CHORLEY maintained their grip on third place in the Northern Premier League – but were left wondering what may have been after their hopes of beating neighbours Preston were dashed by the rain.

Andrew Holdsworth’s men seemed set for a huge score in the game at Windsor Park before rain intervened – and when they re-started they had Preston on the rack.

But then they were forced to dash through their overs in order to make a game of it.

Batting first, Chorley were wobbling with Jack Catterall (5), Holds worth (1) and professional Gaurav Dhar (15) not making much of an impact.

And when Jack Bentham was caught at the wicket for seven, the locals were 61-4 only for Will Moulton to lay down his marker.

Moulton hit 92 not out from 110 balls in a brilliant knock as he crossed the boundary nine times and also plundered six sixes.

He was going like a train when the rain came down to deny him what seemed certain to be a big century and with 29 from Iain Critchley, Chorley had reached 159-5 from 39 overs.

When the rain finally relented, Keiran McCullagh trapped Mohsin Modhi for a single and Billy Smith bowled Sajid Nalbandh for a two-ball duck to leave Preston reeling at 7-2.

Pro Saeed Bariwala (30) and skipper Lukman Vahaluwala (23) repaired the damage to a degree but they fell to spin twins Dhar and Critchley and Sajid Patel and Rehman Shah also went the same way.

There was more rain coming though and Chorley rushed through to get in the minimum 20 overs - and beat that mark by two balls before the players were forced off and play was abandoned shortly before 7.30pm.

Darwen were also frustrated by the weather as they didn’t even reach the tea interval before the rain came down at Lancaster.

With several players missing skipper John Cordingley and Danny Fradd opened the batting at Lune Road and batted well, posting 96 for the first wicket.

But they fell for 43 and 44 respectively before professional Mohammad Zaman Khan hit 31, a knock that included two sixes but no fours.

Nathan Jackson (20) and Mark Emery (20 not out) made handy contributions but the Darwen innings was ended on 203-8 with three overs remaining.

And the rain at Lune Road ensured they could not get back on.

Barrow were the only team to beat the weather as they recorded a four wickets win over Kendal at the Ernest Pass Memorial Ground.

Second placed Leyland were frustrated by the weather as their game at Carnforth was finally abandoned at 6pm after rain set in at tea.

Leyland skipper David Makinson had set the scene for an exciting second half after declaring his side's innings closed after 45 overs.

Henry Thompson hit his maiden Northern League century and was unbeaten on 123 when the declaration came at 237-4.

Chorley v Preston

J Catterall LBW Starkie 5
A Holdsworth b Vahaluwala 1
Dhar ct Vahaluwala b Starkie 15
W Moulton Not Out 92
J Bentham ct Williams b Bariwala 7
I Critchley LBW Starkie 29
M Critchley Not Out 1
Extras 9
Total (5 wickets, 39 overs) 159.

L Vahaluwala 12 4 37 1, A Starkie 12 3 60 3, S Bariwala 9 1 26 1, I Matak 4 1 15 0, K Parekh 2 0 17 0.

S Bariwala ct Holdsworth b Dhar 30
M Modhi ct Holdsworth b McCullagh 1
S Nalbandh b Smith 0
L Vahaluwala LBW I Critchley 23
S Patel LBW I Critchley 0
R Shah ct Peacock b Dhar 0
K Parekh Not Out 0
H Modessa Not Out 11
Extras 5
Total (6 wickets, 20.2 overs) 70.

K McCullagh 7 2 28 1, B Smith 8 3 28 1, Dhar 3.2 2 3 2, I Critchley 2 1 9 2.

Chorley winning draw. Chorley 6 points, Preston 2 points.

Lancashire v Darwen

J Cordingley LBW Stevens 43
D Fradd st Gudgeon b Metcalfe 44
Zaman Khan LBW Simm 31
G Cordingley ct and b Metcalfe 8
N Cordingley b Metcalfe 13
M Emery Not Out 20
S Chatburn-Jones ct Sparks b Simm 6
N Jackson ct Sparks b Metcalfe 20
K Anwar ct Gudgeon b Simm 0
M Bennett Not Out 1
Extras 17
Total (8 wickets, 47 overs) 203.

L Moffat 6 0 29 0, B Simm 16 1 64 3, M Stevens 8 0 27 1, A Metcalfe 17 2 69 4.

Lancaster Did not bat.

Match abandoned – 4 points each.

Barrow v Kendal

Kendal 77 (D Wearing 5-25), Barrow 81-6 (C Miller 4-29).

Barrow (12pts) beat Kendal (1pt) by 4 wickets.

Carnforth v Leyland

Leyland 237-4dec (H Thompson 123no, L Reece 79), Carnforth did not bat.

Match abandoned (4pts each).

Morecambe v Fleetwood

Morecambe 160-9 (C Williams 57no, L Edge 54, R Smith 4-54), Fleetwood did not bat.

Match abandoned (4pts each).

Netherfield v Blackpool

Netherfield 157 (B Haddrick 48, S Mercer 5-52), Blackpool did not bat.

Match abandoned (4pts each).