Fylde coast cricket preview: Grindley leaves St Annes home of 20 years for Blackpool challenge

Matt Grindley
Matt Grindley

One of the major close-season coups of the Fylde coast cricket scene flew under the radar but Matt Grindley ensured his switch from St Annes to Blackpool made a splash were it matters – on the pitch.

Ex-St Annes skipper Grindley says he wanted a new challenge hence the short move from Vernon Road to their nearest Northern League rivals.

And he certainly picked up where he left off with four wickets on debut in the opening-day win over Barrow, adding another wicket in the following day’s National Knockout victory over Longridge.

Now Grindley is preparing for new opposition with a trip to newly promoted Fulwood and Broughton tomorrow.

Explaining his move away from the club where he spent the last two decades, Grindley told The Gazette: “Nobody really made a big deal about it, which helped me settle in at Blackpool and get on with it.

“I’d been at St Annes for 20 years and I thought if there is a time for a change it is now.

“I’d moved home to Thornton and I think that if I did not change club now I never would have done. It is a different challenge and something new.

“I know a few of the Blackpool lads really well and so far it’s been a nice fit.”

Grindley and Blackpool break new ground tomorrow with a visit to promoted Palace Shield runners-up Fulwood and Broughton.

This will be the teams’ first league meeting and Grindley is not taking the opposition lightly. He said: “It will be another difficult challenge.

“They will want to get a first win under their belts and everyone is taking the Palace Shield sides seriously. It will be tough.”

After all the Fylde coast’s Northern Premier League sides were at home on the opening weekend, they all hit the road tomorrow, as do the coast’s Palace Shield premier division teams.

St Annes face the daunting trip to champions Netherfield, who were held to a draw at Fleetwood last Saturday.

Rainhill are the season’s first visitors to Lytham’s Church Road in the Liverpool Competition.

FIXTURES

Northern Premier Cricket League first division: Barrow v Chorley, Fulwood and Broughton v Blackpool, Morecambe v Garstang, Netherfield v St Annes, Penrith v Leyland, Preston v Fleetwood.

Liverpool Competition ECB Premier League: Lytham v Rainhill

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division: Eccleston v Thornton Cleveleys, Kendal v New Longton, Lancaster v Croston, Longridge v Torrisholme, Penwortham v Great Eccleston, Vernon Carus v South Shore

Division 1A: Freckleton v Tarleton, Fylde v Withnell Fold, Grimsargh v Mawdesley, Hoghton v Kirkham and Wesham, Norcross v BAC/EE Preston, Rufford v Standish