Fleetwood Cricket Club and Blackpool Ladies ready for big season

Fleetwood Cricket Club are relishing the new challenge of cricket in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield this season and know they have no automatic right to bounce back up to the Northern Premier League at the first attempt.

By Andy Moore
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 5:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 5:15 pm

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So says junior cricket chairman Jon Amor, who has overseen the rise of many young players into the senior ranks at Broadwater and is ready for Saturday's season-opener away to Chorley club Eccleston.

It follows founder members Fleetwood's first ever relegation from the Northern League, which they have won five times over 70 years.

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Blackpool Ladies CC captain Caroline Blundell (right) and vice-captain Hannah Knowles prepare for the season at Stanley Park

But captain Adam Shorrocks' side are taking nothing for granted as Amor told the Weekly News: “The goal is to bounce back and we'll do our utmost to do so, but there are some seasoned teams in this competition and we have a lot of respect for them.

“We have a cracking new coach, who will play as well, some really good young players coming through and an overseas amateur from Australia.”

That coach is Atiq-Uz-Zaman, the former Pakistan batsman well known to Fylde cricket followers from his successful stint as an opener for St Annes CC.

The arrival of Aussie all-rounder Zac Corcoran continues the strong links between Fleetwood and the Melbourne club Ringwood.

Amor added: “Zac is a promising young player and left-arm bowler, who has fitted in well and we're looking for good things from him as the weather warms up.

“We are famous for our junior development and blooding young players, and three teenagers to look out for this season are Charlie Clark, Scott Whittaker and Harry McAleer.

“We're looking forward to meeting some new teams on new pitches, and we're also looking forward to a refreshing challenge but we are not taking anything for granted.”

Fleetwood can also welcome league derby clashes with Thornton Cleveleys in the Palace Shield premier division, with Kirkham and Wesham also providing strong Fylde coast opposition after an excellent 2021 campaign.

Blackpool Ladies, meanwhile, start their season in the Lancashire Foundation with a visit to Penwortham on Sunday. They completed their preparations at Stanley Park with T20 wins over West Lancashire and Ramsbottom.

A special cap was presented to captain Caroline Blundell on becoming the first player to make 50 appearances for the club. The team did Caroline proud, reaching 137-3 and reducing West Lancashire to 67-9 as Lucy Garlick took four for nine.

Ramsbottom restricted Blackpool to 107-7, then needed 11 from their final over for victory. But they scored only two from a brilliant over by Bobbi Campbell to close on 98-4.

New vice-captain Hannah Knowles played for Lancashire North over Easter, taking four wickets against Derbyshire and Notts.

Blackpool coach Roger Garlick said: “Last season we finished second in the league and got to finals day in the Lancashire T20. This year we hope to bring a trophy back to Stanley Park.