CHURCH made it a perfect weekend by beating derby rivals ACCRINGTON by 10 wickets at Thorneyholme Road on Sunday.

After winning the 20/20 final on Friday, Church showed no sign of suffering from a Cup hangover as they restricted the hosts to 174-9, Lloyd Aspin taking 4-48.

Levi Wolfenden and professional Usman Tariq then batted through to steer Church to victory. And not only did they both finish unbeaten on 81 but they both faced the same number of balls (104) and both passed 500 runs for the season.

Accrington were put in to bat and that looked an excellent decision when Aspin bowled Ramiz Hussain (0) in the first over before removing Sam Excell (1) to leave the hosts 2-2.

Stand-in skipper Simon Hanson (9) soon followed before pro Ockert Erasmus and Bryn Hargreaves (23) added 36 for the fourth wicket, while Erasmus (66) and Ali Hasham (24) put on a 50 partnership.

Accy then collapsed from 105-4 to 122-7, although an unbroken last-wicket stand of 21 between Matt Wilson (23) and Jimmy Hayhurst (6) stretched their total to 174-9 off their 50 overs.

Although Lloyd Aspin was the pick of the bowlers, Tariq claimed an important 3-38.

Hanson then had six players bowl for the hosts but Wolfenden and Tariq proved immovable, reaching their target in 36.4 overs.

“We were grateful there wasn’t a game on Saturday so we had time to recover after the 20/20!” joked Church bowler Andrew Bentley.

“We always know Accrington will be a tough side to play against and it’s a local derby.

“Looking at the score, it may not have looked like it, but it was again. Usman and Levi made it look easy but it wasn’t. They were fantastic.”

The victory saw Church leapfrog their local rivals into fifth place, sending Accrington down two to eighth.

Craig Fergusson’s men are now 12 points behind third-placd ENFIELD after the Dill Hall Lane outfit suffered a 43-run defeat at Todmorden on Sunday.

After putting the hosts in, Enfield saw them make an opening stand of 73 before pro Michael Neser hit 101 as Todmorden made 241-5.

The Australian then took 5-37 as Enfield were bowled out for 198, their own pro Werner Coetsee top scoring with 50.

Second-bottom RISHTON continued to struggle, beaten by 93 runs at home to East Lancashire. The visitors made 229-5 before bowling Rishton out for just 136.

Pro Matt Hulett top scored with 41 before Garth Wyse (32) offered some resistance at the death.

There is set to be more movement in the table with this weekend being a double-header.

Church have home games against Nelson then second-placed Ramsbottom and despite trailing Lowerhouse by 39 points, they haven’t ruled out reeling in the leaders as there are 10 games left.

“Lowerhouse are the team to catch but if we can keep winning and enjoying our cricket then who knows,” Bentley added.

“Winning the 20/20 trophy has given us such a boost so maybe it will take the pressure off us then we can just relax and enjoy our cricket.”

Enfield host fourth-placed Haslingden on Saturday before visiting East Lancs.

Accrington visit Colne before hosting Rawtenstall. Rishton have away games against Ramsbottom and Haslingden.

S Hanson (c), Ji Hayhurst, G Sneddon, M Wilson (wk), J Clarke, R Hussain, L Smalley, A Hasham, B Hargreaves, S Excell, O Erasmus (p). Meet Colne 11.45. V RAWTENSTALL (H, SUN): Same team.
2ND XI V RAWTENSTALL (A, SUN): Jon Hayhurst (c), B Brierley, J Johnson, A Greenwood (wk), B Lloyd, J Lloyd, L Whitford, I Johnson, H Hindle, D Cunningham, D Ormerod.

C Fergusson, L Wolfenden, L Aspin, H Aspin, A Bentley, JW Gaskill, S Tucker, S Holt, K Basharat, A Greenwood, U Tariq. V RAMSBOTTOM (H, SUN): Same team.

A Bracewell, L Wright, J Wrigley, S Wilkinson, H Fazal, L Bedford, S O’Loughlin, G Jones, B Dowling, C Bowness, W. Coetsee (p). Meet 11.45. V EAST LANCS (A, SUN): Same team. Meet 11.30.