Fylde coast cricket review: Lytham down league leaders but Kirkham and Wesham miss out on promotion

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Lytham CC’s bid for promotion in the Liverpool Competition will go down to the final day after a nervy win against the league leaders.

Matt Taaffe’s players were two-run winners against Newton-le-Willows in a low-scoring match at The Lane.

Once again, it was Afghan spinner Zia-ur-Rehman Akbar who inspired their victory with six wickets after Lytham had been asked to bat first and were all out for 112.

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After losing Josh Holden (5), they had seen Matthew Cartmell and Guy Roberts take the score to 59 without further loss.

Matt Taaffe saw his Lytham side edge to victoryMatt Taaffe saw his Lytham side edge to victory
Matt Taaffe saw his Lytham side edge to victory

That was when Cartmell fell for 27, beginning a spell which saw Lytham fall to 69-5 as Tom Jefferson (1), Roberts (25) and Taaffe (0) all followed.

Akbar (7), Richard Staines (8) and Niall Dunn (7) also fell, leaving Lytham 92-8 and staring down the barrel.

Richard Openshaw and Thomas Hessey contributed 19 for the ninth wicket before the latter was out for 11.

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Tom Myerscough (1) followed shortly afterwards with Openshaw eight not out as Siddiq Patel claimed 5-44 and Afaq Ali Sartaj 4-21.

Needing early wickets, Lytham’s bowlers obliged as they reduced their hosts to 34-4.

Hessey dismissed Matthew Parkinson (10) and Christopher Chambers (10), while Akbar accounted for Ben Walkden (10) and Ian Walkden (2).

He then sent back Zacari Donohue (6), leaving Newton-le-Willows 53-5, only for Patel and Mike Walkden to launch a counter-attack.

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They added 42 for the sixth wicket with victory only 18 runs away.

That was when Akbar trapped Patel (20), followed two balls later by Marc Debrabander (0).

Openshaw bowled Liam Jenkins (2) before dismissing Walkden (35) to leave the home side 106-9.

Four more runs followed before Akbar clinched victory with the wicket of Sartaj (5), leaving Dominic Chambers four not out.

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That gave Akbar figures of 6-43 – his 11th five-wicket haul in 15 matches and 78 for the season – while Openshaw took 2-12 and Hessey 2-34.

In the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield, Kirkham and Wesham’s hopes of promotion into the Northern Premier Cricket League were dashed on the final day.

They needed to beat Croston to have any chance and hope that Vernon Carus and Barrow tripped up.

However, while Kirkham and Wesham saw off Croston by six wickets, Vernons secured the second promotion spot behind Penrith after beating Penwortham.

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Barrow secured third place with victory in their game against the champions.

Anthony Harrison took 6-26 as Croston were all out for 93 before Kirkham and Wesham replied with 98-4.

The bottom two clubs, Fylde and South Shore, lost to Preston and Eccleston respectively.

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