Fylde coast cricket: Blackpool, Fleetwood, St Annes and Lytham still unbeaten

Blackpool and St Annes are the last two unbeaten sides in cricket's Northern Premier League after home wins over Chorley and Netherfield respectively.

By Andy Moore
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 5:35 pm

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Blackpool went top with a nailbiting two-wicket win over a previously unbeaten Chorley in a Stanley Park match far closer than their ECB National Club Championship tie six days earlier, when Blackpool won by nine wickets.

It looked like being plain sailing again as Blackpool reached 78-2 in pursuit of Chorley's 121.

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Lytham's Ed Fiddler is bowled out by Spring View's star player Marc Birch

But the champions then lost top scorer Kasim Munir for 30, having put on 42 with Dylan Henshall (24) and the home side had lost seven wickets by the time they reached 100.

To Blackpool's relief, wicketkeeper Ben Howarth stuck around for 22, and by the time he was eighth out only three were needed for victory, which was achieved in 47 overs.

Chorley had earlier been put in and soon found themselves in strife at 8-3.

Matthew Grindley took two of those early wickets on his way to 6-17 from 15 overs, nine of which were maidens.

A paltry total was on the cards at 30-6 and it didn't look much better for Chorley at 52-8, though number four Roshen Silva stood firm for an unbeaten 48 from 118 balls.

Roshen helped Chorley add 69 for their final two wickets, 40 of them with number 10 Keiran McCullagh (21) and a further 29 with last man Gaurav Dhar (15), before running out of partners with four deliveries left.

Louis Johnson's 3-8 from seven overs then made Blackpool sweat on this season's fourth win in five games.

It's three wins in five for St Annes, who defeated Netherfield by 49 runs at Vernon Road.

While Blackpool continue to finds ways to win without a professional, St Annes welcomed the contribution of theirs.

Yohan De Silva top-scored with 44 from 91 balls (five fours) as the hosts set a target of 186-9 having been put in.

There were solid contributions too from opener Tom Higson (32 from 43), as St Annes passed 50 with only one wicket down, from Nathan Bend (26) and captain Nathan Bolus (24) as Ashutosh Singh did his utmost to keep the hosts in check 5-62 from 15 overs.

Ashutosh then held the Cumbrians' reply together, hitting 13 boundaries in his 79 from 73 balls, but when he was eighth out at 119 it was game up for Netherfield, who were all out in just 35.5 overs for 137.

Ashutosh fell lbw to Higson, one of three St Annes bowlers to take three wickets, alongside Mitch Bolus and Lukman Vahaluwala.

Blackpool top the table with 65 points, six clear of Garstang as former leaders Longridge slip to third and St Annes are fourth on 54.

Longridge were hammered by 179 runs at home to Fulwood and Broughton, managing only 71 in pursuit of 250-9, and Garstang (216) were 85-run winners at Penrith (131).

Elsewhere in the first division, Lancaster (79-6) had four-wicket home win over Kendal (76), while Leyland (197-8) beat visitors Vernon Carus (170) by 27runs.

Lytham welcomed their Indian professional Akash Vashisht but it was business as usual as they recorded a fifth straight win in the Liverpool Competition.

Lytham recorded a five-wicket win over Spring View as dismissing the visitors for 75 in 40.3 overs at Church Road.

Josh Holden took 3-5 from five overs, four of them maidens, while there also three victims for Jack Saunders (for nine runs off 3.3) and two from the leg-spin of Akash, who had arrived the previous dy.

Opener Nathan Ashford top-scored for the Wigan side with 23 but only one other player reached double-figures (Marc Birch 22) and the other nine contributed a combined total of 18 as View collapsed from 35-2 to 59-8.

Lytham were then in some trouble themselves at 25-4 before unbeaten knocks of 18 from Holden and Toby Lester saw them home at 76-5 from 28 overs.

Birch took 3-17 from eight and became the first bowler in competition to dismiss Akash (for 10)

Matt Taaffe's Lytham side lead the first division by three points from Rainford, the only other side with a 100 per cent record.

Also making it five wins out of five are Fleetwood, whose total 86 was just about enough for victory by three runs at Euxton in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield.

The leaders looked like regretting their decision to bat after surviving just 31.2 overs.

Fleetwood had started well enough, reaching 46-2 as opener Charlie Clark made 33, but the last seven men in contributed a combined 19 as Jack Shovelton polished off the inning with 5-33 from 8.2 overs.

Euxton looked firm favourites at 50-2 in reply (Mark Winrow 32) and were still in the box seat at 81-7 only for Zac Corcoran to take take the final three wickets in rapid succession to leave the hosts three short after 33.5 overs. The Australian finished with 5-15 from 8.5 overs, Declan Clerkin taking 4-34 from 10.

Fleetwood are the only unbeaten side in the premier division, topping the table by 14 points from Morecambe.

Kirkham and Wesham recorded their first win in remarkable style with a 131-run victory at Thornton Cleveleys, who slip to fourth after being dismissed for 63.

The visitors chose to bat and were all out for 194 in exactly 45 overs. Such a target looked unlikely at 96-5 (Andrew Hogarth 31) but then number seven Jamie Hogarth struck 58 from 46 balls (three fours, four sixes). He fell to Jake Apperley, who took 5-46 from nine overs, while Joshua Rolinson claimed 3-35 from seven.

Thornton were soon in dire straits at 16-5, their top five scoring just five between them.

Wicketkeeper Ryan Adderley steadied the ship a little with 17 but it was too late as Justin Banks took 4-20 from eight overs, with three wickets apiece for Bobby Bithell and Antony Wilson.

Great Eccleston are up to third after a 96-run win over visitors Barrow.

Ecc were put in and reached 208-8 as Mohamed Nadeem struck seven boundaries in his 52 and Matt Moat added 31.

Barrow soon up against it in reply as three of their top four mustered two runs between them, all three falling to Phil Booth who finished with 4-25 off 12.

Fylde (80-1) needed just 13.1 overs to polish off a nine-wicket win at Tarleton in division 1A. Dan Smith was unbeaten on 31 as Fylde cruised to their second win of the season, having removed their hosts for 79 in 39.1 overs (Theo Slade 4-19 off nine).

Wrea Green lead division two with maximum points after eight-wicket home win over Gregson Lane, having dismissed them for 61 in 34.4 (Adam De Gray Birch 4-14 from 10). Tom Small then scored 34 as a fifth straight victory was wrapped up in 13.4 overs.

Norcross won by 53 runs at Ingol with Freckleton, setting a target of 137-6 before dismissing their hosts for 84 in 29.2 overs. Matthew Stewart scored 41 for Norcross and then took 4-20 from 10 overs.