VIDEO: NPL shock as Fleetwood flop at Darwen in shock of the day

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Fleetwood’s title defence suffered a setback with a 92-run defeat at Darwen on a day two of the Fylde coast’s Northern Premier League clubs were dismissed for double-figures.

Darwen’s Chris Wade took a hat-trick as the champions were dismissed in 25 overs chasing 191-9 at Birch Hall.

Kev Whitsey for Freckleton

Kev Whitsey for Freckleton

One Fleetwood player exempt from criticism is professional Ian Holland, whose 60 (10 fours) was the top score of the match after he had taken 4-46 from 13 overs.

However, only one other batsman reached double figures for the visitors, who were soon in peril at 4-2. Their last seven men in mustered just 12 between them as Wade finished with 4-23 from five overs and Neil Cordingley 3-38 off seven. John Cordingley top-scored for Darwen with 58.

Blackpool’s batting was even worse as they were dismissed for 85 at Lancaster, who leapfrog Fleetwood into third place. However, the Broadwater club are still only 19 points behind leaders Barrow with a game in hand.

Blackpool lost by 83 runs at Lune Road chasing 168. The hosts were all out with five balls remaining after opener Alex Metcalfe (41) and Jannisar Khan (51) put on a second-wicket stand which matched the visitors’ total.

Ash Moreau gave Blackpool hope with 6-48 from 15.1 overs but their reply was soon in dire straits as the top four managed only 14. Professional Richard Gleeson showed them how to do it with 31 off 30 balls before Blackpool lost their last six wickets for 10 runs.

Benn Simm bowled unchanged for a superb 8-24 from 14.5 overs as Blackpool were dismissed with more than 20 overs remaining.

St Annes had no batting problems at Kendal but had to settle for a winning draw after setting a target of 239-8.

Opener Lukman Vahaluwala returned to form with 65 but was outscored in a third-wicket stand of 88 by Nathan Armstong, who went on to compile 80 from 86 balls with 14 fours. Adil Raza took 3-42 and Chris Miller 3-60.

The hosts then made 65 for the first wicket but stumbled to 81-4. Terry Hunte held them together with 51 as the innings closed on 188-7. Matthew Grindley was the pick of the attack with 3-29 from 10 overs, while professional Toby Bulcock took 3-53 from 19.

Lytham needed a confidence-boosting victory to kickstart their Liverpool Competition defence and they got one with a 10-wicket demolition of bottom club Hightown.

The hosts were soon regretting their decision to bat as Fayaz Ughradar dismissed their top four batsmen with just a single between them. Kris Jones (33) led the recovery from 7-4 but it took 46 from the final pair to boost the total to 129 from 41.4 overs. Ughradar finished with 4-16 from eight overs. Openers Will Hale and Alexander Davies then saw the visitors home in just 17.5 overs. Lancashire’s Davies made 71 off 51 balls, including nine fours and five sixes. Hill hit 10 fours and two sixes in his run-a-ball 57.

n Freckleton, topplers of leaders Vernon Carus the previous weekend, maintained their form in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield with a nailbiting two-wicket home win over Fulwood and Broughton.

Jonathan Millward’s 5-14 helped dismiss the visitors for 74 but the Bush Lane club lost eight wickets in reply and had wicketkeeper James Whithead’s unbeaten 31 to thank for their victory.

Also in the premier division, Great Eccleston won the Fylde coast derby at Thornton Cleveleys by three wickets. Mohammed Nadeem’s 4-46 helped restrict the hosts to 160-9 before Adam Green’s 52 saw Ecc home. Fylde went down by 50 runs at home to second-placed Penwortham. Chasing 216-7 (Ryan Maddock 80 not out), Fylde put on 65 for the final wicket after Paul Willis opened with 41.

Garstang demolished visitors Hoghton by 122 runs after skipper Michael Walling scored 80 and Mark Winstanley 48 in 221-6. Jim Procter weighted in with 6-33 as Hoghton succumbed for 89.

South Shore lost by five wickets to Penwortham Seconds in division one after setting a target of 153 (Luke Jardine 72, Matt Cowburn 3-67). Kirkham and Wesham won the division two derby at Wrea Green by eight wickets chasing 152-7 (Timothy Phillips 80 not out) as Michael Brooks made 67 and Derek Tucker 54.