Fylde coast cricket preview: Blackpool CC bid to down league leaders

Ben Howarth maintains there is plenty to play for as Blackpool look to blow the Northern Premier Cricket League title race wide open tomorrow.
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They head to leaders Chorley, who beat Kendal in one of only two games to be concluded as a result of last weekend’s wet weather.

They are 14 points ahead of Garstang, who moved second after beating Penrith in the other match played to a finish.

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Blackpool’s derby at St Annes was abandoned, leaving them fifth and 35 points behind the pacesetters with six matches to go.

Ben Howarth is targeting a top-four finish and possible cup success Picture: Daniel MartinoBen Howarth is targeting a top-four finish and possible cup success Picture: Daniel Martino
Ben Howarth is targeting a top-four finish and possible cup success Picture: Daniel Martino
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Moving into cup final

They are only 10 behind fourth-placed Longridge, so the race is on to qualify for next season’s Lancashire Cricket Foundation KO.

The Stanley Park players also have the incentive of trying to earn selection for their 40 Over Cup final against either St Annes or Garstang.

Howarth, leading Blackpool in the absence of Paul Danson, said: “Chorley will be a difficult game, it always is for us.

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“They are going really well but, hopefully, we can put in a good performance.

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“I think it would take some sort of miracle for us to win the league now because there have been a lot of rained-off games.

We’d beaten Fulwood and thought we had a bit of momentum but I think we’ve only played one (league) game since then, against Garstang, when we were really poor and deserved to get beaten.

“I’m not writing the league off 100 per cent but finishing in the top four, getting into the Lancashire competition and winning the 40 Over Cup would be a decent year.

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“We’ve just got to finish as strongly as possible. There will be a few spots up for grabs in the cup final over the next few weeks if people put in good performances.”

It’s hoped Blackpool pro Shivam Chaudhary is now back for the rest of the season, having returned to India before featuring in last Sunday’s 40 Over Cup win at Leyland.

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It wasn’t a late-season holiday as Howarth explained: “I think they have a regional tournament with six of the zones and they pick a squad from that.

“I think he got selected for that and, if they do well, it can lead to being picked for India A and the IPL – and he did well by all accounts.”


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Northern Premier Cricket League (12.30pm): Chorley v Blackpool, Fulwood and Broughton v Fleetwood, Garstang v St Annes.

Liverpool and District Competition (12pm): Lytham v Bootle.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division (1pm): Euxton v Kirkham & Wesham, Thornton Cleveleys v Great Eccleston.

Division 1B (1pm): Blackpool 2 v Wrea Green, Fleetwood 2 v BAC/EE Preston, Great Eccleston 2 v Thornton Cleveleys 2, Penwortham 2 v Fylde.

Division 2 (1pm): St Annes 2 v Ingol with Freckleton, Whittingham & Goosnargh v Norcross.