JULY has been an horrendous month for most but not for Gwersyllt Park!

The Division One leaders managed to play four of their five games and boast a 28-point lead at the top heading into tomorrow’s home game with Marchwiel and Wrexham.

It’s a match that shows the contrasting fortunes of both clubs. Just over 50 years ago Marchwiel were Lord-ing it at cricket HQ while Gwersyllt have worked their way up the leagues and only an end-of-season disaster will stop them from joining North Wales’ elite league next season.

Captain Iroshan De Silva has played a big part in Park’s surge towards the top, scoring 242 runs in July and taking 12 wickets - including 5-6 in last week’s derby victory over Llay Welfare. But De Silva, who used to play for Marchwiel in a five-year spell in the Midweek League, admits his team-mates have been giving him a bit of stick this season.

“I’ve won one toss in 15 games this season and the lads aren’t happy with that,” said De Silva, who lost the toss again against Llay before he and Neil Pearson (3-12) turned things around.

“Our pace bowlers bowled well last week and Llay didn’t really put many runs on. So when they needed to go for it, Neil’s and my spin bowling got the wickets.

“This season has been all about the team effort. The lads are enjoying their cricket and what made the weekend even more special was that our women’s team beat Carmel to celebrate their first ever victory.”

Hawarden Park and Northop seconds remain in the promotion chase.

Third-placed Hawarden Park head to Menai Bridge seconds while Northop host Abergele.

Conwy, who have moved into second place, visit Dolgellau while Llay and Connah’s Quay both have home encounters against Bethesda and Buckley.

It’s continuing to be the most enthralling Premier Division title chase for a number of seasons.

Recent summers have been dominated by defending champions Menai Bridge and St Asaph, however neither of these is leading the way with seven matches left to play.

That honour belongs to Northop, who boast a 10-point advantage over the second-placed Saints with a third of the campaign remaining, while Brymbo, Mochdre and Menai Bridge are also in the mix.

Northop will be looking to cement their spot at the head of the rankings tomorrow as they pay a visit to fourth-placed Mochdre in the match of the day.

A return to winning ways will be the target for Bart Ryan-Beswick’s high-flyers, who suffered a five-wicket reverse in their derby versus Mold last time out.

It’s a case of Halkyn keeping their heads down in the quest for the title and Ryan-Beswick said: “Until I have got that trophy in my hand, nothing changes.”

Mold will hope to further boost their survival hopes when they welcome Bangor in their next encounter.

Welsh Cup semi-finalists Brymbo could climb back into the top-two with a positive outcome at home to basement side Pontblyddyn.

Brymbo skipper Dan Parry said: “If we win every game, we give ourselves a chance and that’s all you need is a chance.”

Halkyn, six points clear of the drop zone, entertain Menai Bridge and Gresford head to Llandudno. There’s a Vale of Clwyd derby for St Asaph at Denbigh.

If Brymbo seconds can avoid defeat tomorrow the Division Two title will effectively be in the bag.

Leaders Brymbo go to second-placed Bangor seconds, with 30 points between the sides in the standings.

Other fixtures: Buckley 2nds v Mold 2nds; Gresford 2nds v Llanrwst; Hawarden Park 2nds v Carmel & District; Pontblyddyn 2nds v Mochdre 2nds; St Asaph 2nds v Bersham.

Division Three: Bethesda 2nds v Denbigh 2nds; Conwy 2nds v Caernarfon; Corwen v Llandudno 2nds; Ruthin v Gwersyllt Park 2nds; Mynydd Isa & Maeshafn v Connah’s Quay 2nds.

Division Four: Abergele 2nds v Ruthin 2nds; Bersham 2nds v Dolgellau 2nds; Carmel & District 2nds v Hawarden Park 3rds; Llanrwst 2nds v Halkyn 2nds; Marchwiel and Wrexham 2nds v Pwllheli.

Northop Hall are on an excellent run in the Liverpool Competition as they go gunning for a third win on the spin. Tomorrow, Hall head to Southport Trinity for their next Division Two contest.

There’s also an away day for Chirk in Division One of the Shropshire League as they go to Allscott Heath.