ARTIFICIAL pitches came to the West Cheshire League's rescue on Saturday for an understandably reduced league programme.

One of those games took place at the Wirral Tennis Centre, where Division Two promotion contenders, Mersey Royal, took advantage of a struggling West Kirby outfit and romped home 9-1.

Hat-tricks from Adam Smith and Ryan Coles were supplemented by further efforts from Leon Detlaff, Liam Driscoll and Mike Williams as the fourth-placed challengers eroded the leaders' advantage to three points.

Stephen Abbot netted Kirby's consolation.

Current leaders, Prescot Cables Reserves, had two-goal John Morgan and Josh Perry on the mark, but replies from Danny Bulayima (2) and Curtis Cummins assured hosts South Liverpool Res of a share of the points.

At their tenth attempt, bottom club Litherland Remyca Dev savoured their first win of the season, inspired by Callum Malone (2) and Angel Olukwu in a 3-1 result at Poulton Royal, who had John Pomfrett in reply.

In Division One, bottom club Neston Nomads gave a better account of themselves this time around, but despite a fine goal from Steven Njkoum, it was Maghull who profited, Jack Goodwin, Steve Williams and Marcus Stewart obliging in a 3-1 victory.

Reigning champions Newton scored through Dom Coddington, but squandered a further two points after their clash at Redgate Rovers produced a 1-1 stalemate, Steve Melville scoring for the home club.

Free scoring Poulton Vics were elevated to fifth place in Division Three after they posted a convincing 6-0 result at Marshalls Res, thanks to strikes from Lathan Forrester (2), Jamie Smith (2), Jack Ireland and Jamie Quinn.

Efforts from Joel Jackson, Freddie Houghton and Andrew Wiseman were to no avail for Aintree Villa Res, who went down 5-3 at Willaston, who sealed the win courtesy of goals from Robbie Hicks (3), Sean Lunt and Squeaky Clarkson.

A 3-2 result at Pensby FC, confirmed by goals from Tom Hewlett, Zak El-Bashri and Mussab Benali lifted Marine Res. into second place in the table.

Dan O'Halloran and Sam Cafferkey were Pensby's marksmen.

Saturday's Youth Division action was restricted to a single fixture, and that took place in the Liverpool CFA Youth Cup second round, where West Cheshire flag bearers, Lower Breck, had Charlie Hill on target, but suffered a 2-1 defeat to Warbreck.

In midweek, the West Cheshire League's representative side took on the Cheshire League to contest the Cooper Smith Trophy and it was celebration time for the West Cheshire who took the honours, Mason Nevitt and James Davies finding the net in a 2-1 triumph.