Fylde coast cricket preview: Lytham CC's timely return to winning ways

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Lytham CC captain Matt Taaffe hailed a satisfactory weekend’s work in the Liverpool Competition First Division.

A run of three straight defeats in all competitions ended with a professional display against St Helens Town last weekend.

Half-centuries from TJ Bailey (72) and Tom Jefferson (62), as well as Guy Roberts’ 47, helped Lytham to declare on 222-7 when they batted first.

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The bowlers then set to work, reducing the visitors to 17-7 before they were eventually all out for 98 as Lytham won by 124 runs.

Tom Jefferson's efforts with the bat helped Lytham CC to victory last weekend Picture: Michelle AdamsonTom Jefferson's efforts with the bat helped Lytham CC to victory last weekend Picture: Michelle Adamson
Tom Jefferson's efforts with the bat helped Lytham CC to victory last weekend Picture: Michelle Adamson
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Victory, their third in six games this season, sees Lytham sixth in the table and 30 points behind second-placed Highfield – but with a game in hand.

As well as arresting a difficult recent run of results, it also boosts confidence ahead of a tough run of matches.

They play all five teams above them in the next eight weekends following tomorrow’s trip to Spring View, who are presently second-bottom but finished third last year.

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Taaffe told The Gazette: “It was a great win after a tough couple of weeks with unavailability issues – as any other club goes through.

“It was good to get back to having a steady side and gaining a win because we’ve got a big few weeks coming up now.

“You don’t want to lose the majority of games in the first half of the year because it’s near on impossible to catch up on the promotion spots.

“We needed that win last weekend and, if we can capitalise on that this weekend, we can keep in touch ahead of playing the five teams above us.”

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If Lytham’s batters set the platform for last Saturday’s win, it was the bowlers who ensured success.

Taaffe took the last three wickets to fall after Jamie Thomson and Zak Foulkes, this year’s overseas professional, ran through the top and middle order.

Foulkes’ figures of 5-4 continued the 22-year-old’s fine start, which also included a hat-trick against Fleetwood Hesketh and an innings of 77 in the Ray Digman Trophy defeat at Wigan.

Unsurprisingly, Taaffe believes Foulkes’ arrival represents something of a coup for the club.

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“He’s been brilliant this year,” he said of the New Zealand T20 international.

“He’s a bit too good – if that makes sense – because he hits the stumps at a serious pace and swings it both ways.

“It’s difficult for the batters to find a way to score off him but he’s over here with his girlfriend and they have settled in really well to life in Lytham.

“A lot of us have nine-to-five jobs, so we work during the majority of the day and only get to see him in the evenings, so the two of them being here gives them that company and helps with the settling-in process.

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“As I say, his bowling is incredible and while we’ve only seen a bit of what he can do with the bat, his innings the other week at Wigan was on a different level.”

SATURDAY FIXTURES

Northern Premier Cricket League (12.30pm): Euxton v Fleetwood, St Annes v Mawdesley.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division (1pm): Great Eccleston v Carnforth, Penrith v Thornton Cleveleys.

Division 1A (1pm): Kirkham and Wesham v Garstang 2, Netherfield 2 v Fylde.

Liverpool Competition First Division (12pm): Spring View v Lytham.