Fylde coast cricket preview: St Annes' skipper relishes return for Blackpool derby day

Nathan Armstrong admits he couldn’t ask for a better game in which to make his comeback for St Annes CC tomorrow.

By Gavin Browne
Friday, 1st July 2022, 6:00 am

The skipper is set for a return to the ranks when they travel to Blackpool in the Northern Premier Cricket League.

An ankle ligament injury had left him a frustrated onlooker in the first half of the season as St Annes look to build upon their narrow escape from relegation last year.

“I think it will be a reduced role on my part,” Armstrong admitted.

St Annes captain Nathan Armstrong is due to return from injury against Blackpool

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“I don’t think I’ll be batting up the order but I’m just looking forward to getting back on the pitch.

“Blackpool are a good team and, hopefully, we can give them a good game because these are the games you want to play in.”

Armstrong’s deputy, Nathan Bolus, who had been in acting charge this year, is also back after missing the last two matches.

Described as ‘dark horses’ by Blackpool skipper Paul Danson earlier in the season, St Annes have lost their last three and now sit sixth in the table.

For their part, Blackpool have had a loss and a draw in their last two, leaving them in fourth and with a 31-point gap to leaders Garstang: albeit with a game in hand.

“We’ve had a bit of a dip in form recently but I’m not overly concerned,” Armstrong said.

“We’ve got a great team and squad – which is more important – and we know it’s only a matter of time before they start scoring runs and taking wickets again.”

There won’t be any time to dwell upon tomorrow's result as St Annes are also in 40-Over Cup action on Sunday.

They head to Chorley, a fortnight after losing by 107 runs in their league meeting at Windsor Park.

While league success might be too much to ask for in 2022, Armstrong will be taking the cup seriously.

He added: “Our aspirations are higher than being mid-table in the league but the cup is a competition we enjoy.

“Going to Chorley will be interesting, seeing as we were beaten there a couple of weeks ago, but the lads want to right that wrong and give a better account of ourselves.

“It’s a competition in which, if you do well in the early stages, you can get to the final fairly quickly which is always a nice carrot to dangle in front of players.”

Elsewhere, another Fylde coast derby takes place in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield top flight as leaders Fleetwood take their 100 per cent record to Thornton Cleveleys.

Lytham look to bounce back against Highfield after losing top spot in the Liverpool Competition First Division last weekend.

TOMORROW’S CRICKET

Northern Premier League (12.30pm): Blackpool v St Annes.

Liverpool Competition first division (12pm): Lytham v Highfield.

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

Division 1B (1pm): Fleetwood 2 v Blackpool 2, Great Eccleston 2 v Chorley 2, Leyland 2 v Thornton Cleveleys 2.

Division 2 (1pm): Penwortham 3 v Norcross, Whittingham and Goosnargh v Wrea Green.

SUNDAY

NPCL 40-Over Cup (2pm): Chorley v St Annes.