Ruskin Drive was no place for the faint-hearted on derby day. St Helens Town and next door neighbours Sutton were involved in a nerve-shredding Liverpool Cricket Competition second division encounter which could have gone either way in the final countdown.
In the end the visitors claimed victory with the last pair at the crease and at the same time maintained third spot in the table behind Caldy and Northop Hall.
Bowlers dominated the proceedings from the outset with Town, batting first, being dismissed in only 33.2 overs for 102 in which wicket-keeper Daniel Roberts (29) top-scored and Harry Rigby weighed in with 16).
No other batsmen made any kind of impact against a tight and accurate Sutton attack in which Jamie Greener (5-37) and Ravjiv Singh (4-1) did most of the damage.
Sutton’s reply, however, was almost as poor but wicketkeeper Jack York (34) held the innings together as the New Street boys clawed their way to 103-9 (David Gaskell 5-46, Ian Jennions 4-35).
In the ECB premier division, lowly Rainford earned a much-needed victory over Formby at the Jubilee Recreation Ground.
The Seasiders, who batted first, were shot out for 116 with John Dotters (5-37) and Daniel Houghton (3-20) ripping the innings apart and leaving their batsman a far from difficult target.
But the hosts didn’t have matters entirely all their own way and had to battle hard to collect the 20 points on offer, crossing the winning line on 120-6.
Rainhill made a positive start to their clash at Wallasey but in the end were on the receiving end of a six wicket defeat.
Batting first, the visitors were given a solid start by openers Phil Veacock (35) and Tyler McGladdery (25) and further contributions from Matthew Fletcher (40n.o.), David Atkinson (38) and Akshay Arun Darekar (20) resulted in an all-out total of 192 which looked a possible match-winner.
But mid-table Wallasey rose to the challenge and an unbroken 150 run partnership involving Neil Cross (80) and Matthew Wilcock (78) enabled them to romp home for the loss of only four wickets.
Newton-le-Willows crashed to their fifth successive defeat of the season on Saturday - going down heavily against Southport and Birkdale at Trafalgar Road - and are now facing a battle to hold on to their first division status.
S&B batted first and posted a healthy-looking total of 191-6 dec from 46.1 overs (Matthew Parkinson 3-60), Rameez Alam (2-26) Ben Walkden (2-27) Nathan Hughes (1-17) but Newton responded rather weakly and were dismissed for 101 (Walkden 19, James Smith 17).
Results involving local second teams: Northop Hall 225-7 dec Newton-le-Willows 189-9 (match drawn - Northop eight points, Newton seven), Maghull 72 Rainhill 83-2, Sutton 181, St Helens Town 87.
Premier division fixtures for Saturday include: Bootle v Rainford, Rainhill v Highfield. Division one: Prestatyn v Newton-le-Willows. Division two: Sutton v Maghull, Old Xaverians v St Helens Town
Fixtures including local 2nd X1s: Newton-le-Willows v Rainhill, Rainford v Colwyn Bay, Caldy v Sutton, St Helens Town v Parkfield Liscard.