Knight’s good day with bat

Lytham 1st X1 v New Brighton 1st X1 (BATTING). Michael Rigby (right) celebrates another wicket with fellow bowler Marcus Sharp and teammates.
Lytham 1st X1 v New Brighton 1st X1 (BATTING). Michael Rigby (right) celebrates another wicket with fellow bowler Marcus Sharp and teammates.

CHAMPIONS Lytham have gone top of the Liverpool Competition for the first time this season, thanks to Saturday’s 30-run home win over New Brighton.

After a slow start to their ECB premier league title defence, three wins and a winning draw from their last four games have seen Anthony Mulligan’s side overhaul Ormskirk, whose defeat by Leigh on Saturday cost them top spot.

New Brighton put Lytham in, but soon regretted it, as the hosts declared on 212-9 after 55 overs.

Having lost Fayaz Ugradar early, Nick Knight and professional Domino O’Brien put on 109 for the second wicket.

O’Brien was bowled by New Brighton’s Tom Hunter for exactly 50, but opener Knight powered on, with support from middle order men Guy Roberts, Joe Davies and captain Mulligan.

Knight was seventh man out for 89, as Bowden and Cuthill claimed three wickets apiece for the visitors.

Lytham CC bowler Marcus Sharp then took the new ball to great effect with Michael Rigby, to leave New Brighton struggling at 25-3 inside 10 overs.

Dangerman Matthew Thompson was for out for a duck, but then the Wirral side too compiled a three-figure partnership, as David While and John While put on 116 for the fourth wicket.

Sharp bowled David While for 58, but at 141 for 4 it was game on.

Lytham introduced young off-spinner Ben Saunders in a bold move at a vital stage of the game, but he rose to the challenge to take 5-34 from 10 overs. Three of his victims were clean bowled, and another caught and bowled.

New Brighton were finally all out for 182 in 47.5 overs, John While ran out of partners and was unbeaten on 71. Sharp finished with 3-61 from 17.5 overs.

With critical fixtures against Leigh, Bootle and Ormskirk in the coming weeks, Lytham will look to seize the initiative.