Spinners bowl Rainhill to victory at Leigh
There is no let up in the race for the ECB Liverpool Cricket Competition premier division title.
Both leaders Northern and their nearest rivals Rainhill won on Saturday, picking up 20 points and are due to meet on September 4 at Victoria Terrace for what could be a crucial encounter.
Rainhill, who are trailing their Crosby rivals by 46 points, kept up the pressure thanks to a 47 run away victory at Leigh where they batted first and posted a total of 179 in which Kershaw hammered 55, Higham 40 and McGladdery 37.
The latter's knock proved enterprising and exciting as he smashed three successive sixes and helped to maintain the momentum of the innings.
It wasn't the biggest total Rainhill had hoped to achieve but spinners Atkinson (5-30) and Kelly (4-59) pegged down the hosts who were eventually dismissed for 132.
First division pacesetters Newton-le-Willows had one or two scary moments before clinching a two wicket win at home to Liverpool.
The visitors, who batted first, were dismissed for 111 (Sarta 6-17) but the Crow Lane East outfit made heavy weather of their reply and had lost eight wickets before crossing the line.
Rainford's hope of keeping in touch with the leading clubs took a nose-dive in a low scoring fixture at Lytham.
The visitors, first to use the crease, were ousted for a paltry 77 with only Dotters (29) mastering the bowling, but the Seasiders also found runs difficult to accrue before finally reaching a winning total of 80-6.
St Helens Town are firmly entrenched at the foot of the table and their latest setback came against Ainsdale at Liverpool Road where they set a target of 172, thanks to a half century from Robertson, but Ainsdale reached their goal with four wickets to spare.
In division two, seventh-placed Sutton had a comfortable home triumph over Prestatyn.
The Welshmen posted a total of just 54 which the New Street boys reached for the loss of only three wickets.
Second XI results - premier division: Newton-le-Willows 180 Bootle 169.
First division: Highfield 103 Rainford 104-7.
Second division: Maghull 202-2 Sutton 86, Fleetwood Hesketh 129 St Helens Town 71.
Fixtures for Saturday - premier division: Bootle v Sefton Park, Formby v Wallasey, New Brighton v Orrell Red Triangle, Northern v Leigh, Ormskirk v Wigan, Southport and Birkdale v Rainhill.
First division: Ainsdale v Highfield, Birkenhead Park v Newton-le-Willows, Colwyn Bay v Fleetwood Hesketh,Northop Hall v Lytham, Rainford v Liverpool, St Helens Town v Old Xaverians.
Second division: Caldy v Maghull,Hightown St Mary's v Sutton, Parkfield Liscard v Wavertree, Prestatyn v Alder.
Second XI fixtures - premier division: Liverpool v New Brighton, Lytham v Ormskirk, Newton-le-Willows v Formby, Orrell Red Triangle v Southport and Birkdale, Sefton v Bootle, Wallasey v Northern.
First division: Highfield v Birkenhead Park, Leigh v Ainsdale, Old Xaverians v Rainford, Rainhill v Spring View, Wavertree v Colwyn Bay, Wigan v Northop Hall.
Second division: Alder v Prestatyn, Fleetwood Hesketh v Parkfield Liscard, Maghull v St Helens Town, Norley Hall v Caldy, Southport Trinity v Hightown St Mary's.