Littleborough travelled to The Paddock on Saturday and left with nothing after a narrow nine run defeat.

Royton won the toss and chose to bat and quickly lost their first wicket as Stuart Bell was snapped up by Jack Hunter off Duncan Carter for 7. Terry Grimshaw and Reg Langton made steady progress as they attempted to repair early damage. All was going well until the score had reached 41 when Grimshaw found Carter who held on to a smart catch and the partnership was broken.

The bowlers didn’t have long to wait for further success as Davies made it a trio of catches as Langton departed for 27 and it was now 51-3. Royton desperately needed a substantial partnership to challenge the visiting side, and this was partially achieved as the Baty brothers put on a valuable 56 to take the score past 100 thanks to some quality strokes by both batsmen.

However at 109, just as they began to look settled, Stan had his stumps rearranged by Carter for a valuable 38. Scholes joined Derek attempting to carry on where Stan had left off. However this wasn’t to be as Jack gave a simple return catch to Carter for 8. When Derek fell at 136 for 38 and Chester Watson also fell on the same score, the impetus was with Littleborough side.

If the Littleborough side had visions of mopping up the tail this quickly vanished as Whiston 14* and Jones 18* remained unbeaten to guide Royton to a challenging 168-7 when the innings ended.

Littleborough’s batting woes continued and they had the worst possible start as Williamson was dismissed in the first over by Watson for nought. Things went from bad to worse as Rae 1 and Shackleton 10 had taken the long and lonely walk back to the pavilion as the visitors slumped to 11-3 and in a great deal of trouble.

Carter joined Hunter and together regained some sort of normality, with a display of sensible batting. Watson 29 was bowled at 86 and hopefully the rest of the batsmen would see Littleborough Cross the line. Davies fell at 117, run out after a piece of smart fielding.

Hunter fell at 143 for a well made 70 and with it, many suspected, the end of the visitors hopes of victory. Tattersall 4 fell at 150-8 Maden 24 was bowled by Burton at 155-9. Gerry Hobbs 12* could not find any support as both Halliday 1 and Whiteley 1 both fell quickly to end the Littleborough reply at 159 to lose by nine runs.