Baxenden suffered a second league defeat of the season but stay top after a last-over defeat to Whalley at Station Road.
Andy Caunce’s side would have fancied their chances chasing 159 but with eight needed off the final six deliveries with the last pair at the crease, Liam Riley was bowled by Whalley pro Kamran Younus off the first ball.
It was a day when bowlers were largely on top, Babar Naeem and Riley taking three wickets apiece as Whalley had Younas (33), veteran Mark Fallon, who made 34, and an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 42 between Gorton and Fitzhenry to thank for posting a respectable total after looking perilous on 110-6.
But Baxenden’s powerful batting line-up for once failed to fire and after another veteran Whalley player Dave O’Neill had dismissed both openers, including, crucially, Naeem, wickets tumbled with regularity with Younas claiming six for 56.
Mark Rishton was top scorer with 26.
Great Harwood made light work of defeating Oswaldtwistle Immanuel at New Lane.
After the covers were removed with less rain having fallen than expected, Harwood skipper Stuart Maher had no hesitation in electing to bowl in seamers’ paradise conditions.
Visiting pro Syed Shahabuddin soon ripped the Immanuel top order out to leave them 20-4.
A pocket of resistance from Paul Dignan and Imran Abid, who made 28, got the home side to 50 without further loss but another late-order collapse saw Immanuel muster just 73 all out as Matthew Howarth chipped in with two wickets and Shahabuddin ended with 6-21.
Immanuel got an early fillip when the Harwood pro holed out to Oliver Jones at mid-on in Kurt Smithson’s opening over and progress was slow for a while thereafter.
But former Immanuel pro Russell Whalley is not a man to be tied down for long.
After adding 54 with Howarth for the second wicket, he ended proceedings in less than 16 overs in typically belligerent fashion, hitting four fours and five sixes in his 41-ball 52 not out.