Thompson's twin threat
Fleetwood climbed to second in the Northern Premier League with victory at Lancaster on a day Blackpool and St Annes had to settle for draws, both failing to chase down targets.
In the match of the day between the sides who went into the weekend occupying the top two spots in division one, Blackpool never really threatened to match leaders Leyland’s 171-8 as the visitors could only reach 129-7 in their reply. The hosts chose to bat at Stanning Memorial Ground, where both openers fell cheaply but Henry Thompson then held the innings together with 63 from 106 balls, including six fours.
Andy Furniss dismissed all the top three on his way to 3-39 from 11 overs, while Daniel Pile took 3-43 from 14 as the bowlers gave Blackpool a good chance to seal victory.
However, the reply never built momentum despite opener Matthew Houston top-scoring with a patient 32 from 92 balls and Furniss contributing an unbeaten 26.
Thompson completed his man-of-the-match display with 3-29 from 10 overs, including the wicket of Blackpool professional Daryl Mitchell without scoring.
The winning draw stretched Leyland’s advantage at the summit to 12 points, though their nearest challengers are now Fleetwood after their six-wicket win in a rain-hit clash at Lune Road.
Lancaster may have frustrated Blackpool the previous weekend but they couldn’t cope with Fleetwood professional Travis Dean, whose 5-24 from 15.3 overs helped dismiss the hosts for 139 with nine deliveries remaining.
Wicketkeeper Lee Marshall didn’t come in until seven wickets had fallen but still managed to emerge as his team’s top scorer with 39 as Dean’s best bowling figures for Fleetwood and his second five-for included seven maidens.
Rain then saw Fleetwood’s victory target reduced but they reached the recalculated 112 in 20.2 overs for the loss of four wickets after Dean and fellow opener Adam Parker gave them a solid start.
Parker hit nine fours in his 46, and although two quick ducks delayed the inevitable, wicketkeeper Dean Bell saw Fleetwood home with an unbeaten 25.
Blackpool slip to fourth, also overtaken by a Barrow side who recorded a winning draw against Penrith.
Preston chose to bat at St Annes and scored 66 for their first wicket before closing at 184-8, Mitch Bolus and De Wet Smart both claiming three wickets.
In reply, St Annes’ Luke Wilks carried his bat defiantly for an unbeaten 41 but was down to his final partner as the hosts just about held out at Vernon Road.
Wilks found solid support in professional Shadley van Schalkwyk (39) but the last six men in scored just 25 between them.
Former St Annes all-rounder Lukman Vahaluwala returned to haunt his former club with 5-34 from 12 overs but the home side’s final pair bravely resisted the last few deliveries as St Annes slip a spot to ninth.
Fleetwood got their Readers Cup campaign off to a winning start on Sunday with a five-wicket home win over Penrith.
The Cumbrians chose to bat and managed 122-8 in their 20 overs, captain Chris Marrow holding their innings together by carrying his bat for 60, although six of his team-mates were out for scores of three of under.
Fleetwood reached their target with four balls to spare despite an early wobble as the top three fell cheaply.
But Adam Sharrocks (40) and Wayne Clarke (34) then combined to steer Fleetwood towards a victory total of 123-5.
They will entertain Morecambe, who had a bye, in the quarter-finals on July 17.
Lytham CC were in dominant form in their 130-run Liverpool Competition victory at Rainford, dismissing their hosts for just 94 in St Helens.
Put into bat in this clash between two sides in the lower half of the ECB premier league table, Lytham declared at 224-8 after 55 overs.
That total was thanks largely to a season’s-best 96 from Lukee Williams, his first half-century of the campaign
Lytham’s number five scored 64 in boundaries (seven fours and six sixes) in his 120-ball knock, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 102 with captain Dom O’Brien.
The Australian skipper had previously shared in a third-wicket stand of 54 with Gary Knight and his 75 from 121 deliveries took O’Brien past 400 league runs for the season.
John Dotters’ 4-64 from 17 overs and Bokan Mosena’s 3-30 off 10 couldn’t prevent Lytham setting a testing total despite a late stumble from 206-4 to 211-8.
Rainford’s reply started slowly and never really improved as they fell from 44-4 to 45-7 before a slight recovery extended their innings to 44.3 overs.
Wicketkeeper John Williams, coming in at number nine, was Rainford’s top scorer with an unbeaten 13, though seven of his team-mates were out before reaching double figures.
Doing the bulk of the damage for Lytham, who climb to seventh in the table, were Anthony Mulligan with 4-30 off 17 overs and TobyLester with 3-18 from 12.2.
Moore & Smalley SE+ Palace Shield Premier Divison: Croston (122, J Bell 4-26, D Howard3-27) beat Thornton Cleveleys 113 (L Childs 4-26, S Marsh 4-36), Freckleton (190-7, J Holden 72, D Gilbert 43, J Allen 3-65) lost to Vernon Carus (192-3, J McDonagh 52no) by seven wickets, Garstang (104-5, Michael Walling 27) beat Penwortham (103, R Wells 3-30) by five wickets, Great Eccleston (285-8, W Thistlethwaite 86, A Green 71, M Nadeem 61, A Ellison 3-44) beat Fylde (167, E Bailey 43, M Nadeem 6-44, J Whittle 3-36) by 118 runs, Longridge (110-8) beat Fulwood and Broughtons (109) by two wickets, Whittingham & Goosnargh (151) beat Torrisholme (127) by 24 runs.
Division One: BAC/EE Preston (131) lost to Longridge 2 (134-0) by 10 wickets, Eccleston (92-1) beat White Coppice (91) by nine wickets, Fulwood and Broughton 2 (164) lost to Garstang 2 (168-7) by three wickets, Hoghton (92-3) beat Kirkham and Wesham (91) by seven wickets, Norcross (75, N Fowler 5-24) lost to Withnell Fold (76-9, D Harris 6-31) by one wicket, Vernon Carus 2 (109) lost to Rufford (110-2) by eight wickets
Division Two: South Shore (182-7, L Jardine 105no, S Barnish 3-31) beat Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods (181-9, S Barnish 40, D Knight 4-50) by three wickets, Wrea Green (201, M Wood 50, W Norris 47, J Jones 40, N Lawrenson 3-47) beat Great Eccleston 2 (99, J Marshall 4-10, J Jones 3-14) by 102 runs, Gregson Lane (84-1) beat Blackpool 3 (83) by nine wickets, Thornton Cleveleys 2 (79) lost to New Longton (112) by 33 runs