DEFEATS for their title rivals allowed Greenmount to pull seven points clear at the top of the Division One table.

Greenmount were five-wicket winners at Stretford and, with Heywood falling well short of their target at Dukinfield, and Woodhouses unable to defend a total of just 69 at Stand, they are in a strong position with five games to go.

They did not make life easy for themselves, struggling to 41-5 in 20 overs, having limited Streford to 123 all out, Phil Heaton finishing the first innings with 5-24.

But professional Kaustub Pawar (28), overseas player Sachin Varadarajin (38 not out) and Heaton (41no) kept their cool and steered the leaders to their 10th win of the campaign.

Greenmount still have second-placed Heywood to play on the final day but they host third-placed Woodhouses this Saturday. Next week sees Flowery Field, in fourth, visit Brandlesholme Road.

At the wrong end of the table, Unsworth fell well short of the target set by their hosts, Denton.

Despite fine figures of 4-14 from Andrew McGuiness’ seven overs Denton reached an all-out total of 183, Keegan Taylor scoring 58.

And with Adam Hayes taking 5-30 and Cloete Buitendag 4-31, that was 59 more than Unsworth could muster in their reply, despite 53 at the top of the order from Leighton Friend, who had earlier taken two wickets.

Unsworth, who host Edgworth on Saturday, remain third from bottom in the Division One table.

Elton’s hopes of taking the Division Two title suffered a blow with a home defeat to Swinton Moorside, who overtake them into third in the table.

With Anwar Ul Haq taking 5-26 they will have been pleased to restrict Swinton to just 124, thanks mainly to the number of extras bowled, 34, double the top batsman’s score.

But with only David Murray (23) scoring anything of note, Bradley Palmer’s 7-20 saw Elton dismissed for 82.

Edenfield’s total of 78 was never likely to be enough to beat visitors Thornham, who lost five wickets and reached the target in the 27th over, only Paul Gallagher putting up any resistance with 3-28.

Brooksbottom did enjoy success though, beating Hindley St Peters by 159 runs.

David Schierhout’s 151 from 160 balls helped them to 231 all out before Moshin Iqbal made up for his earlier first-ball duck by taking eight wickets for 19 runs as Hindley were bowled out for 72.

This weekend Elton travel to Wythenshawe, Brooksbottom go to Thornham and Edenfield are at Westleigh.

Elton Vale were emphatic winners at Clifton to maintain their title charge in Division Three.

Leaders Vale set a modest 135 all out in their innings, led by Zulfiqar Ali’s 33 at number nine, and then bowled out their hosts for just 65 with Ali Shah finishing with 7-32.

Radcliffe climbed to second after their three-wicket victory at Astley and Tyldesley seconds.

Jimmy Dixon’s 5-28 saw the home team restricted to 134, a total Radcliffe passed with seven wickets down, opener Charlie Hamilton making a patient top score of 25.

Elton Vale take on Denton West second XI this weekend, while Radcliffe go to Dukinfield seconds.

East Lancs Paper Mill closed in on Division Four West leaders Roe Green, winning by 61 runs.

With no top-five batsman reaching double figures, ELPM limped to 29-5 but made 146, Louis Birmingham scoring 67 and Stephen Keyworth 31.

Roe Green opener Bradley Johnson amassed 42 but they made just 85, with Paul Hewart taking 4-25 and Mathew Smalley 4-29.

Tottington St John’s fell short of the 172 set by hosts Woodbank 2nd XI, bowled out for 120. Ian Hayes led the reply with 48 but regular wickets meant they never got close.

In the Lancashire League, Ramsbottom fell to an 89-run defeat to Lowerhouse.

Paddy Martin hit a career-best 80 not out in Lowerhouse’s 217-4, putting on 103 for the third wicket with pro Ockert Erasmus (68).

Martin then took 7-26 to dismiss Rammy for 128, Dale Gabriel top scoring with 41.