WALSDEN’S wait to win the Lancashire League goes on after they slipped to their first defeat of the season against Darwen on Saturday.

The lose, which brought the leaders 20-match run to an end, means they need to win their final game of the season at Rawtenstall next weekend to lift the title in their first season.

Lowerhouse took advantage to close the gap at the top with victory over Rishton yesterday and will need to win at Church on Sunday to stand any chance of pipping Walsden to the championship.

Darwen, whose own title hopes fell by the wayside a few weeks ago, batted first and were dismissed for 256.

The visitors lost Jordan Clarke early for four runs, trapped lbw by Jamie Shackleton but opener Reece Davies and number three Dave Bowden steadied the innings as the put on 75 for the second wicket.

The partnership was broken when Davies, who hit seven fours in his knock of 37, was caught by Matthew Dawson off Jake Hooson.

But sub professional Dane Vilas came in and carried on the hard work, eventually scoring an impressive 48.

Bowden was next to go, bowled by Umesh Karunaratne - the first of his four wickets for nearly a run a ball 38.

Reece Willets hit three boundaries before he was caught and bowled by Karunaratne for 19 and Mark Friend scored just two before he was trapped lbw by Hooson.

Scott Friend (32) and Sam Chatburn-Jones (41) added vital late runs to the Darwen innings.

In reply, Darwen dismissed the dangerous Josh Gale for just nine, caught and bowled by Bowden for nine before Nick Barker and Karunaratne both went for ducks.

James Rawlinson came in and held the Walsden innings together, hitting eight fours and a six, in a knock of 59 before he was caught by Chris Wade off Kamran Anwar who finished with 3-29 - including the last wicket of Martin Harlow (19) which sealed a 63 run victory.

Daryn Smit hit a superb 138 and and Francois Haasbroek scored an unbeaten 113 as Lowerhouse picked up all 12 points against Rishton to move to within 12 points of the leaders.

Smit smacked 22 fours in his 138 delivers while Haasbroek hit 14 fours and three sixes as he reached his total in just 88 balls.

The Burnley club scored 340-3 then bowled Rishton out for 180 - with Paddy Martin taking 5-45.

Third-placed Ramsbottom beat Middleton by two wickets thanks to Werner Coetsee taking 5-16 as the hosts were bowled out for 132.

In reply, Jonthan Fielding (37) and Martin Cropper (34) helped Ramsbottom to a 133-8 total.

Champions Clitheroe enjoyed a two wicket victory at Accrington.

Janith Liyanage topped scored for the hosts with 45 while Kieron Grimshaw (35), Jake Clarke (39) and Sam Bancroft (30) contributed to Accrington’s 224-8 total.

Clitheroe professional Karl Brown hit 94 with Jack Dewhurst adding 43 as the champions secured a 13th win of the season.

Despite knocks of 48 by both Chris Walton and Andrew Hakin, Colne were beaten at home by Crompton.

The hosts were dismissed for 155 which Crompton reached for the loss of eight wickets.

Great Harwood were bowled out for 75 - with Allan Armer top scoring with 25 - as they lost by 206 runs at Littleborough. Ashen Silva took two wickets

And Neil Thompson took 5-17 as Nelson bowled Milnrow out for just 39 in 23 overs. Nelson needed just 13 overs to reach their target.

Burnley’s clash at Rochdale was a tie with both teams bowled out for 145. Norden (221-9) beat Haslingden (150 all out) by 71 runs

Todmorden beat East Lancashire by 210 runs after the Blackburn side were dismissed for 72. And Church won their derby clash at Enfield.