Lytham so close to title

The ball flies to Guy Roberts at first slip to dismiss Northern's Paul Park
The ball flies to Guy Roberts at first slip to dismiss Northern's Paul Park
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LYTHAM CC could be celebrating another Liverpool Competition title this evening after tightening their grip on the ECB premier league with Saturday’s two-wicket win over second-placed Northern.

Antony Mulligan’s side extended their lead to 70 points with four matches to play after winning this low-scoring top-of-the-table clash, meaning victory at home to Maghull today will secure the title provided Northern don’t match their result at home to Ormskirk

Northern won the toss but their decision to bat on a wet surface backfired at they laboured to 100-9 from 45.1 overs.

Having lost Benjamin Lucas without a run on the board, Northern were soon in desperate trouble at 13-3.

And although top scorer Thomas Bailey (25) and captain James Cole (18) led a mini-revival, Ben Saunders proved virtually unplayable as his nine overs went for just nine runs and he took three wickets.

There were two victims apiece for Sam Holliday and George Linde.

It was far from plain sailing for Lytham in reply, but opener Nick Knight saw the hosts home with an unbeaten 44 as wickets fell around him.

South African professional Linde was the second-highest scorer with 13 as Tomas Sephton took 3-24 from 20 overs and Lucas 3-17 off his eight.

Indeed, when Joe Davies was the sixth Lytham wicket to go down with 36 still needed for victory, the Crosby side may have looked slight favourites.

But Knight kept his composure, batting out 126 balls and hitting three boundaries to see his side home in 43.4 overs.

Virtually the entire Northern Premier League and Palace Shield programmes were wiped out by Saturday’s downpours, but unfortunately for Fleetwood the only match to survive was the one involving their title rivals Barrow and Kendal.

Fleetwood boss Matt Clark would have settled for the result, though, as leaders Barrow were left to cling on for a draw at 54-4, chasing Kendal’s 144-8.

It means Fleetwood only find themselves eight points in arrears with three matches still to play, though they have no fixture today and Barrow will be determined to stretch their lead at Carnforth.

Fleetwood could find themselves third by this evening, if Kendal win at Netherfield.

St Annes play Blackpool in a Fylde coast derby.