JEKYLL and Hyde Blackpool CC are making short work of Twenty20 this season but are struggling in the longer games.
A four-wicket win over Fleetwood saw them become the first side to qualify for finals day in the Northern Premier League’s Jamie Heywood T20 but a heavy home defeat by second-placed Leyland the following day left Paul Danson’s side in the bottom half of the division one table.
Blackpool’s third successive T20 victory saw them reach finals days for the third time in four seasons.
Fleetwood recovered from 56-6 to set a target of 109-9 as Adam Sharrocks (25), Adam Parker (24) and Neil Jackson (19) all made useful contributions.
Blackpool pro Con de Lange was the leading wicket-taker with 3-14 and Steven Mercer bagged 2-20.
After losing John Mounsey and De Lange early in their reply, Blackpool were indebted to Michael Moore (26 off 38 balls) and Craig Brown (35 off 37 balls).
Prashant Aga hit 18 and Richard Gleeson was 12 not out as Blackpool reached their target with nine balls in hand, Parker taking 2-14.Blackpool’s likeliest semi-final opponents are Darwen, who recorded a fifth straight win with a 60-run success against Chorley.
Following their derby defeat by St Annes in their previous 50-over match, Blackpool saw Saturday’s visitors Leyland pile on an imposing total of 256-3,with Luis Reece (67), Adam Coates (67) and pro Brett Pelser (74) all in fine form.
Blackpool then subsided to 132 all out, though opener Alex Smith (46) did his utmost to hold the innings together. James Rounding took 4-12 and South African Pelser completed another excellent all-round contribution with 3-40.
Leyland’s victory kept the pressure on St Annes at the top, but Andrew Kellett’s side maintained their 15-point lead with a thrilling 17-run victory at Kendal.
After being invited to bat at Shap Road, St Annes struggled to reach 166 with wicketkeeper Duncan Whalley (26) the top contributor.
St Annes pro Dinuka Hetteriachchi then took over. Having taken seven wickets in each of his previous two matches, the Sri Lankan bowled 24 overs and took 4-43 to turn the match St Annes’ way.
Skipper Kellett took a stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Kiwi international Jamie How off Willis for 46. Kendal threw away their winning chances as Nick Lewthwaite and Parkin were unnecessarily run out.
When Jack White was caught by Jake Sunderland off Hettiarachchi for 21 on the long on boundary, it was left to the last pair to bat out the final two overs for a draw.
But last man Mark Williams was bowled by Matt Grindley off the first ball of the 49th over as Kendal finished 149 all out.
Fleetwood almost bounced back from Friday’s derby defeat with a home win over Barrow which would have lifted them off the bottom, but they had to settle for a draw after falling three short.
Pieter Malan didn’t deserve to finish a loser after hitting an unbeaten 117, including 13 fours and a six, in his side’s 212-5. Skipper Chris D’Leny made 43 off 48 balls.
Despite Adam Parker hitting nine fours in his 75 off 108 balls, Fleetwood finished just short on 209-8 as the visitors had the better of the draw.
In division two, Blackpool lost all ten wickets for 43 as defending champions and league leaders Leyland beat them by 15 runs.
Leyland’s total of 103 looked nowhere near enough as Blackpool began their reply with a partnership of 45, but then the wickets tumbled (Stephen Pallett 4-15, Stephen Cartwright 3-13).
St Annes managed to tie with Kendal at Vernon Road despite the visitors putting on 179 for the opening wicket before posting 261-9.
Nathan Evans made 85 and Adam Taylor 58 as St Annes squared the match but they were denied victory when last-man Ian Baldwin became Andrew Dugdale’s sixth victim with three balls remaining.
Barrow were four-wicket home winners over Fleetwood, whose skipper Wayne Clarke struck 68 in their total of 180 (Glen Kermode 5-17).