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Blackpool want to keep Daryl Mitchell

Blackpool want to keep Daryl Mitchell

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Members of title-chasing Blackpool Cricket Club can put their feet up on a break in Spain this weekend, while their rivals back home put in the hard yards.

And the Northern Premier League table could have an entirely different look about it by the time the Blackpool boys get back in Blighty to do their unpacking.

While Blackpool have a rare weekend off, it is a double-header for the rest of the teams in the competition.

The first day of the season back in April was completely washed out, with no NPL matches being played, so those fixtures have been slotted in this Sunday, with the exception of the match between Blackpool and Barrrow, which has been provisionally rearranged for September 11.

Blackpool have a lead of 18 points going into this weekend’s matches, but with rivals Fleetwood (second) and Leyland (third) in action twice – once against each other on Sunday – the Stanley Park club’s advantage could be wiped out with 30 points up for grabs over the next two days.

Speaking of Blackpool’s chances of a second title in three seasons, chairman David Cresswell said: “We are confident but we are not over-confident. We realise there is still a lot of work to be done, and Fleetwood and Leyland are both good teams.

“We play Fleetwood over the August bank holiday and that match could turn out to be critical.

“Leyland (a further 15 points behind Fleetwood in third place) are a very solid side, while Fleetwood have an outstanding professional in Travis Dean who will have left the club by the time we face them.”

Blackpool will soon be addressing the situation regarding the future of their own professional Daryl Mitchell, the New Zealander having impressed on and off the field in his first season at Stanley Park.

Cresswell said: “We will be having a conversation about that at our next committee meeting.

“Daryl has proved very helpful to senior and junior players alike.

“We will speak to him about what his own plans are for the future but from our point of view we would be keen that he stayed at Blackpool.”

Fleetwood Cricket Club have snapped up South African Daryn Smit as their substitute professional to fill the gap left by Travis Dean, writes STEVE SIMPSON.

Australian Dean leaves Broadwater after this weekend’s matches.

Fleetwood are hoping the highly-regarded Smit will help boost their challenge for the Northern Premier League title.

Smit, a batsman who also bowls leg-spin, has helped Ramsbottom to the summit of the Lancashire League.

Fleetwood captain Mat Clark said: “We have signed him for three games. He is the best professional in the Lancashire League.”

Fleetwood are hoping that Dean goes out in style in the weekend double-header against Penrith (away) tomorrow and at home to Leyland on Sunday.

Clark said: “Travis has done well for us, though he has had a bit of fallow period lately, so we hope he will go out with a bang this weekend.

“We can’t afford to lose any more matches and so we need to keep winning and hopefully go above Blackpool in the table.”

Fleetwood go into the weekend’s matches buoyed by an excellent effort to reach the North West finals of the English Cricket Board national knockout, only to lose to Norden in the rain-affected decider on run-rate.

Fleetwood staged the regional finals, beating Ormskirk in the semi-final by three runs – their 173-3 played 170-7 – in an exciting contest that went down to the wire.

Clark said: “It was probably the best cricket we have played in my time as Fleetwood’s captain against the best club team in Lancashire.”

Norden made 192-5 before rain hit Fleetwood’s reply.