Fylde coast cricket review: Lytham make a late charge for the top two
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Matt Taaffe’s players moved into third position thanks to a 64-run win at second-placed Birkenhead Park CC.
A low-scoring game had seen Lytham bowled out for 136 inside 49 overs after they were asked to bat first.
Openers Ed Fiddler (4) and Matthew Wood (11) fell cheaply as they were reduced to 25-2.
Taaffe joined Richard Staines with the pair adding 57 for the third wicket.
With the score 82-2, Taaffe was out for 23 to begin a passage of play which saw the last eight wickets fall for only 54 runs.
Staines (24) followed without further addition before the dismissal of Guy Roberts (4) left the score 89-5.
Avinash Yadav and William Bookless took the Lytham total into three figures before Mark Rowland ran through the middle and lower order.
Having already accounted for Taaffe and Roberts, he also sent back Bookless (11), Alex Higham (6), Richard Openshaw (2) and Charlie Nixon (3) to finish with 6-22.
Jack Saunders (0) was the last to go, leaving Yadav as Lytham’s top scorer with 25 not out.
With Birkenhead Park 48-2 in reply, Lytham’s bowlers then took charge of matters in dismissing them for 72.
Openshaw (2-26) had removed Jack Dixon (3) and Michael Barnes (4) before Rowland and Alex Harris added 37 for the third wicket.
Saunders then took centre stage, removing Rowland (18), Sam Beadsworth (6), Steve Hird (0), Chris Foran (0) and Matty Langford (2) in taking 5-16.
Harris (21) was out to Yadav, who also removed Louie Evans (0) for figures of 2-26.
Lytham’s win was wrapped up in the 36th over as Wood (1-1) trapped David Nevin (0), leaving Jonathon Crofton 15 not out.
Victory leaves Lytham 21 points behind Birkenhead Park with three games remaining.
The first of those comes on Saturday when they host Old Xaverians (12pm).
Clubs in the Northern Premier Cricket League had a double-header with games on Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday.
St Annes had effectively secured their Northern Premier Cricket League status for another year with victory last weekend.
Nathan Armstrong’s players recorded a 132-run victory against fourth-placed Longridge at Vernon Road.
St Annes batted first and compiled 233-5 in 50 overs, initially led by Luke Jardine (54) and Tom Higson (31).
Alec McGloughlin (63 not out) and Lukman Vahaluwala (46 not out) added an unbeaten 95 before Longridge were 101 all out.
Josh Mullin (57 not out) carried his bat as Higson finished with 4-16 in 8.5 overs.
Victory meant St Annes stayed 10th but were 45 points clear of second-bottom Penrith with a maximum of 45 left to play for.
Blackpool could not capitalise on Longridge’s defeat in the race for the top four as their game with Netherfield was abandoned.
Fleetwood lost by three wickets in a low-scoring match against title-chasing Kendal.
Having been asked to bat first, Fleetwood were shot out for only 64 as only Charlie Clark (14), Rizwan Patel (12) and Jeremy Davies (10) made double figures.
Chris Miller took 4-22 and Freddie Fallows 3-8 for a Kendal team which reached 65-7 despite Davies’ 4-21 and Declan Clerkin’s 3-27.
Then, on Monday, St Annes were officially safe from the drop despite losing their derby day meeting with Fleetwood.
Fleetwood won by 71 runs in a match where, for the most part, it was the bowlers who dominated proceedings.
Having been asked to bat first by their visitors, Fleetwood were all out for 138 in 48 overs.
The bulk of those runs came via a second-wicket stand of 88 between Cian Dickinson (57) and Davies (29).
Clark (12) and Harry McAleer (11) were the only other batters in double figures as St Annes’ Nathan Bolus finished with figures of 4-32.
In reply, St Annes were shot out for 67 midway through the 35th over.
After losing early wickets, they had recovered to 51-3 before the last seven wickets fell for only 16 runs.
Dickinson followed up his efforts with the bat by taking 4-18 to give Fleetwood the full 15 points.
That leaves them comfortably in sixth position, while St Annes’ safety was made official as they are 45 points clear of the drop with two games left.
Blackpool sit fifth, 13 points ahead of Fleetwood, after beating Fulwood and Broughton by 20 runs.
Asked to bat first, Blackpool collapsed to 81-7 despite Tomas King making 24 and Shivam Chaudhary 27.
Will Vause led the fightback, top-scoring with 46 in helping Blackpool to 146 all out as Hareen Buddila took 4-33.
Fulwood and Broughton were 72-3 in reply before being dismissed for 126, Jamie Thomson with 4-37.
This weekend sees Fleetwood host Chorley, while St Annes are at Fulwood and Broughton with Blackpool travelling to Leyland.
Kirkham and Wesham took a big step towards survival in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division with victory on Saturday.
K&W posted a 36-run win at Great Eccleston which, with results elsewhere, moved them 12 points clear of the relegation places.
Sean Bovington (56) was K&W’s top scorer in their 113 all out before Great Ecc were skittled for 77, Jamie Hogarth finishing with 5-15 and Andrew Hogarth (above) 3-12.
Also victorious were Thornton Cleveleys, who saw off Penwortham by five wickets at Illawalla.
The visitors batted first and were all out for 118, Joshua Rolinson taking 3-25 and Anthony Ellison 3-36.
In reply, TC reached 121-5 as Rob Dingle made 42 not out and Joshua Sackfield 33.
K&W face a tough test this weekend as they host third-placed Carnforth, who are only three points off the promotion places.
Great Ecc are seventh but can leapfrog sixth-placed Preston with victory at West Cliff.
TC, who are in fifth, can keep up the pressure on those above with a win at Vernon Carus.