St Annes topped 200 at home to Netherfield but still couldn’t test the Northern Premier League leaders, who cruised to an eight-wicket win with a double-century stand.
It means the champions stay two points clear of Blackpool, who won by six wickets at home to struggling Fulwood and Broughton, while Fleetwood climbed back into the top half with an eight-wicket victory over winless bottom club Preston.
On a day all three Fylde coast clubs were at home the focus was on Vernon Road, where a St Annes win over Netherfield would have boosted Blackpool’s title hopes as well as their own. And Nathan Armstrong’s side gave themselves a chance by compiling 213-8 after choosing to bat.
Mainstays of the innings were number five Mohamed Nadeem with 54 and then Gurman Bains at seven with an unbeaten 50 from 54 balls, both hitting seven fours. There were three wickets apiece for both Harrison Cox and Robbie Dwyer.
Two early wickets then gave St Annes early hope, which was quickly dashed as Josh Huck and John Boyle came together to score 202 between them and steer Netherfield to 214-2 with six overs to spare.
Huck scored 104 from 121 deliveries and Boyle 91 from 120. Both struck 14 fours along the way, Huck adding three sixes in his first century of the season. Chorley’s surprise 24-run home defeat by Barrow means St Annes stay third, though they now trail the leaders by 37 points.
But Blackpool stay hot on Netherfield’s heels after Josh Boyne was the hero of a Stanley Park success which drops Fulwood and Broughton back into the bottom two.
Boyne took 3-18 from his 12.2 overs as F&B were dismissed for 103 with 2.4 overs remaining, then top-scored from 64 from 47 balls as Blackpool polished off the win in just 20 overs at 107-4.
All but six of Boyne’s runs came in boundaries, his sixth half-century of the season featuring 13 fours and a six. He put on 69 for the second wicket with debutant Syed Kazmi after Matt Houston was out without a run on the board.
Matt Siddall had supported Boyne well with the ball, taking 3-26 from 13 overs as the visitors chose to bat but could only manage a top score of 25 and a best partnership of 21.
The league’s top batsman Neels Bergh was at it again as Fleetwood eased past hapless Preston’s 176-8 with minimum fuss, reaching 178-2 in 26 overs.
All but eight of Fleetwood’s runs were scored in an unbroken third-wicket stand between professional Bergh and opener Damien Hutchinson, whose season’s best 69 came off 71 balls and included nine fours.
South African Bergh followed the previous weekend’s century against Netherfield with 87 from 62 balls, taking him past 800 runs for the season. Bergh hit 15 fours along the way and now averages 73.
Preston had chosen to bat, and after Sam Bell had removed their top four (finishing on 3-26 from 12 overs) the visitors reached a creditable total thanks to their sixth wicket pair of A Mahmood (52) and Harron Patel (43).
This at least secured two bonus points for Preston, boosting their paltry season’s total to seven, while Fleetwood leapfrog a Leyland side who lost by seven wickets at home to Penrith.
Fleetwood Cricket Club had to settle for runners-up spot in the Northern League’s Readers T20 competition, comprehensively beaten by Chorley in Sunday’s final.
Fleetwood chose to bat in the decider at Fulwood and Broughton CC but managed only 101, Chorley’s Gayan Maneeshan taking the key wicket of in-form fellow professional Neels Bergh to make it 55-6.
Chorley had barely used half their 20 overs when Edwin Moulton struck the winning boundary.
Fleetwood qualified for finals day by getting the better of Fylde coast rivals Blackpool and St Annes in their group, then they overcame hosts Fulwood and Broughton in the first semi-final.
Fleetwood chose to bat and their 224-5 proved too much for F&B . Bergh continued his fine form with 68 before being run out by Simon Kerrigan, while Adam Sharrocks added 52.
The second semi saw Chorley beat Netherfield by 35 runs, having set an imposing target of 201-9 (Alexander Howarth 56). The Cumbrians could only manage 116-8 in reply despite John Boyle’s 83.
Liverpool Competition leaders Ormskirk are the only team to have beaten improving Lytham in the last six games and the Church Road side brushed Wallasey aside by a 120-run margin on Saturday.
Lytham chose to bat and an opening stand of 93 between Taylor Cornall (76) and Josh Holden (39) laid the foundations for a declaration at 222-9 after 55 overs.
Neil Cross did his utmost to prevent the hosts getting out of sight with 7-77 from 23 overs.
Cornall passed 50 for the fourth time this season, striking seven fours in his 119-ball stay before being sixth out.
Skipper Ben Saunders then chipped in with 32 from 26 balls, putting on 50 for the seventh wicket with Anthony Mulligan.
The target was way beyond a Wallasey side dismissed for just 102 in 30.2 overs as Jack Saunders sent down just 20 balls but took three wickets, conceding only five runs. Josh Holden claimed 3-21 from seven overs.
Opener Chris Davies stuck around for 34, but by the time he was the eighth man out the Wirral side had only reached 88 and nobody else scored more than 13.
The result sees the teams swap places in the ECB premier league, Lytham jumping to fifth and Wallasey slipping to seventh.
Great Eccleston and Thornton Cleveleys both enjoyed a fourth win of the season in the premier division of the Palace Shield, though both remain in the bottom three.
Division 1A has new leaders in Mawdesley after Freckleton lost again to slip from first to fourth, just six points above a Fylde side who defeated bottom club Withnell Fold. Hoghton beat Kirkham and Wesham to go second.
Mooreand Smalley Palace Shield premier division: Croston 164 lost to Lancaster 184 by 20 runs, Great Eccleston 222-7 (W Thistlethwaite 71no, K Umerji 57, M Mohammed 49, N Patel 4-76 ) beat Penwortham 137 (J Aspden 45, N Patel 45, W Procter 3-23, J Whittle 3-26 ) by 85 runs, New Longton 158 lost to Kendal 159-6 by four wickets, South Shore 129 (N Bolus 56, J Duerden 6-31, H Geirnaert 3-14 ) lost to Vernon Carus 219-8 (C Ash 44,N Bolus 3-69 ) by 90 runs, Thornton Cleveleys 89-3 (J Eade 34no) beat Eccleston 88 (J Apperley 5-20, J Beech 3-27) by seven wickets.
Division 1A: BAC/EE Preston 107 (I Jangar 39, R Thomas 6-27) beat Norcross 85 (O Austin 3-17, S Vohra 3-19) by 22 runs, Kirkham and Wesham 131 (J Hogarth 47, A Badat 3-19) lost to Hoghton 132-8 (S Haydock 55no, J Butcher 5-32, B Rawcliffe 3-28) by two wickets, Mawdesley 200-7 beat Grimsargh 185 by 15 runs, Standish 197-7 lost to Rufford 198-5 by five wickets, Tarleton 115-8 (J Holland 3-34, A Hogarth 3-37) beat Freckleton 113 (W Saunders 3-38) by two wickets, Withnell Fold 196 (G Cooper 67no, A Ellison 4-52) lost to Fylde 198-5 (S Davies 60 no) by five wickets,