WOODBANK were denied a place in the Lancashire Knockout quarter-finals despite a strong batting display at home to Bolton League side Westhoughton on Sunday.

The Lancashire County League outfit posted a competitive total of 235-7 from their 45 overs, but despite taking a couple of early wickets failed to restrict the visitors in their reply as Westhoughton won by four wickets.

Harry Dearden top scored for Woodbank with 46 from 44 balls after coming in at number three.

A number of other batsmen got in, but failed to convert good starts into a possible match-winning innings.

Captain Brett Collins hit 32 from 24 deliveries and fellow opener Keith Webb weighed in with a more measured 28.

Steve Dearden (24) kept the score ticking over before Saj Nawaz (31 not out from 28 balls) and Nick Haynes (41no from 20) put on an unbeaten stand of 52.

It looked like a competitive total after Westhoughton openers Rob Houghton and Atiq Uz-Zaman – the visitors’ dangerman – were dismissed cheaply, with Steve Dearden and Nawaz sharing their wickets.

But captain Qaiser Abbas, coming in at number three, steadied the ship with 27 before wicketkeeper Kieran Paisley let loose with 84 from 73 deliveries.

That turned the game in Westhoughton’s favour and an unbeaten 40 from Sean Dunning helped the visitors to pass their target with just under three overs remaining.

The weekend was not all bad for Woodbank after they enjoyed a crucial 11-run victory at home to high-flying Glossop on Saturday.

The win moved them into second place in the Lancashire County League.