Shireshead's quest for a third consecutive Westmorland Cricket League title hangs in the balance after a mixed weekend for the defending champions.

On Saturday, Shireshead lost by 45 runs to title rivals Westgate.

Westgate elected to bat first on a wicket in excellent condition, considering the previous week’s monsoon, but found it very hard going right from the start. The score had only reached 22 for 1 from the first 17 overs but G Tattersall (27) and A Arestidou (51) grafted hard to ensure a defendable target was achieved at 141 for 7.5 overs.

Shireshead’s three bowlers Dave Jack, Tom Jacques and Rowan Upton all bowled well.

The Shireshead reply began in complete contrast to the Westgate innings after Tom Jacques and Joe Cunliffe added 27 without loss from 8 overs.

With only 115 required for victory from 37 overs with all 10 wickets in hand it was hard to see how Shireshead could lose from such a position of strength.

The turning point came when Cunliffe was run out by a good piece of fielding. This sparked a collapse to 44 for 4.

Westgate latched on to the opportunities given.

A combination of tight bowling by Tattersall (5 for 35), alongside a lack of belief and poor decision making left only Nick Rafferty (22) showing real resistance. A Sharp was caught and bowled by Z Buchanan (3 for 18) and finally saw Rafferty off to seal a hard-fought Westgate victory by 45 runs.

On Bank Holiday Monday, Shireshead entertained Ambleside, knowing nothing less than a win would keep their title hopes alive.

Ambleside elected to bat after Oli Wileman (69) and Rob Hunt (31) added 90 for the first wicket.

However, once Rowan Upton (2 for 56) removed Hunt, Ambleside struggled.

When the returning Peter Wilson (3 for 26) dismissed Wileman, the innings subsided to close on 146 for 5.

Shireshead started well in the reply thanks to Tom Jacques (42) and Joe Cunliffe (15), who added 66 for the first wicket.

Paul Yates (19 not out) and Danny Wilkinson (27) added a further 42 for the third wicket.

Simon Gould (18) secured victory by 6 wickets, despite an extremely disciplined performance by the Ambleside attack.

Results elsewhere mean that the season enters the last fortnight with Westgate favourites for the title but with Arnside and Shireshead both still very much in contention.

In the other games A Davidson scored 58 runs after Arnside defeated Silverdale. Davidson’s knock set Silverdale a first innings total of 190, before L Illingworth’s second innings figures of 6-12 skittled Silverdale out for 77.

J Parkinson and B Baldwin claimed five wickets each after they helped Milnthorpe to a comfortable win over Ambleside. Parkinson (5-18) and Baldwin (5-28) bowled Ambleside out for a first innings total of 66. Milnthorpe knocked the runs off as they closed on 67-5.

Windermere picked up a comfortable win at Carnforth. The visitors closed on 118, before M Park and Nick Lewthwaite claimed five wickets each after Carnforth were blown away for 86 in reply.

In the final game, Warton collected a comfortable win at Burneside. Warton were all out for 101 and Burneside were blown away for 53.

On Bank Holiday Monday Silverdale won at Windermere thanks to K Forster's knock of 52 and J Mason's return of 7-41.

In Division Two Westgate A defeated Kirkby Lonsdale.

Westgate won the toss and invited their guests to bat. Opener David Thompson (29) put in an obdurate and muted display against a host of excellent bowling from the home side.

The home side opened with the up-and-coming duo of Jacob Vaughan (7-3-9-2) and Sam Conroy (7-3-11-1) caused major problems to all batsmen with their tight line and nagging length.

Once they had bowled their allotted 7 overs the accuracy continued with the veteran pairing of Rob Silliton (8-2-15-1) and Sid Gandi (10-3-13-1) to reduce Kirkby to just 50 for 5 off 32 overs.

Darren Troughton scored a useful unbeaten 17 as more Westgate youngsters impressed with the ball as Chris Beales (5-2-11-3) and Jack Huntington (5-2-13-1) polished off the tail to leave the visitors on 86.

Westgate's batting line up had been decimated by absences, leaving a side lacking in experience but full of potential. Unfortunately potential takes time to come to fruition and that was the case for the hosts.

The departure of Sid Gani (14) was the start of monumental collapse as Darren Troughton (12-9-11-2) and Andrew Metcalfe (10-4-15-5) ripped the heart out of the batting.

Only vice captain for the day Jacob Vaughan (17 not out off 89 balls) showed any form of resilience as he frustrated the bowlers while keeping the scoreboard ticking.

The introduction of Harvey Wallbanger (9.4-2-20-3) finished off the home side for just 49, leaving Vaughan frustrated but proud of a performance beyond his years.

In the other Division Two games, Bare claimed a winning draw with Shireshead A, after A Shaman posted a top score of 96 in Bare's first innings of 194-7. However, Shireshead A held out after they closed on 106-9.

D Carter posted an undefeated knock of 58 after Bolton-le-Sands sauntered past Trimpell. Coniston’s M Burton returned first innings figures of 5-10 in their victory at Sedgwick. The hosts were all out for 55, butSedgwick battled thanks to J Matthews figures of 5-28. However Coniston held on after they closed on 56-7.

In Division Three Ben Atkinson returned figures of 5-10 to help Netherfield’ Thirds to victory over Cartmel, while S Hunter returned figures of 7-20 in Holmes victory over Sedgwick A.

Division Four saw wins for Coniston A and Barrow Thirds, while O Dawson returned figures of 5-8 in Kendal 3rds victory at Galgate A. Meanwhile A Yates knock of 70 wasn’t enough as Bolton-le-Sands crashed to Windermere .