LYTHAM CC’s Liverpool Competition title defence suffered a major blow as they were beaten by five wickets at leaders Ormskirk.
Although the ECB premier league is yet to reach its halfway point, Lytham are now down in fifth spot and 33 points off the pace.
Anthony Mulligan’s men, anxious for a victory after back-to-back draws, had an unlikely top scorer as they were dismissed for 176 in 52.3 overs.
Marcus Sharp made an unbeaten 50 coming in at No.9 and shared in a tenth-wicket stand of 53 with fellow seamer Michael Rigby (5).
Opener Mulligan was Lytham’s next-best with 32, while pro Dom O’Brien was stumped for 22.
The Aussie’s wicket was one of five for M Farrell (for 66 off 17 overs), while Simon Kerrigan took 3-24.
Lytham’s bowlers briefly had their hopes raised with the hosts 19-2, but top scorer J Armstrong (36) then put on 67 with I Glayzer (35) as Ormskirk reached their target two balls short of 50 overs as G Knight (34 not out) saw them over the line.
Ben Saunders was the pick of the Lytham bowlers with 3-49 off 15 overs.
New Brighton replaced Lytham in fourth spot after their 46-run win over Colwyn Bay, which cost the Welshmen second place.
Leigh are now leading the pursuit of Ormskirk, six points behind after a 12-run win over Northop Hall.