Blackpool’s victory over Barrow saw them leapfrog Fleetwood to go third in the Northern Premier League, while St Annes celebrated only their second first division victory of the season at Netherfield.
Eight wickets from strike bowler Richard Gleeson helped Blackpool record a 66-run victory over the Cumbrians at Stanley Park, displacing a Fleetwood side held to a draw by Leyland in a nailbiting run-fest.
Blackpool’s decision to bat looked like it may backfire as they stood precariously at 30-3, captain Paul Danson again batting down the order.
But then Stephen Twist came to the crease to score 78 from 91 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, and share a fourth-wicket stand of 93 with Alex Smith (38) which put the innings back on track despite Daryl Wearing’s four for 44.
Blackpool had been unable to secure a guest professional to stand in for the suspended Christi Viljoen, but his pace bowling partner Gleeson stepped up to the plate with a season’s best eight for 61 from Gleeson, his fourth five-wicket haul of the season taking his tally of victims for 2015 to 67.
Gleeson dismissed all the top four, including top scorer Sam Dutton caught and bowled for 38, as Barrow were dismissed for 130 in 37 overs.
Fleetwood fell 10 runs short of victory in a high-scoring Broadwater thriller which featured three centuries.
Having been put in to bat, Leyland scored two of them as Lancashire’s Luis Reece struck 113 from 140 balls (14 fours) in an opening partnership of 79 with Chris Parkinson (34)
Reece was then joined by Richard Frenz for a second-wicket stand of 189, in which the wicketkeeper fired an unbeaten 119 from 104 balls, with 72 runs in boundaries (15 fours, two sixes).
Leyland closed on 273-2 before Fleetwood professional Dave King set about the run chase in earnest.
The Australian’s fourth century of the season took him past a thousand runs for the campaign at an average of almost 64.
The opener made 101 from 147 balls (12 fours and a six) before falling to David Makinson, who took all the top three on his way to figures of three for 96 from 15 overs.
King’s fellow Aussie Ian Holland passed 50 for the third time before being run out for 69 and opener Adam Parker made 46 but Fleetwood fell just short at 263-7 and so had to settle for a losing draw.
Fleetwood are now seven points behind Blackpool, who have closed the gap on leaders Morcambe (seven-wicket winners over Chorley) to 12 points.
Darwen stay second after beating Lancaster by 50 runs.
St Annes’ first win since April was achieved by a convincing margin of 73 runs after they were put in at Netherfield and reached 218-9.
Matthew Taaffe was the only member of the top five to reach double figures and the visitors were in desperate trouble at 29 for five. Adam Holt, skippering the side in Andy Kellett’s absence, was among the casualties
But then Taaffe was joined by Geeth Kamburugamuwe, who top-scored with 70 in a sixth-wicket stand of 96.
Taaffe went on to a season’s best 69 from 123 balls, sharing a further stand of 60 for the sixth wicket with Thomas Bradley (21). Nathan Chambers took 4-64 from 11 overs.
St Annes then had their hosts in desperate trouble at 78-6, and despite a defiant stand for 54 for the eighth wicket between Chambers and top scorer Dieter Klein, Netherfield were all out for 145 with over 10 overs remaining.
Klein scored 76 from 94 balls at number four, though none of his team-mates topped 20 and seven failed to reach double figures.
Three run-outs didn’t help Netherfield’s cause, while there were three wickets apiece for Matthew Grindley and professional Xander Pitchers for second-bottom St Annes.
Lytham couldn’t claim the prized scalp of Liverpool Competition leaders New Brighton despite dismissing them for 156 at Church Road.
The ECB premier league top dogs recorded a 25-run victory as the hosts’ last eight wickets fell for 38 runs.
Having been put in, the Wirral side recovered from 68-5 to reach 156 in 54.5 overs.
The innings was rescued by a sixth-wicket stand of 61 between top-scoring wicketkeeper Upal Fernando (50 from 71 balls) and John While (16).
But after reaching 129-5, New Brighton could add only 27 as Anthony Mulligan took three for 35 from 16.5 overs.
Lytham looked to have a fine chance of topping their target as opener Will Hale shared a second-wicket stand of 65 with Australian Dominic O’Brien (18) on his way to 82 from 111 balls (13 fours).
But after Hale was fifth out with the score at 119, Lytham quickly collapsed to 131 all out in 39.3 overs, Ashraf Nawab finishing with 5-43 from 15.3 overs and David While 4-28 off 12.
The defeat sees Lytham slip to eighth, 90 points behind a New Brighton side embroiled in a two-horse title race with Ormskirk.
Garstang retained their one-point lead from Great Eccleston at the summit of the Palace Shield after convincing victories for both clubs, though Freckleton drop to fourth after their defeat at Fulwood and Broughton, who have overtaken both Thornton Cleveleys and Fylde in the premier division.
There were precious wins for both Kirkham & Wesham and Wrea Green in their battles at the bottom of division one.
K&W are now a point above the drop zone and their south Fylde neighbours.
South Shore lost division two’s second v third match against Rufford and are now eight points behind leaders Garstang Seconds, who dismissed Gregson Lane for 83 and won by five wickets.
Premier Division: BAC/EE Preston (165-4) beat Penwortham (164-7) by six wickets, Fulwood & Broughton (176-5, C Rossiter 70no, A Petel 53no) beat Freckleton (175-9, J Hogarth 43, J Fiddler 42, U Sadaqat 4-50) by five wickets, Garstang 113-2 (Booker 4-7) beat Fylde (110) by eight wickets, Great Eccleston (275-5, M Nadeem 102, J Thistlethwaite 72, A Patel 45) beat Croston (210, S Marsh 61, M Nadeem 5-43, J Proctor 3-42) by 65 runs, Longridge (249-6, J Whitehead 82, L Platt 46) beat Thornton Cleveleys (169, I Simpson 5-41) by 80 runs, Vernon Carus (264-7, J Duerden 90no) beat Hoghton (79) by 185 runs.
Division One: Kirkham & Wesham (177-9, I Patel 58) beat Eccleston 152 (J Maitland 55, T Wilkinson 43, AHarrison 4-20, I Patel 3-43) by 26 runs, Norcross (128, R Blampied 31) lost to Longridge (131--4, I Barton 53no, N Wilkinson 49no) by six wickets, Withnell Fold (185-6) lost to Wrea Green (189-7) by four runs.