Fylde coast cricket round-up: Professionals lead the way in emphatic victories

Blackpool’s maximum-point win at Netherfield has seen them open up a 17-point lead at the top of the Northern Premier Cricket League table.

By Gavin Browne
Sunday, 20th June 2021, 12:30 pm

A complete performance with bat and ball saw them return from Cumbria with an eight-wicket win achieved in quick time.

The home side had opted to bat first, only to be dismissed for 107 inside 46 overs.

For once, it wasn’t Matt Grindley who was Blackpool’s star turn with the ball as he went wicketless from 10 overs.

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St Annes celebrate one of Harry Birkman's wickets in their draw with Leyland

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He still played a part, however, claiming three catches in helping Shivam Chauhan to figures of 4-26.

Matthew Siddall claimed 3-28 and Jamie Thomson 2-33 as only skipper Ben Barrow (35) made it past 30 for Netherfield.

Although Blackpool lost Tomas King (0) and Sam Dutton (16) in reply, they breezed to victory midway through the 14th over.

Ciaran Johnson was 43 not out from 41 deliveries, an almost pedestrian scoring rate compared to Chauhan.

He struck eight fours and a six to finish 44 not out from only 24 balls faced, seeing Blackpool to 15 points.

It was a similarly emphatic story at Chorley where Fleetwood ran out seven-wicket winners.

Again, it was a game where an overseas professional took centre stage with bat and ball as Fleetwood’s Dyllan Matthews led them to victory.

Having seen James Amor (2-22), Jeremy Davies (2-21) and Scott Whittaker (2-21) among the wickets, Matthews ran through Chorley’s lower order in claiming 4-5 as they were all out for 76.

Then, after Davies (16), James Gregson (0) and Charlie Clark (16) were dismissed in reply, Matthews powered Fleetwood to victory.

He struck five fours and three sixes in an undefeated 44, which came from only 13 deliveries, as Fleetwood reached 77-3 and climbed to ninth in the table.

They are one place and one point behind St Annes after they drew with Leyland.

St Annes asked Leyland to bat first at Vernon Road, where they ended their 50 overs on 167-6.

Almost half of that came from Kurtis Watson, who made 79 before becoming the third wicket for Harry Birkman, who took 3-37.

Tom Higson (1-32), Nathan Bolus (1-33) and Curtis Fletcher (1-41) picked up the other wickets for St Annes, whose reply ended with them on 137-9.

They had appeared set for a drama-free reply after reaching 89-3, only to lose the next six wickets for 40 runs.

Watson was the man largely responsible, following up his batting exploits with figures of 5-34 as Ben Weaver added 3-10.

Bolus had top-scored with 36, but once James Bradley (3) was ninth man out, it was left to Birkman and Fletcher to hang on.

They did so, Birkman ending eight not out and Fletcher unable to get off the mark as they picked up a point for their efforts.

Elsewhere, Lytham’s struggles in the Liverpool Competition continued as they dropped to the foot of the First Division.

Matthew Taaffe’s players suffered a fifth straight league defeat as they went down by three wickets at Colwyn Bay.

Lytham had been asked to bat first by their hosts and were all out for 163 in the 54th over.

That they got so far was thanks to Tom Jefferson, who came in at 50-3 and was last man out for 72.

Ed Fiddler (18), Josh Holden and Taaffe (both 17) were the only other batters in double figures as the home side saw Paul Jenkins take 4-34 and Ryan Holtby 3-34.

In the field, Lytham pro Zia-Ur-Rehman Akbar picked up another three wickets in reducing Colwyn Bay to 109-7.

However, an eighth wicket partnership of 58 proved key – even if the participants played in vastly different fashion.

Adam Campion ended undefeated on 53 from 104 balls, while Holtby hit nine fours in his 37 not out from 41 deliveries.

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