It’s not often that the headlines in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield are grabbed by a game in division six but that was the case on Saturday, when Derek Tucker of Kirkham and Wesham Seconds smashed the competition’s batting record with his 218 away to Tarleton Thirds.
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The wicketkeeping opener fired 20 fours and 16 sixes and retired after facing 139 balls, paving the way for K&W’s mammoth 243-run victory in a battle of the top two which was expected to be a close contest.
Tucker, who has played for the Woodlands Avenue club for two decades and has hit 15 previous centuries, shared in an opening stand of 182 with Anthony Harrison.
His side declared at 311-3 after 43 overs before they dismissed Tarleton for just 68. On another day, Thanesh Vijay’s 8-32 from 14.1 overs would have been the star contribution for the new leaders.
Batsman of the day in the premier division was Great Eccleston’s Will Thistlethwaite with an unbeaten 100 in his side’s high-scoring derby win over South Shore.
Opener Thistlethwaite hit 17 boundaries and put on 133 for the third wicket with Adam Green as 454 runs were scored in a match Great Ecc won by six wickets.
This third win of the season propels them from second-bottom into the top half of the table.
In a real snakes-and-ladders league, Thornton Cleveleys drop four to ninth after their defeat at leaders Croston as the top three all won.
There are no unbeaten clubs left in the top two flights after division 1A leaders Standish lost at home to Mawdesley.
Second-placed Freckleton couldn’t take advantage, though, as they became the first team this season to lose to Norcross.
Kirkham and Wesham couldn’t match their feats of their seconds but victory over Tarleton did lift them into the top four at the expense of Fylde, whose defeat by Rufford sent them down three spots to sixth.
Premier division: Croston (130-1, I Dickinson 63no, S Langton 41no) beat Thornton Cleveleys (128, C McIlveen 4-35, S March 3-35) by nine wickets, Great Eccleston (229-4, W Thistlethwaite 100no, A Green 64, D Khan 3-38) beat South Shore (225-7, T Davis 54, R Adderley 42no, D Jardine 40, M Moat 3-40, J Jeffries 3-41) by six wickets, Kendal (133-8) lost to Penwortham (133-7) by three wickets, Lancaster (169-9) beat Vernon Carus (86) by 83 runs, Longridge (116-6) beat Eccleston (111) by four wickets, Torrisholme (140-9) lost to New Longton (244-7) by 104 runs)
Division 1A: BAC/EE Preston (193-6) beat Withnell Fold (192-6) by four wickets, Fylde (153, D Hodge 4-38) lost to Rufford (154-4, R Kenny 53) by six wickets, Hoghton (211-4) beat Grimsargh (206) by five runs, Kirkham and Wesham (119-1, S Wright 70no) beat Tarleton (117, M Grimes 46, A Wilson 5-23, J Butcher 3-23) by nine wickets, Norcross (121-6) beat Freckleton (118) by four wickets, Standish (115) lost to Mawdesley (130) by 15 runs.
South Shore will be at home to Torrisholme in the quarter-finals of the Meyler Cup in three weeks thanks to a six-wicket win over Great Eccleston yesterday. Thornton Cleveleys bowed out by seven wickets at Kendal, who were left to chase a reduced target after 17 overs were lost to rain.
Meyler Cup round one: BAC/EE Preston (164-6) beat Standish (147) by 17 runs, Eccleston (149) lost to Longridge (177) by 28 runs, Kendal (89-3 revised target, S Bariwala 47no) beat Thornton Cleveleys (134-6, D Howard 56) by seven wickets, Penwortham (235-6) beat Vernon Carus (233-8) by four wickets, South Shore (170-4, D Jardine 64) beat Great Eccleston (166, R Swale 31, A Perera 3-29) by six wickets, Tarleton (195-8) lost to Torrisholme (196-1) by nine wickets