It was a busy weekend for the second XI’s in the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League with a slightly truncated league programme last Saturday followed by the second round of the Ramsbottom Cup and first round of the Lawrenson Cup on Sunday.

Farnworth maintained their position at the top of Conference South and Barrowford did likewise in Conference North.

Farnworth’s batters were once again in fine form as, despite their innings being reduced to 41 overs, they still managed to post an impressive 260-4 at Blackrod. Aaqib Javed and Chris Baxenden each made 69, with good support from Bilal Khan (41) and Neil Hyde, with 30. In reply, only Jacob Ashworh with 30 managed double figures as Blackrod collapsed against the bowling of Sam Bradley (5-18) and Mehr Khan (3-26).

Barrowford were similarly impressive winners as they brushed aside Barnoldswick by 105 runs. Batting first, they made a healthy 203-8 thanks mainly to Jehangir Babar (51), Zulquarnain Tariq (26) and Ulfat Ali (21) as the wickets were shared out. Ali was then the architect of a Barlick collapse as he ripped out the heart of the innings with 6-24, with only Shazab Ali’s 24 offering much resistance in a reply of just 98.

Lostock’s revival continued with a third win in four games as they beat Farnworth Social Circle by 25 runs at Chew Moor. Their total of 159-8 owed much to the efforts of Kishan Ram, who made an unbeaten 59 and Aaron Berriman, with 32, while Andrew Wareing took 3-17. In reply, only Bradley Barrow (48) and Grant Mason-Platt (38) made much headway, as Asghar Ali’s 4-41 helped restrict them to 134.

Astley Bridge kept up their challenge at the top with a six-wicket win against Atherton at Sharples Park. Chasing 146 to win, good contributions from Ishy Patel (42), Akshat Kamath (36) and Ady Cooper (22) saw them home, despite Ian Nuttall taking 3-30. Patel had earlier taken 3-33 and Faiz Khandu 3-40 to help restrict Atherton to 145-8, despite the efforts of Greg Greenough 54 and Mike Tomlinson, with 35.

Kearsley bounced back after their debacle with the bat the previous week as they defeated Eagley by 134 runs at Springfield Road. Andy Gregory led their efforts with 65, and was well backed up by Fenton Davies, who made 53, and Dinesh Sundaram, with 44, as they made 239-7. Eagley never really threatened to chase the runs down and only Oliver Tuck, with 29, really got going as they slumped to 105 all out with Jack Scott taking 3-13.

Little Lever entertained Walkden and it was the visitors who came away with the spoils with a 19-run win. The home side restricted Walkden to a total of 154, with good knocks coming from Umer Ishaq (46), Sehran Khan (25) and Bilal Azfzal (23) as Callum Hill took 3-42. Hill then added 27, but only Ben Blinkhorn-Street (28) of the other batters really got going against the bowling of Mehran Anwar (4-28) and Daniyal Azhar (3-20), and Lever were all out for 135 in reply.

The only other game played on Saturday came in Conference North where Brinscall entertained Foulridge and thrashed them by nine wickets. Mohammed Khadim played pretty much a lone hand for the visitors with his 27 - almost half of a disappointing total of just 67 all out. Matthew Sexton took 3-20 and Usman Patel 3-4 for the home side. A opening stand of 47 between Phil Jackson and Salim Patel then set Brinscall up for a win inside 14 overs.

The second round of the Ramsbottom Cup saw wins for Padiham, Burnley Belvedere, Astley Bridge, Farnworth, Blackrod, Atherton, Lostock and Farnworth Social Circle.

Padiham rattled up the highest score of the round, posting 280-7 as they defeated Feniscowles by 72 runs to move into the last eight. Kevin Hitchon (42) and Joe Edgar (44) set them on the way, adding 66 for the first wicket and then Jimmy Gray (89) and Liam Simm, with 34, made sure their efforts were not wasted. Feniscowles gave it a go but eventually had to settle for 208-7 in reply. Only Mark McGovern (25) of the top order got going and it was left to an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 110 between Syed Shah (51 not out) and Mahmood Chaudry (54no) to get them over the 200 mark.

Burnley Belvedere defeated Kearsley by five wickets after recovering from 27-3 chasing 138. Abid Khan (31) and Abdul Shakoor, with an undefeated 48, were the heroes with the bat for the home side in the end. Kearsley’s 137 saw seven batters reach double figures, led by Grant Cordin’s 24, but crucially nobody was able to really kick on for them as Abdul Haleem picked up 3-15.

Salesbury travelled to Astley Bridge where the home side went through by a margin of 69 runs. Bridge’s innings followed a similar pattern to Kearsley, with Ishy Patel’s 26 the highest of six double-figure scores as Sam Bristol took 3-35 and Cameron Walmsley 3-16. Salesbury also found it hard work with the bat as just three batters made it into double figures with a top score of 17, as Faiz Khandu took 4-8 and Hashim Akhtar 3-20 in a total of 78.

Lostock made the trip to Barrowford and returned with a six-wicket win as they chased down the home side’s 141 with around three overs to spare. Stephen Kaye, with 53, and Harry Jackson, with an unbeaten 24, leading the way for the visitors. Jackson had earlier taken 3-33 as he and Ryan Crombie (3-13) helped bowl the home side out for 141, despite the efforts of Hamid Bushy (31) and Imran Karim (35).

