Rick can’t bowl but sure can bat

Richard Gleeson for Blackpool
Richard Gleeson for Blackpool
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Blackpool CC professional Richard Gleeson may be prevented from bowling by injury but the team’s top seamer inspired his side with his batting on Saturday.

However, Gleeson’s best ever innings in the Northern Premier League could not spare the Stanley Park Club from a five-wicket home defeat by Chorley on Saturday.

Gleeson struck his first ever Blackpool century, his 101 coming from 142 balls and including 13 fours after his side elected to bat.

Opening the innings, Gleeson could only watch, however, as much of his good early work was undone as the hosts lurched from 125-2 to 126-5.

However, by the time Gleeson was last man out they had recovered to 171-8, Iain Critchley taking 4-27 off 13 overs.

Chorley’s responded positively to seal victory with eight balls left, thanks largely to an unbeaten 60 from no.5 Gaurav Dhar, who shared in a fourth-wicket stand of 70 with Ian James Dickinson (42). Jamie Thomson bowled 12 balls and took 3-13.

Blackpool’s Reader Cup victory brought a welcome diversion from a miserable league season and they go into Saturday’s final game in the bottom three.

However, Paul Danson’s side will have a say in the destiny of the total as the final visitors to Stanley Park are Barrow, who edged two points clear at the top of a day they and title rivals Leyland both had to settle for winning draws.

A top-four finish is the best outgoing champions Fleetwood can now aim for and they clung on to the final Lancashire Cup place after having the better of a home draw with Morecambe.

Captain Mat Clark’s decision to bat first was quickly justified as Fleetwood powered to 230-5. Naveed Yousaf led the wasy with an unbeaten 84, his highest league score of the season, and shared in a fourth-wicket stand of 114 before Joe Bell was run out for 45.

Opener Adam Parker had earlier fired 63, with eight fours and two sixes, which leaves him 56 runs short of 1000 for the season.

Naveed’s 84 came off 81 balls and featured 12 fours and a six. Captain Clark then gave nine players a bowls in his bid to prise Chorley out. Joe Bell was the most effective, taking 3-33 from seven overs, but the visitors held on at 180-6. Chorley had looked in trouble at 23-3 but opener Josh Dixon steadied the ship with 53.

Like Fleetwood, St Annes were playing their final home match of the season and their slide into mid-table continued with a 13-run defeat against Darwen.

The visitors were put in and reached 196-8 with solid contributions from no.6 Chris Lowe (48) and John Cordingley (45), St Annes pro Toby Bulcock picking up some late wickets (3-38 off 14).

Nobody in the St Annes side went on to a really big innings either and they were all out for 183 with five overs left.

Darwen pro Alan Kruger’s 4-77 included the wicket of top scorer Sajid Nalbandh for 47, while captain Andy Kellett contributed 45 at the top of the innings before falling to Chris Wade (3-23).

Lytham’s pursuit of a second successive Liverpool Competition title may be over but they are ending the season strongly, winning by 27 runs at Wallasey despite a remarkable collapse.

Captain Guy Roberts’ best league innings of the season, 64, and his opening partnership of 95 with Will Hale (35) set the visitors up for a big total.

Professional Dom O’Brien carried on the good work with 48, but then the innings fell apart as 175-2 became 184 all out, the last seven men in contributing a combined total of four runs.

Neil Cross dismissed all the top three and finished with 6-34 off 18, while Christopher Bourne joined in the late carnage with 4-35 from 15.4.

Cross completed his fine match as he gave the hosts hope after a poor start (8-2) with a 13-boundary 82, but after he was fourth out with the total at 97 Wallasey could only add a further 60. Ben Saunders with 4-43 off 19.3 overs and Daniel Edwards (4-48 off 13) did most of the damage to leave Lytham looking good for third place in the ECB premier league with two to play.

Meyler Cup winners Freckleton continued their strong end to the Palace Shield season with a 54-run win over visitors Thornton Cleveleys in the premier division.

The visitors would have fancied their chances at Bush Lanes after Harry Nothrop took 5-50 and Daniel Howard 4-58 to reduce the hosts to 134 from 43.4 overs (Eamon Hernon 34). However, TC were then skittled out for 80 inside 28 overs as Jonathan Millward took 3-12 and Jamie Hogarth 3-8 off 3.4 overs.

Freckleton look good for their place behind champions-elect Vernon Carus, who defeated second-placed Penwortham by 40 runs.

Fylde boosted their survival hopes with a 53-run win over bottom club Torrisholme. Michael Watkinson hit 85 in the home side’s 183-8 (Neil Jordan 5-60) before Andrew Sheffield and Darren McKenzie both took three wickets to help dismiss Torrisholme for 130 with over four overs to spare.

Garstang lost by 53 runs chasing 233-6 at Fulwood and Broughton , despite Mohamed Nadeem’s 4-98 and opener Kal Umerji’s 44.

South Shore remain just one point above the division one relegation zone after their 33-run defeat at Mawdesley.

Daniel Jardine did his utmost in the Shore cause with 4-54 as the hosts reached 178 and then a top-score of 49 in reply at Rectory Field, but his side could only muster 145-8. Ryan Colwell took 4-39 .

Norcross boosted their bid for the second promotion spot in division two with a three-wicket win aT newly-crowned champions Eccleston. The hosts were dismissed for 99 at Doctors Lane as Ian Davies took 5-40 and Jordan Beech 3-13 before Norcross reached three figures with almost six overs to go.

But Kirkham and Wesham remain in the promotion fight after a six-wicket home win over Whittingham & Goosnargh 2, who were dismissed for 12, Michael Brooks, Fareez Moosa and Ismail Padia all taking three wickets. Derek Tucker’s 54 then led K&W to victory in barely 17 overs.

Wrea Green had a welcome 35-run win over Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods as David Uphill took 6-36 to reduce the visitors for 106.