High five by Blackpool's Richard Gleeson gives Lancashire upper hand after first day against Derbyshire

Richard Gleeson claimed his fourth five-wicket haul of the season for Lancashire
Richard Gleeson claimed his fourth five-wicket haul of the season for Lancashire
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A century from Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman ensured his side posted something approaching a competitive score against promotion-chasing Lancashire but Blackpool’s Richard Gleeson was the home hero on day one of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Old Trafford.

A century from Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman ensured his side posted something approaching a competitive score against promotion-chasing Lancashire but Blackpool’s Richard Gleeson was the home hero on day one of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Old Trafford.
Godleman’s 20th first- class ton was the runaway highlight of a scrappy innings as the visitors were bowled out for a below par 244 thanks chiefly to Gleeson’s excellent figures of 5-64.
Lancashire can confirm promotion back to Division One this week if they get one more point than Glamorgan, and will feel confident they can push on, having lost just the wicket of Alex Davies to reach 20-1 by the close of play.
Having elected to bat, openers Godleman and former Lancashire starlet Luis Reece, attacked from the start, with Godleman determined to throw his bat at anything bowled off line by Tom Bailey and Saqib Mahmood.
The partnership had passed the half-century mark before Derbyshire experienced anything like a scare, with Reece given a lifeline by Keaton Jennings, who dropped badly at slip off Glen Maxwell’s third ball of the match.
Reece failed to take advantage, however, and in Maxwell’s next over he edged through to keeper Dane Vilas, who claimed a juggling catch to dismiss the opener for 16 and break an opening stand of 66.
Godleman brought up his half-century just before lunch with a square drive through point off Gleeson, but the former Blackpool CC bowler soon struck back by trapping Wayne Madsen lbw for 27.
Gleeson was soon proving to be Derbyshire’s chief tormentor as he completed a stunning spell of 4-15 in six overs either side of the break to destroy the middle order.
South African Leus du Plooy was the first to depart for just two, with Gleeson comprehensively rearranging his stumps, before Alex Hughes edged behind to Dane Vilas for a four- ball duck.
When Gleeson then trapped Harvet Hosein in front, also without scoring, Derbyshire were 123-5 and staring down the barrel, with only Godleman’s desire to counter-attack keeping Lancashire from further success.
Matt Critchley joined Godleman and the pair put on 58 for the sixth wicket until a fired up Bailey claimed his first victim, Lancashire-born Critchley was adjudged lbw for 22.
Godleman, who took full advantage of a short boundary on the Stretford side following the recent Ashes Test match, bludgeoned 16 fours and one six to reach 111, but his long vigil finally ended in the ninth over after tea when he was trapped in front by the returning Mahmood, who quickly added the wicket of Anuj Dal to a vicious first-ball in-winger.
Gleeson claimed his fourth fifth wicket haul of the season with the dismissal of Fynn Hudson-Prentice for 18 before some effective swishing from Ravi Rampaul and Hamidullah Qadri took the total to 244 when Rampaul spooned a catch to Matt Parkinson, giving Mahmood figures of 3-45.
Lancashire negotiated a tricky 15 overs in the gathering gloom, though Davies departed for four when his top- edged pull off Rampaul was well caught by slip Marsden.

Gleeson said: "I think we'd have been happy with that at the start of the day after they chose to bat.

"That is the way Billy Godleman plays - he'll chance his arm and if you give him any width he'll have a slash at it. It gets under the bowlers' skins at times but it was a good innings.

"It's always nice to get wickets and it was just reversing a little bit, so it's nice to have the ball in your hand when that happens.

"It would have been nice to go in none down but if we can get through the first hour tomorrow I think the dew might get on the ball and soften it up, so we've just got to bat big.

"We'll try and get a lead to put the pressure on them and hopefully not have to bat again.

"I've enjoyed bowling at Old Trafford and it's been good to me. You always want to be contributing and we have some brilliant bowlers, especially the spinners. Hopefully they can do a job in the second innings and us quicks can have a rest."