IT looks like the battle for the Premier Division crown is now a two-horse race.

With just three matches of the campaign left to play, it’s front-runners Northop and St Asaph who now find themselves in a head-to-head battle for the top honour.

Ten points clear at the top are Northop, who got the better of Flintshire rivals Halkyn by 88 runs.

After being invited to make first use of the batting track, Bart Ryan-Beswick’s title chasers struck 231 for five from a reduced 33 overs.

Doing the damage were Richie Walker (75 not out), Andrew Oates (66) and Jordan Evans (48), while Alex North bagged two wickets.

Shamar Forde top scored with 44 in Halkyn’s 143 for nine (Ryan-Beswick 3-15).

St Asaph’s bowlers were in brilliant form to dismiss visitors Mold for just 37 (Ryan Dunning 4-16, Dan Evans 4-17). The Saints were patient in their reply of 38 for one for maximum points.

Brymbo’s title aims look to be over as their derby at Gresford was abandoned and rain caused Pontblyddyn’s match at home to Denbigh to be called off.

Defending champions Menai Bridge, who host Northop next Saturday, climbed into third spot with a hefty 108-run triumph over Llandudno, who were dismissed for 127 (Lucas Hughes 42, Gerallt Roberts 4-24).

Earlier in the day, Jack Gower (89) and Gethin Roberts (63 not out) helped Bridge to 235 for five in 35 overs.

Meanwhile, Mochdre maintained their hopes of a top-three finish thanks to a five-wicket win over Bangor.

Matt Humphreys picked up 3-28 in Bangor’s 94 all out and Mochdre replied with 95 for five.

Gwersyllt Park are one win away from the Division One title and promotion to the top flight.

Neil Pearson was the star of their eight-wicket battering of hosts Buckley, who were bowled out for 40.

Pearson landed 5-8 from his four overs after Lewis Cole and Dan Jones had grabbed two wickets apiece.

Gwersyllt are now 40 points clear of second-placed Hawarden Park, who kept up the pace with a 28-run win at home to Northop Seconds.

Chris Geary’s 68 took Hawarden to 166 in a rain-reduced 30-over game. Adam De Rycke and Evan Shaw took two wickets each as Northop (Dave Fawkes 35) were bowled out for 138.

At the other end of the table, Marchwiel and Wrexham’s four-wicket win in the relegation dogfight with Llay Welfare may not be enough to keep them up.

Phil Oddie (4-21) and Sam Shoemark (3-6) did the damage as Llay were dismissed for 69. Nathan Humphreys took 3-8 for second-bottom Llay but the hosts reached 71 for six.

Menai Bridge Seconds were skittled for just 42 as they lost by 132 runs at Conwy.


Division Two: Bersham 152-2 Gresford 2nds 146-3; Brymbo 2nds 144-1 Pontblyddyn 2nds 140-9. Div Four: Pwllheli 59-1 Llanrwst 2nds 57; Ruthin 2nds 120-6 Carmel 2nds 75.

Northop Hall suffered a seven-wicket loss during their Liverpool Competition trip to Irby.

Michael Williamson (27) was the main scorer in Hall’s 120 (Smit Mehta 4-28) and Rafi Afridi contributed 55 out of Irby’s 122 for three.

In the Shropshire League, Chirk lost by eight wickets at Bridgnorth Seconds after setting 180 for eight (Wynn Jones 57, Liam Walker 32).