St Annes Cricket Club secured double bragging rights with Saturday’s win over Blackpool on the penultimate weekend of the Northern Premier League season.
That seven-wicket win also guarantees that second-placed St Annes will finish the season as the highest-placed Fylde coast side after opening up an 18-point lead over Blackpool in fourth with just one game to play.
St Annes put the visitors in at Vernon Road, where Blackpool were restricted to 134-7 despite 47 from substitute professional Luis Reece of Derbyshire. Thomas Bradley was the pick of the bowlers with 3-54 from 12 overs.
Blackpool’s hopes then rose as the hosts laboured to 34-3 but an unbroken stand of 101 between Sri Lankan professional Ashen Silva and Richard Staines sealed the victory at 135-3 in 29.1 overs.
Wicketkeeper Staines dominated the partnership with an unbeaten 64 from 56 balls. His third half-century of the season included 12 fours.
With a visit to bottom club Lancaster to finish with, St Annes are now favourites to clinch runners-up spot ahead of Leyland, who are six points behind in third.
Blackpool, the only team to have beaten champions Netherfield all season, welcome them to Stanley Park on Saturday.
Fleetwood lost their penultimate Northern Premier League match by 35 runs at third-placed Leyland.
Fleetwood’s top five could muster just 12 between them as the visitors were dismissed for 95 pursuing 130-7 at the Stanning Memorial Ground.
Three of Leyland’s top five fell without scoring but an unbeaten 43 by number eight Kurtis Watson proved decisive.
Lytham and relegated bottom club Ainsdale played out high-scoring draw in the Liverpool Competition.
Lytham closed agonisingly short of victory at Church Road, finishing on 239-4 from 55 overs in reply to Ainsdale’s 245-6 off 55.
The hosts regretted putting Ainsdale in as they amassed 160 for their opening wicket before Andy Davies fell for 42.
Fellow opener Faiz Fazal went on to reach 129 from 143 balls with 15 fours and three sixes. He shared in a stand of 53 for the fourth wicket with Darren Tyms.
Lytham gamely took up the run-chase challenge and had a fine opening stand of their own, worth 93, between Taylor Cornall (59) and Thomas Hessey (62).
Hessey put on 60 for the third wicket with Ryan Maddock (57), who in turn shared in a stand of 65 for the fourth with Josh Holden (38). Lytham are ninth in the ECB premier league with two to play.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield
Premier division: Croston (121) lost to Longridge (125-4) by six wickets, Freckleton (140, E Fiddler 31, J Allan 44-42) lost to Vernon Carus (143-4, A Parker 77) by six wickets, Great Eccleston (147-5, A Green 84no) beat Eccleston (143, T Potter 30) by five wickets, Rufford (165) lost to Garstang (233-4) by 68 runs, Thornton Cleveleys (66, C Chisholm 30, J Fenton 5-4, R Turner 3-19 ) lost to Fulwood and Broughton (195-5, C Rossiter 73) by 129 runs, Torrisholme (84) lost to Penwortham (154-8) by 70 runs.
Division One: Fulwood and Broughton 2 (54, J Relph 5-34, D Harris 4-22) lost to Norcross (304-8, C Parker 128, J Relph 60, C Allan 49) by 254 runs, Garstang 2 (82, N Bolus 4-34, M Hall 3-36) lost to South Shore (84-1, N Bolus 61no) by nine wickets, Longridge 2 (272-3) beaqt White Coppice (29) by 243 runs, new Longton (239-5) beat Withnell Fold (122) by 117 runs, Vernon Carus 2 (122-1) beat Hoghton (121) by nine wickets, Whittingham and Goosnargh (109, D Smith 3-34, A Churchill 3-23 ) lost to Fylde (110-6, I Patel 5-30) by four wickets.
Division Two: Wrea Green (67-7, M Wood 32no, M Brooks 3-9) beat Kirkham and Wesham (66, C Hedges 3-11, S Laycock 3-25) by three wickets