New Fylde coast professionals showed their class as Blackpool maintained their winning start to the Northern Premier League season and Fleetwood won the first derby of 2017.
Blackpool’s Anurag Verma and Fleetwood’s Neels Bergh marked their home debuts in style with hard-hitting innings to help set targets which proved beyond Barrow and St Annes respectively.
In the Broadwater derby, St Annes were pleased with their decision to put the hosts in as they reduced Fleetwood to 47-5 but that brought former captain Mat Clark in to bat with South African Bergh for the first time.
Batting number four, the pro who had missed out in the opening-day defeat at Chorley scored an unbeaten 114 from 111 balls, including 15 fours and a six. He shared a sixth-wicket stand of 183 with Clark, whose 65 included seven fours as Fleetwood reached what had previously looked a highly unlikely 241-7, despite St Annes skipper Matt Grindley’s 3-66 from 17 overs.
It was enough for victory by 69 runs as St Annes were dismissed for 172 with almost seven overs remaining.
Still awaiting the arrival of their Indian professional Saurabh Bandekar, who has been grounded by visa delay, St Annes again enaged the South African Michael Erlank as sub-pro but he couldn’t repeat the heroics of the previous weekend’s thrashing of Lancaster.
Blackpool chose to bat against Barrow and hit the Cumbrians out of the game at Stanley Park as their 258-3 paved the way for a thumping 157-run win.
Verma, who also had his arrival delayed by paperwork and missed the previous weekend’s opening fixtures, made up for lost time with 77 from 70 balls batting number four, hitting nine fours and two sixes.
But the 26-year-old Kiwi, who plays first-class cricket for Wellington, was not Blackpool’s top scorer. That honour went to opener Ciaran Johnson with 89, featuring nine fours and a six from 132 balls faced.
Having shared in a second-wicket partnership of 60 with Tom Jefferson, Johnson put on exactly 100 with Verma, who then partnered Steven Twist in an unbroken stand of 65.
Barrow looked like making a game of it as Ryan Gilmour and captain Toby Mowat put on 77 for the first wicket.
But after seamer Verma had claimed his first Northern League wicket by bowling Gilmour for 39, the Cumbrians crumbled.
Declan Fisher claimed a remarkable five for eight from just four overs and Josh Boyne 3-20 off 11 as Barrow managed to add just 24 more runs before being all out for 101 with 18 overs remaining.
Barrow’s final six wickets went down for 10 runs and their bottom five managed just a single between them.
Opener Taylor Cornall’s best innings yet helped Lytham to secure heir first victory of the Liverpool Competition season by seven wickets at Colwyn Bay.
Chasing 190-9 in North Wales, Cornall shared in opening stand of 163 with Thomas Hessey (55) and went on to finish unbeaten on 111, hitting 17 fours in his first Lytham century.
The hosts, having been put in, were soon in dire peril at 2-3 before Jorge Johansen and captain Sion Morris put on 89 for the fourth wicket.
The skipper was dismissed for 49 but Johansen went on to reach 90 from 141 balls (14 fours), also putting on 51 for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Mike Littler.
Toby Lester started his Lytham season with 3-44 from 15 overs and captain Danny Edwards claimed 3-64 from 17 as Colwyn Bay declared at 190-9 after exactly 50 overs. It took Lytham three deliveries more to reach their target and get up and running in the ECB premier league.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield results
Premier Division: Croston (212-7) lost to Fulwood & Broughton (214-9) by one wicket, Freckleton (73, J Roebuck 6-17) lost to Penwortham (209-7, P Chapple 91, G Parkinson 41, J Holland 5-49) by 146 runs, Great Eccleston (129, A Green 43, I Simpson 3-21 ) lost to Longridge (130-2,L Platt 53no, J McDowall 46no) by eight wickets, Rufford (151) lost to Eccleston (219-9) by 68 runs, Thornton Cleveleys (130, J Eade 32, P Hayton 5-25, J Allen 4-34 ) lost to Vernon Carus 178 (D Fisher 57, A Brown 4-40) by 48 runs, Torrisholme (130, G Jennings 3-22 ) lost to Garstang (134-4, M Wellings 53no) by six wickets.
Division One: Fulwood & Broughton 2 (210) beat Hoghton (128) by 82runs, Garstang 2 (116-2, M Winstanley 54no, A Fletcher 41) beat Withnell Fold (115, MB Liaqat 4-31, T Winstanley 3-33) by eight wickets, Longridge 2 (168-3, J Fairclough 79no) beat Norcross (167-6, C Parker 59, D Wilson 3-26, D Patel 3-42) by seven wickets, New Longton (260-7) beat White Coppice (120) by 140 runs, South Shore (85-2, D Jardine 44no) beat Whittingham & Goosnargh (84, J Richardson 3-7, H Pazeer 3-18, M Hall 3-24) by eight wickets, Vernon Carus 2 (236-3, A Tate 137no, B Duerden 44no) beat Fylde (159, JSF Warnakulasooriya 49, R McCutcheon 4-24 ) by 77 runs.
Divison Two: Penwortham 2 (163, M Walmsley 68,J Hogarth 4-22) lost to Kirkham & Wesham (165-5, D Tucker 54, M Brooks 42) by five wickets, Wrea Green (191-9, J Tidmarsh 51, P Brook 3-41) beat Grimsargh (64, C Hedges 5-35, J Jones 4-10) by 127 runs