HIGH-FLYING Fleetwood have cut Barrow’s lead at the the top of cricket’s Northern Premier League to just eight points on another excellent weekend for the Broadwater club.
Saturday’s low-scoring 13-run win over Chorley was Fleetwood’s eighth in 14 division one games – Mat Clark’s side have been beaten only once.
And they were grateful to skipper Clark for top-scoring with 37 from 43 balls at no.9 to steer Fleetwood to 118 in 44.2 overs.
Indeed, he forged the best partnership of the innings with wicketkeeping no.10 Lee Jones (29) after Bill Smith (6-24 off 12 overs) made major inroads into a Fleetwood batting line-up which suffered three successive ducks, including professional Shaun Liebisch.
The South African made amends with the ball, taking 4-42 from 18.3 overs, while Sam Bell topped that with 5-32 from 12 as Chorley were skittled out for 105 in 41.3 overs.
Gaurav Dhar did his utmost to hold the reply together, with seven fours in his 45, but the top three batsmen managed just six runs between them, as did the bottom five.
Barrow went down by two wickets at home to Leyland.
n AFTER their recent trials and tributlations, St Annes will be pleased to have stopped the rot with a home draw against third-placed Netherfield.
However, after captain Andy Kellett admitted to The Gazette that his side was far too dependent upon overseas duo Atiq-uz-Zaman and Dinuk Hettiarachchi, it was those two who got the home side out of the mire.
Netherfield were put in and reached 238-6 in 48.2 overs as wicketkeeper John Huck scored an unbeaten, run-a-ball 79 which featured 11 fours and two sixes.
Captain John Mason kept the scoreboard ticking with 46 off 62 but it was professional Dinuk who kept the pressure on, bowling unchanced for 4-83 off 24 overs.
After being dismissed in the seventies in their last two matches, St Annes’ reply of 167-8 from 45 overs was certainly a step in the right direction.
Atiq led the way with 84 from 88 balls, including nine fours, but ironically Dinuk was the only other batsmen to survive beyond the teens, scoring 24 at no.6.
Netherfield’s South African opener Cobus Pienaar responded to his cheap dismissal with 4-38 off 14 overs.
n BLACKPOOL were without a league game over the weekend and played only one throughout June.
They face two derbies against Fleetwood this week to determine who finishes top of the south two group in the TW Wealth Twenty20.
The local rivals meet at Stanley Park on Wednesday and at Broadwater 24 hours later, with Blackpool needing to win both to deny Fleetwood home advantage in the final.
Fleetwood are top after winning both matches against St Annes.