Cricket round-up: Blackpool capitalise on St Annes' slip
Josh Boyne was Blackpool's all-round hero in the seven-wicket win at Preston which left them 12 points clear at the top of the Northern Premier League after St Annes suffered their first defeat of the campaign at Morecambe.
Fleetwood climbed into the first division’s top four as an unbeaten century by professional Neels Bergh guided them to a three-wicket win at Penrith on a day the three Fylde coast clubs were all away.
Blackpool are now the last unbeaten club in the NPL after inflicting an eighth straight defeat on hapless bottom club Preston with minimum fuss.
Boyne claimed 4-17 as the hosts chose to bat at West Cliff and were dismissed for 117 in 40 overs.
Captain Jitendra Kumar with 28 was the best of only three home players to reach double figures.
After Blackpool pro Jovaun van Wyngaardt had bowled both openers with the total on seven, Kumar spearheaded a recovery until Preston slumped from 94-3 to 117 all out, the final six men in managing only 15 between them. Matthew Siddall took 3-31 from his 12 overs.
That left Blackpool with 60 overs to reach their modest total but they needed only 24 as Boyne scored an unbeaten 54 from 60 balls, hitting nine fours and sharing an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 69 with Andy Furniss (23).
Boyne’s fifth half-century of the season left him averaging almost 52 in the league.
Fleetwood also won on the road to struggling hosts but in a far closer, high-scoring contest.
Penrith chose to bat at Tynefield Park and reached 244 all out with three balls remaining despite Joe Bell’s 4-45 from 10 overs.
The early inroads had been made by Sam Bell, who dismissed three of the top four on his way to 3-51 from 15 overs.
However, Penrith recovered from 16-3 with three successive half-century stands. Two of these involved top-scorer Greg Cameron, whose 64 from 80 balls included 10 fours.
Cameron put on 64 for the fifth wicket with captain Jonathan Osborne (39), who then shared in a 52-run stand with Greg Hall.
Hall scored 62 from 44 balls, his 50 coming from just 31. Forty-four of those runs came in boundaries with eight fours and two sixes.
A rain stoppage saw Fleetwood’s target reduced to 235 from 46 overs and they achieved this with 2.1 to spare thanks largely to South African Bergh, whose unbeaten 107 from 86 deliveries featured 15 fours.
Coming in at 55-2, the pro soon lost captain Dean Bell but then shared in stands of 63 with Liam Castellas and 61 with Adam Sharrocks to leave victory in Fleetwood’s sights at 181-5.
Bergh scored his first 50 in 44 balls and his second in 39 for his best total of the season and his second century for the club as the visitors triumphed at 235-7 despite Ashwin Hebbar’s three run-outs.
Fleetwood climb to fourth spot in place of Garstang, who lost by 17 runs at Barrow and drop two spots.
Another close encounter came at Morecambe, where St Annes lost by seven runs and former Lytham captain Danny Edwards’ 4-42 from 17 overs was perhaps the decisive contribution.
After the hosts chose to bat at Woodhill Lane, St Annes would have been satisfield to dismiss them for 162 with one delivery left.
Luke Johgwe led the way with 59 from 80 balls but was one of three victims for Mohamed Nadeem (for 42 off 13.5 overs).
The tide seemed to have turned in St Annes’ favour as 87-3 became 90-6, and Morcambe managed to scored just one run for their final three wickets.
However, St Annes’ hopes were crushed with a collapse from 89-2 to 111-7 and they were all out for 155 in 47.2 overs, Zac Buchanan supporting Edwards well with 3-40 from 15 overs.
Jamar Ifill’s 61 was the best knock of the game and he put on 52 for the second wicket with St Annes captain Nathan Armstrong, though no-one else managed more than 12 until a late unbeaten 21 from Thomas Bradley.
Wicketkeeper Reuben Orr removed all of the top three with two stumpings and a catch to help Morecambe climb a place to fifth.
St Annes stay second but are now only a point clear of Netherfield following the champions’ five-wicket win over fast-falling Chorley.
Sunday saw Blackpool beaten by Liverpool and District Competition club Northern in their Lancashire Knockout Cup tie at Stanley Park.
They went down by 91 runs as they were restricted to 187-9 chasing their visitors’ 278-6.
After choosing to bat first, Northern saw their top order do the damage.
Hayden McCrae made 30 and Chris Brownlow was 41 not out but the real stars of the show were McCrae’s opening partner Liam Grey (95) and Chris Laker (63).
Matthew Siddall led Blackpool’s attack with 3-61 from nine overs but a target of 279 always looked a tough ask.
So it proved as, despite 69 from opener Ciaran Johnson, Blackpool fell well short.