Fylde coast cricket review: Northern League, Lytham, Palace Shield

Lytham restricted England's Haseeb Hameed to 17
Lytham restricted England's Haseeb Hameed to 17

Blackpool and St Annes were winners in the Northern Premier League but both look to be battling for runners-up spot behind runaway leaders Netherfield.

Blackpool are just three points behind second-placed Chorley after their 71-run win over Preston at Stanley Park.

With Ben Howarth captaining the side and Grant Thomson as guest professional, Blackpool were put in and reached 194-9, opener Mat Houston the top scorer with 34.

At 121-4 a bigger total looked possible but Jitendra Kumar’s 4-53 from 14 overs slowed them down. Preston opener Geeth Malindad gave the reply impetus with eight fours in his 50, but after putting on 42 for their first wicket the visitors slumped to 88-8 and were dismissed for 123 with two balls left, Tom Jefferson taking 4-40.

Australian pro Nick Benton dominated Penrith’s 33-run win at Fleetwood, who lost sixth place to the visitors.

Benton made 76 from 100 balls in Penrith’s 233 after being put in at Broadwater. Fleetwood pro Neils Bergh needs one more wicket for 50 after his 4-80 from 17 overs.

Benton’s 7-38 then kept Penrith on top as Fleetwood were dismissed for exactly 200 despite Jarrod Coombe’s 59 (eight fours) and Tom Wilson’s 47.

St Annes remain a point behind Blackpool in fourth after their four-wicket win at Morecambe.

The league’s top wicket-taker Matt Grindley now has 60 first-division victims to his name after his sixth five-wicket haul of the season (for 28 off 17 overs) helped dismiss the hosts for 109 with two balls left.

Morecambe reached 39-1 after being put in at Woodhill Green but fell to 59-5 and couldn’t recover, despite Ryan Pearson’s 45.

St Annes’ batsmen were also in trouble at 13-3 but Richard Staines saw them to victory at 111-6 in 28.5 overs with an unbeaten 34, despite Izhar Ullah’s 3-28.

However, Netherfield’s seven-wicket win in their top-two clash with Chorley left the Cumbrians 48 points clear at the top with five to play.

Lytham at least ended their six-match losing run by holding on for a draw at home to Formby in a Liverpool Competition clash with an intriguing subplot as Lancashire’sHaseeb Hameed took on his county captain Steven Croft.

After the visitors chose to bat at Church Road, Lytham captain Danny Edwards had England batsman Hameed caught for 17 on his way to 3-62 as Formby slumped from 76-1 to 95-6. But then a stand of 69 between Ajmal Shahzad (46) and Ollie Sutton (31) enabled them to declare at 205-8.

Croft then made 27 but the Lytham reply looked doomed at 48-5 only for an unbroken stand of 66 between Ryan Maddock (36) and Anthony Mulligan (25) to secure the eighth-placed side an ECB premier league draw at 114-5.

A big weekend in the Palace Shield title race saw the top four in the premier division play each other.

Garstang won the battle of the top two against Fulwood and Broughton by 14 runs to open up a nine-point lead over them with five to play.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier division: Croston (61-4) beat Rufford (60) by six wickets, Freckleton (93, J Richardson 31, M Imran-Sadiq 3-9, M Rigby 3-34) lost to Great Eccleson (171, M Imran-Sadiq 44, M Moat 40, A Hogarth 5-32, J Holland 4-34) by 78 runs, Garstang (180-9, Mi Walling 70, J Fenton 4-30) beat Fulwood and Broughton (166-8, M Smith 52, Mi Walling 4-11) by 14 runs, Penwortham(161) lost to Eccleston (195-9) by 34 runs, Thornton Cleveleys (190-8,J Sackfield 64, J Eade 60, D Woods 4-48 ) lost to Torrisholme (192-9, C Parry 46, O Vincent 3-13, J Sackfield 3-22) by two runs, Vernon Carus (159-6) beat Longridge (84) by 75 runs.

Division One: Fulwood and Broughton 2 (178-6) beat Garstang 2 (75) by 103 runs, Fylde (235-5, S Davies 68, J Hamnett 43, E Bajiwala 4-82) beat White Coppice (71, A Moore 40, B Anderson 5-25) by 164 runs, Hoghton (121, P Richardson 34, M Hall 3-38) lost to South Shore (151, D Jardine 64, R Shahid 7-28) by 30 runs, Longridge 2 (171-4) beat Vernon Carus 2 (167-9) by six wickets, New Longton (130-2) beat Whittingham and Goosnargh (127) by eight wickets, Norcross (86) lost to Withnell Fold (87-7, G Sharples 4-21) by three wickets.

Division Two: Mawdesley (141-6, C Gibirdi 44) beat Wrea Green (137, S Laycock 37, N Trengove 3-20, P Caunce 3-36) by four wickets, Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods (57, S Oldfield 5-21, A Wilson 3-20) lost to Kirkham and Wesham (80, J Hogarth 39, T Markham 5-25) by 23 runs.