Lytham CC have strengthened this year and have won their last three in the Liverpool Competition but stand only seventh, which captain Danny Edwards says shows the quality of this ECB premier league.
The spinner told The Gazette: “The league gets better every year. The wickets are so good on Merseyside it attracts the best players and a lot of county second XI players.”
Even so, Lytham have been holding their own, though their improvement will be tested at second-placed Bootle tomorrow. “We’re still quite a new team but players are growing more confident and getting to know their roles,” added the captain.
Edwards has played his part with 39 wickets so far and highlighted the progress of all-rounder Ryan Maddock and opener Taylor Cornall, who scored a career-best 136 not out last Saturday at Ainsdale.
“Taylor is a cut above,” added Edwards. “He looked as good as Ainsdale’s pro (Faiz Fazal), who has played for India A.”
Cornall was missing for Sunday’s Ray Digman Trophy defeat at Northern, a disappointment for Lytham who are targeting the cups. Edwards explained: “We’re mid-table in the league. We aren’t going to win it and we won’t go down, so there is a big focus now on the LCB Knockout (Lytham head to Egerton in the third round on Sunday week).”
The skipper hopes Lytham will be able to call on star signing Steven Croft “three or four” more times this season. County commitments have restricted the Lancashire captain to one appearance to date.
The only Northern Premier League action on the Fylde coast tomorrow is at St Annes, who aim to bounce back against Barrow after losing three times in two days last weekend. Their league loss to new leaders Netherfield was followed by Sunday’s twenty20 double defeat at Vernon Road. Matt Grindley’s side can’t now qualify from south division one after losing all three games to Blackpool (twice) and Fleetwood.
Fleetwood bid for a fourth straight league win at Preston tomorrow and deposed leaders Blackpool visit Chorley.
Derby action in the Palace Shield sees leaders Garstang visit Great Eccleston. Garstang top the premier division by a single point from Longridge and the top two go head to head on Sunday in the Meyler Cup quarter-finals.
Northern Premier League
Division One: Chorley v Blackpool, Kendal v Penrith, Leyland v Lancaster, Netherfield v Morecambe, Preston v Fleetwood, St Annes v Barrow
Liverpool Competition ECB premier league: Bootle v Lytham
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier division: Croston v Eccleston, Freckleton v Fulwood and Broughton, Great Eccleston v Garstang, Rufford v Penwortham, Thornton Cleveleys v Longridge, Torrisholme v Vernon Carus
Division One: Fulwood and Broughton 2 v White Coppice, Garstang 2 v Fylde, Longridge 2 v Withnell Fold, New Longton v South Shore, Vernon Carus 2 v Norcross, Whittingham and Goosnargh v Hoghton
Division Two: Walton-le-Dale v Kirkham and Wesham, Wrea Green v Gregson Lane
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Meyler Cup: Longridge v Garstang, Thornton Cleveleys v Torrisholme