Blackpool’s derby defeat opens up title race

Daryn Smit
Daryn Smit

Fleetwood breathed new life into their fading Northern Premier League title bid with a four-wicket derby win over a Blackpool side which included Lancashire captain Steven Croft.

The Red Rose skipper found himself overshadowed by Fleetwood professional Daryn Smit, who dismissed him and three Blackpool team-mates to take his wicket tally to 11 in two games for his new club.

The South African had claimed seven debut wickets in the 79-run defeat at Preston on Saturday which appeared to have virtually extinguished Fleetwood’s title bid.

Back up to third place, Fleetwood are 11 points behind Blackpool and a further 11 behind Leyland, who returned to the top with yesterday’s seven-wicket win over a Darwen side dismissed for 77.

But Fleetwood’s Broadwater win sets up an intriguing final three weekends of the season. And although Blackpool still have a game in hand, they will have some scars to heal after being removed for just 98 in 37.3 overs yesterday, having chosen to bat.

Special guest Croft scored close to half of them before falling lbw to Smit for 44.

Stephen Twist was Blackpool’s next-best with 17 but was the only player outside the top three to score more than three as the innings fell away spectacularly.

While Smit led the way with 4-23, Adam Parker almost matched him with 3-23 and then hit his fourth half-century of the season.

Parker was run out for 53, having hit eight fours, but set Fleetwood on their way to a winning 102-6 from 47.1 overs, despite Blackpool professional Daryl Mitchell’s 3-26.

Guest pro Ockert Erasmus couldn’t save St Annes from back-to-back home defeats over the holiday weekend as Chorley dismissed them for 99 on Monday.

Erasmus filled the gap left by fellow South African Shadley van Schalkwyk but St Annes were beaten by six wickets.

The home innings quickly fell apart after Luke Wilks’ opening 37. Kieran McCullagh did most damage with 5-49 as St Annes were removed in 37.1 overs.

Erasmus, out for a single, then took a couple of wickets but Chorley patiently progressed to 100-4 in 47.5 overs, with Nekoli Parris making 40.