Fylde coast cricket preview: Second place would be a good season for Blackpool CC

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Captain Paul Danson says Blackpool Cricket Club will have “over-achieved” if they remain second in the Northern Premier Cricket League.

The champions have put up a brave title defence, even though Indian professional Naushad Shaikh only arrived last month after a visa delay and returned to his homeland this week to prepare for the domestic season with Maharashtra.

South African Ockert Erasmus will replace him for Blackpool’s final four fixtures, starting with the Bank Holiday weekend double-header at home to Longridge tomorrow and away to derby rivals St Annes on Monday.

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Garstang’s 41-point advantage is surely too great to be bridged at this late stage and Danson would not begrudge them a first NPCL title.

Blackpool Cricket Club were the defending Northern Premier Cricket League title holdersBlackpool Cricket Club were the defending Northern Premier Cricket League title holders
Blackpool Cricket Club were the defending Northern Premier Cricket League title holders
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He told The Gazette: “If you’d offered me a chance of second place at the start of the season, having lost three of the best amateur players in the competition and playing without a pro for almost half the season, I’d have bitten your hand off.

“We got off to a really good start but were always going to come up against it.

“The title’s going to Garstang, who could clinch it this weekend. They have done well and have been the most consistent team.”

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After last year’s league and cup double, Danson must settle for a season without silverware.

Kendal arguably nailed Blackpool’s coffin shut with last Saturday’s eight-wicket win, having defeated them in the 40-Over Cup semi-finals the previous weekend.

Danson added: “It’s easy to say we could have put some pressure on Garstang by taking 30 points from last weekend’s two games but, realistically, it was dead already.

“Garstang have only lost twice and haven’t really looked like dropping points.”

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After Blackpool had battled to stay in contention without a paid player in their ranks, all-rounder Naushad didn’t make the anticipated impact when he eventually arrived.

The captain said: “He is a nice lad who fitted in well and he showed us glimpses without hitting the high notes.

“Naushad did not win us matches, which is what you want your pro to do.”

The success story of the season for Blackpool has been seeing Stanley Park re-established as a second home for Lancashire, who make their fourth visit of the summer today for a Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final against Nottinghamshire.

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However, Danson’s thoughts are already turning to next year.

“Let’s try to stay second or at least finish in the top four,” he added.

“We never go out with a shopping list but we would love to add to the squad.

“Trying to bring people here from other clubs isn’t easy, though, and we have blooded some younger players, who will be a season older next time.”


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Northern Premier Cricket League (12.30pm): Blackpool v Longridge, Garstang v Leyland.

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

Division 1A (1pm): BAC/EE Preston v Fylde.

Division 1B (1pm): Fleetwood 2 v Garstang 2, Great Eccleston 2 v Morecambe 2, Longridge 2 v Thornton Cleveleys 2, Netherfield 2 v Blackpool 2.

Division 2 (1pm): St Annes 2 v Wrea Green, Whittingham and Goosnargh v Norcross.

Liverpool Competition First Division (12pm): Ainsdale v Lytham (Lytham 2 v Northern 2; 12.45pm).

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