All eyes focused on Fylde derby battle

Cricket action from Blackpool v St Annes at Stanley Park.'St Annes pro Dinuk Hettiarachi holes out near the boundary.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'4-6-2012
Cricket action from Blackpool v St Annes at Stanley Park.'St Annes pro Dinuk Hettiarachi holes out near the boundary. PIC BY ROB LOCK'4-6-2012
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MATCH of the day on the Fylde coast is the Northern League clash when third-placed Fleetwood host champions St Annes

The visitors have struggled to attain that high level of excellence of last season, and languish third from bottom in the table after a dismal start to the season.

However, Fleetwood captain Mat Clark is at pains to ignore St Annes’ current predicament, which has seen them slide down the table.

He said: “You underestimate St Annes at your peril.

“They still have a very good side, but are probably short on confidence at the moment.

“Our fielding and bowling has been good, but our batting had been shaky recently until we put it right with our nine-wicket win over Lancaster.

“I have always said we have a talented group at Fleetwood, and the players are starting to realise that.”

Chris Stanhope replaces Anthony Ellison in tomorrow’s Fleetwood line-up.

*BLACKPOOL skipper Paul Danson is wrestling with selection problems prior to tomorrow’s Northern League clash at home to Morecambe

Among the victims of the injury jinx is Danson himself, who broke a finger while taking a catch in the match against St Annes earlier in the week.

Other casualties include Alex Smith, Simon Long and Andy Furniss.

Danson said: “We have so many injuries I can’t even think about naming a side yet.

“I broke my finger when I caught out Charles Boucher – I don’t know whether I did it when the ball went into my hand, or whether it happened when I went to the ground.

“I have never known us to have so many injuries at the same time.”

*LYTHAM intend to keep up the pressure on Liverpool Competition leaders Northern when they entertain Colwyn Bay tomorrow.

They are only four points behind, although Lytham skipper Antony Mulligan says it is anything but a two-horse race.

Mulligan said: “We don’t see it like that at all.

“Teams like Leigh and Bootle got some big guns in during the winter and they haven’t started firing yet, but there is plenty of time for that yet. A lot can happen in the rest of the season.”

Lytham draft in promising seam bowler Ben Perkins into the squad for the clash with Colwyn Bay.

But they will be without another seamer in Sam Halliday, while Marcus Sharp is also sidelined.

Mulligan added: “It was good to have Joe Davies back for the win over Maghull on Monday, when he took three wickets.”