Farnworth yet again sailed past the 200 mark with their 231-8 proving to be 143 too many for visitors Read. Chris Baxendale continued his purple patch with 72 as Farnworth batted first, ably assisted by Neil Hyde (51) and Aaqib Javed (29), with Andrew Bennett taking 3-33 for the visitors. Read then collapsed to just 88 all out in reply as Simon Harrison took 5-17, with Elliot Lowes making almost half of those on 30.

Blackrod got the better of Tonge at Castle Hill, returning home with a 58-run win under their belts. Jack Southworth, with 79, and Tom Westhead (76) made the bulk of their total of 236-7, despite the efforts of Daniel Holt who took an impressive 5-36. Holt (36) and Dave Whittle (31) added 90 for the first wicket, but after that only Jav Bhagat’s 47 threatened the away team as Steve Ashworth took an impressive 6-26.

A competitive game at Higham Park eventually saw Atherton put out Earby by 27 runs. Alex Hall enjoyed an excellent all-round game for Earby as he followed up a superb 6-37 with an unbeaten 25 as his side chased 198 to win. Jason Lockley added 53 and Jack Swarbrick 28, but Earby were restricted to 170-6. Atherton made 197 as Greg Greenough hit 57, Dale Tyrer 30 and Mike Tomlinson 25 to make the bulk of their runs.

The final tie of the round saw Farnworth Social Circle defeat Settle by 47 runs at Piggott Street. Andrew Wareing led the way, making an unbeaten 69 as they reached 202-7, with Chris Lane adding a useful 34 in support, despite Harvey Green taking 3-37. John Tarbox then made 42 as Read replied with Daniel Strickland adding 36, but 3-33 from Bradley Barrow helped restrict them to 155 in reply.

The first round of the Lawrenson Cup - a 'plate' competition for those sides who lost in the first round of the Ramsbottom Cup saw Barrowford, Cherry Tree, Foulridge, Walkden, Stacksteads, Whalley, Little Lever and Burnley Belvedere go through to the last eight.

Burnley Belvedere went through with a quite remarkable 333-run win as they visited Foulridge seconds. Batting first they smashed their way to 373-7, led by Husnain Ateeq, who made 122, while Ayaz Hussain (80), Naeem Syed (57) and Ali Zar (41) also filled their boots, with Daniel Kelly taking 3-67. The Foulridge batting then had simply no answer to a superb spell of 7-16 from Aadil Hussain and with a top score of just five, they collapsed to a paltry 40 all out.

Cherry Tree entertained Ribblesdale Wanderers and moved into the next round following a comfortable win by 97 runs. Kevin Reed led the way for Tree with 75 and got good support from Dan Lord (38), Joe Ince (27) and Craig Kennedy (25) as they reached 208-6. Lord then took 5-25 as Ribblesdale were restricted to 111 in reply, with most of those coming from Martin Wrigley (36) and Joe Briggs (21).

Foulridge firsts progressed courtesy of a 148-run win against Oswaldtwistle Immanuel at Church Road. Foulridge went in first and rattled up an imposing 258-6, with good knocks coming from Jon Swarbrick (52), Sardar Asghar (44), Jabbran Sajjad (34), Ajmal Chaudhry (32) and Mohammed Haroon (46no). Ossy never really threatened to chase the runs as they fell away to 110 all out in reply. Mohammed Jalgaonkar (29) and Zameer Hussain (27) provided the only real threat as Rashid Rasheed took 3-30.

Walkden’s batters were also in fine form as they crashed the Eagley bowling around to make a massive 270-8, despite the efforts of Seb Wilcox, who took a fine 4-39. Sehran Khan made 79no, with Naveed Khan (73) and Muhammed Shoaib (71) also passing the 70-run mark. Just three batters got into double figures as Eagley slumped to a meagre 88 in reply, with Nabil Tahir taking 4-32.

Stacksteads came out on top of a low-scoring affair at Barnoldswick as they edged home with three wickets to spare. Just two of the Barlick batters managed to get into double figures as they struggled to just 94 all out, with Max Hussey taking 3-7, Luke Davies 3-18 and Matt Croney 3-25. Haseeb Hanif then took 3-28 as Stacksteads found batting just as hard, but 24 from Umair Khan helped them through.

In contrast, Whalley eased to a nine-wicket victory over visiting Brinscall after dismissing their visitors for 152. A stand of 124 for the first wicket between Gary Barker (96) and Liam Boyle (33no) set up a comfortable run chase for the home side. The Brinscall score of 152 had owed much to the efforts of Alan Whalley (48) and Philip Jackson (38), while both Ehtesham Ali and Iby Hussain each took three wickets.

A cracking game at Baxenden eventually saw Little Lever come away with a six-wicket triumph after chasing a daunting-looking target of 243 down. Louis Partington led the way for the visitors with a fine 97, with Jack Barlow adding 35 and Gareth Moxon 37no in support to see their side home. Earlier, a splendid 123 off 108 balls from Rohid Ashraf had helped set up a total of 242-6 for the home side, as Marco Bellanco made 30 and Haider Ali 25no, with Ben Oxborough taking 3-38.

Barrowford seconds progressed by virtue of a concession from Chatburn.