Blackpool ripped through the Chorley innings for just 39 to keep their title defence on track but Morecambe went top of the Northern Premier League after a dramatic win at St Annes.
The South African all-rounder Kelly Smuts, substituting for the second time for Blackpool’s suspended professional Christi Viljoen, again made a big impact for Paul Danson’s side but was overshadowed by strike bowler Richard Gleeson as fellow title contenders Chorley were brushed aside by eight wickets.
Chorley chose to bat but were dispatched to the pavilion in 19.5 overs as only Brenton McDonald (11) reached double figures.
Gleeson moved past 50 league wickets for the season with 6-27 from 10 overs, his third five-wicket haul of the campaign. Smuts bowled unchanged at the other end, taking the other four wickets for 11 runs off 9.5 overs.
Gleeson and Smuts then eased Blackpool to victory in 11.4 overs after both openers had fallen cheaply.
Keiran McCullagh claimed both wickets but could not remove Smuts, who struck three fours in an unbeaten 17, or Gleeson, whose 12 not out was made up of three boundaries.
The victory lifts Blackpool above Chorley into fourth place in division one, 15 points behind leaders Morecambe after their five-wicket success at St Annes.
The hosts chose to bat at Vernon Road and reached 179-9 thanks largely to Tim Le Breton at number five, whose 62 off 85 balls included five fours and a six.
He was superbly caught by Morecambe professional Suraj Randiv, who took 5-45 off 19 overs, while Edward Read claimed 3-71 off 14.2.
However, second-bottom St Annes looked on course for only their second win of the season as three wickets by professional Xander Pitchers reduced the Morecambe to 43 for five.
But that brought together Lewis Edge and Phillip Dennison, who between them fired the visitors to victory with an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 140 from 29 overs.
Former Blackpool FC goalkeeper Edge blasted 92 from 119 balls, 66 of his runs in boundaries (nine fours, five sixes).
Dennison’s 44 came off 66 deliveries and included four fours as Morecambe reached their victory target from 45.2 overs. Namibian pro Pitchers finished with 3-55 from 18 overs.
Morecambe replace Fleetwood at the summit as the Broadwater club were without a league game on Saturday.
Fleetwood have also been passed by Darwen, who emerged winners by eight wickets at Kendal.
n Blackpool have won through to the semi-finals of the Readers Cup following yesterday’s five-wicket home win over Barrow.
The Cumbrians set a 40-over target of 153-9 at Stanley Park as Andy Furniss took 3-30. Blackpool sealed victory with 10 balls to spare as Furness completed his fine day with an unbeaten 38.
Lancaster, who beat Chorley by 14 runs, will be Blackpool’s hosts in the last four on Sunday week.
That’s the date Fleetwood play their delayed quarter-final clash at Leyland. The winners of that tie will visit Darwen, who won a thriller at Kendal by two runs.
A double-century stand between Will Hale and Dominic O’Brien could not prevent Lytham slipping to a four-wicket defeat in the Liverpool Competition at Birkenhead Park.
Lytham decided to bat and were rewarded with blistering centuries from opener William Hale and Australian O’Brien.
Coming together at 24-1, the pair put on exactly 200 for the third wicket as Hale made 125 and professional O’Brien an unbeaten 121.
Hale fired his first century of the season in a 141-ball knock which included 80 runs in boundaries (14 fours and four sixes).
O’Brien’s second ton of the campaign included 18 fours as he faced 131 balls.
Lytham then lost four wickets for 20 before captain Guy Roberts declared at 258-5 from 52 overs, with Rob Houghton taking 3-115.
However, quick and consistent batting by the hosts saw them reach 259-6 from 51.4 overs after a series of solid partnerships.
Number three Ian Daniel top-scored with 60 from 55 balls and there was also an unbeaten half-century from number six Adam Liu (53 off 55).
Liu put on 71 for the fifth wicket with Jonathan Croston (45 from 65 balls), after Daniel and Chris Davies (31) had shared 57 for the third. Opener Khadlid Wahbi had provided a firm foundation with 41 from 49 balls.
Lytham drop to seventh in the ECB premier league, while their Wirral hosts stand third.
Garstang hit top spot in a very tight premier division of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield courtesy of their victory by seven wickets at Croston, where Michael Walling struck a century.
The new leaders replace a Great Eccleston side edged out in a derby at Freckleton, who remain third although only two points separate the top three.
Thornton Cleveleys leapfrogged Fylde in mid-table thanks to a win over bottom club BAC-EE Preston.
Kirkham and Wesham couldn’t take advantage of Wrea Green’s inactivity to climb out of the bottom two in division one, losing a close contest at Whittingham and Goosnargh.
South Shore defeated Blackpool Thirds to hold top spot in division two by three points from Garstang Seconds, who were eight-wicket winners over Rufford.
Premier Division: Croston (229-4, S Langton 107no) lost to Garstang (231-3, Michael Walling 109no, Mark Walling 50) by seven wickets, Freckleton (229-8, A Hogarth 73, J Hogarth 71) beat Great Eccleston (219-8, Parkinson 86, J Hogarth 3-39) by 10 runs, Fylde (184, J Calvert 64), lost to Fulwood and Broughton (238, M Smith 68, P Rossiter 61, J McMillan 4-59) by 54 runs, Hoghton (106, I Simpson 5-32) lost to Longridge (275-5, D Wilkinson 111) by 169 runs, Penwortham (165) lost to Vernon Carus (242-8, I Dunn 94) by 77 runs, Thornton Cleveleys (201-7, D Howard 68) beat BAC/EE Preston (167-5, T Wilsock 71) by 34 runs.
Division One: Vernon Carus 3 (239-8, I Davies 5-46) beat Norcross (155) by 84 runs, Whittingham & Goosnargh (243-6, S Patel 41) beat Kirkham & Wesham (226-8, A Patel 59, M Brookes 54) by 17 runs
Division Two: South Shore (170, D Jardine 39, M Hall 4-33, D Knight 4-32), beat Blackpool 3 (128, B Mortimer 3-38, M Middlehurst 3-42, A Diver 3-29) by 42 runs.