Fylde coast cricket review: Interest at both ends of the table while NPCL clubs complete their campaigns

Lytham CC’s hope of a top-two finish in the Liverpool Competition First Division will go to the final day of the season.
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Matt Taaffe’s players picked up their fifth consecutive victory in dispatching Caldy by 151 runs last weekend.

However, they remained third in the table as second-placed Birkenhead Park won at Liverpool and Spring View, in fourth, saw off Old Xaverians.

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The captain led the way in giving Lytham the full 25 points on Saturday.

Lytham captain Matt Taaffe struck a century at the weekend Picture: Daniel MartinoLytham captain Matt Taaffe struck a century at the weekend Picture: Daniel Martino
Lytham captain Matt Taaffe struck a century at the weekend Picture: Daniel Martino
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An up-and-down season at Stanley Park

Batting first, they declared on 225-6 with Taaffe hitting 13 boundaries in an undefeated 100 from only 102 balls.

Myles Child (11) and Matthew Wood (17) saw them reduced to 40-2, at which point Taaffe came to the wicket.

After stands of 38 with Guy Roberts (24) and 12 with Tom Jefferson (3), there were profitable partnerships with Avinash Yadav and William Bookless.

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Avinash added 31 in a stand of 58 and Bookless hit 26 in a sixth-wicket stand of 76 before Lytham called time on their innings.

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Caldy’s reply only lasted 24 overs as they were shot out for 74.

Avinash and Richard Openshaw did the early damage, sharing the first half-dozen wickets as Caldy slumped to 42-6.

Michael Grealis (1), Oliver Higgs (1) and Rhys John Baker (6) fell to Avinash, while Openshaw removed Christopher Edwards (4), Harry Beddard (1) and Craig Findlay (16).

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Avinash made it another five-wicket haul with the dismissals of Iwan Christopher Baker (7) and Jack Hunter (4), leaving the score 65-8.

Jack Saunders then wrapped up victory, removing Adam Brown (15) and Piushan Gamekankanamge (8).

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That gave him figures of 2-19 from three overs, while Openshaw took 3-22 from nine.

Yet again, however, Avinash was the star of the show as a dozen overs gave him figures of 5-23.

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With Newton-le-Willows champions, Birkenhead Park are one point ahead of Lytham with Spring View a further three back going into the final day.

Lytham have the hardest task on paper, welcoming fifth-placed Highfield.

Spring View host second-bottom Caldy, while Birkenhead Park are at home to ninth-placed Old Xaverians.

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Blackpool ended their 2023 Northern Premier Cricket League season with victory on Saturday.

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They finished fifth after seeing off bottom club Eccleston by six wickets at Stanley Park.

Having been asked to bat first, Eccleston recovered from 8-2 to 108-3 before eventually finishing on 174-9.

Reece Thomas (42) and Matthew Ashcroft (37) led the fightback as Shivam Chaudhary took 3-43.

The Indian professional was unable to sign off in style with the bat, falling for 21 as Blackpool reached 75-3.

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Josh Boyne and Dylan Henshall responded, adding 84 before the latter was out for 41, falling to Thomas (3-52).

Boyne ensured Blackpool reached their target, hitting 10 fours and two sixes in finishing 74 not out from 55 balls.

​Fleetwood also ended the season on a high with an 89-run win at relegated Penrith.

The visitors piled up 254-9 in Cumbria and then dismissed their hosts for 165.

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Fleetwood chose to bat and an opening stand of 84 was shared between Andy Drake with 59 and Jeremy Davies (38).

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There was also a half-century from big-hitting Declan Clerkin at number six.

He needed just 38 balls to hit 58, with five sixes among his eight boundaries.

Clerkin, who shared a stand of 87 for the sixth wicket with Nathan Bend (31), then claimed 4-40 from 14 overs as Penrith were all out with 10.4 overs remaining.

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Jack Wilkinson also claimed four victims, coming at a cost of 30 runs off 6.2 overs, while Alister Craig was Penrith’s top scorer with 44.

The win lifted Fleetwood to sixth place on a final day which saw Kendal pip Chorley to the title by a single point.

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St Annes concluded their NPCL season in ninth spot after defeat on the final day.

They lost by 70 runs against Netherfield, whose batters laid the foundation for victory.

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Having chosen to bat first, Netherfield compiled 283-5 in their 50 overs.

Skipper Ben Barrow (58), John Huck (52) and Josh Dixon (50) all made half-centuries, backed up by Reece Irving (41).

Mitch Bolus took 3-82 for St Annes, whose reply saw them all out for 213 with 13.2 overs left.

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Theo Gallagher claimed 4-31 with the St Annes total dominated by Tom Higson and Lukman Vahaluwala.

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Higson struck 11 fours and three sixes in his 82 from 64 balls, while Vahaluwala had 11 fours and two maximums in his 75-ball 76.

In the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division, Kirkham and Wesham are seven points from safety with one match remaining.

They went down by 26 runs at Thornton Cleveleys on Saturday as third-bottom Torrisholme pulled clear with victory over Preston.

TC batted first at Illawalla, where they were all out for 153 inside 37 overs.

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Joshua Sackfield made 22 and Oliver Kyle 11 but the bulk of their total came from skipper Richard Jenkinson and Daniel Howard.

Jenkinson top-scored with 50 and Howard made 45 as none of the other seven batters made more than five.

Antony Wilson took 3-44 and Andrew Hogarth 3-46 for a K&W team whose reply saw them all out for 127.

The top four all fell for single figures before a response was led by captain Jamie Hogarth (21), Liam Castellas (18) and Andrew Hogarth (25).

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Ethan Hill added 16 but it proved in vain as Anthony Ellison ensured TC’s win, finishing with 3-27 in 6.1 overs.

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Nevertheless, the final day sees neither K&W or Torrisholme with the easiest task ahead.

Torrisholme, who are seven points ahead of K&W, travel to champions Euxton.

K&W have home advantage but they welcome a Mawdesley team in third, level on points with second-placed Carnforth.

Great Eccleston are in sixth after losing to Euxton.

The title winners posted 208-9 before dismissing Great Ecc for 126.

Great Ecc finish their season at Vernon Carus on Saturday.

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