling for 27 runs.
It was then left to Watekar and David Conlon to take the hosts to a well-earned victory without further loss.
At the close Alder were 219 for 5 wickets in the 50th over, with Watekar unbeaten on 117 and Conlon on 11 to end a disappointing day for Skelmersdale.
Skelmersdale 2nd XI entertained league-leaders St Helens Town at Scott Rees Park, hoping for a win after several recent setbacks.
With 17 runs on the board, former Skelmersdale favourite Dave Farrell snapped up Peter Davies behind the stumps for 5 runs.
Omkar Salunkhe came in to join the steady Jordan Maddocks and took the score up to 54 when opener Maddocks was caught behind the stumps by Farrell for 26 runs.
The sixth Skelmersdale wicket fell at 102 when Rimmer was caught behind the wicket by Farrell for 8 runs.
Wright continued to play the attacking shots and looked untroubled.
The score moved quickly onto 121 when two wickets fell in quick succession.
Wright had scored 30 runs when he clipped a shot into the hands of Doherty, and was followed back to the pavilion by Robbie Oliver, bowled by Danny Embleton for 6 runs.
Paul Bennett and Harry Marston then took Skelmersdale to a more respectable 146 when the final wicket fell.
Young Marston was bowled by David Platt snr for 6 runs, leaving Bennett unbeaten on 10 and Skelmersdale on 146, in the 39th over.
St Helens opened with veterans David Platt snr and Dave Farrell.
With three runs on the board Platt snr was bowled by Phil Wright for a ‘duck’.
Farrell was joined at the wicket by Danny Embleton and the pair began to play some adventurous shots.
They moved the St Helens score onto 37 when Farrell was given out LBW to the delight of bowler Wright, having scored 23 runs.
With no runs added Embleton was then run out to a Salunkhe throw for 12 runs. It signalled the start of a remarkable collapse by the St Helens batsmen.
Ian Huyton was run out to an Ian Girvin throw, for a ‘duck’.
Adam Moscrop was bowled by Wright without scoring, to leave St Helens on 38 for 5 wickets.
With the score on 49 the sixth St Helens wicket fell as Dave Platt was bowled by Phil Wright for 9 runs. Wright immediately claimed his fifth wicket, when Salunkhe caught Connor McGann after he had scored two runs.
Harry Marston was brought into the attack for Skelmersdale and in his second over he bowled Luke Doherty for one run, leaving James McNicholas unbeaten on two runs. With two players short, St Helens had to concede defeat on 52 all out in the 17th over, giving Skelmersdale a much-needed win by 94 runs.
Phil Wright was the pick of the Skelmersdale team with 30 runs, and 5 wickets for 11 runs off his 9 overs.