Kirkham and Wesham cricket captain calls for consistency after win over Fleetwood

Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club hope last weekend's eye-opening victory over Fleetwood will boost their quest for consistency in a “topsy-turvy' season.

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Moore and Smalley Palace Shield leaders Fleetwood had won all 12 premier division matches until that four-wicket defeat in Kirkham, where South African Justin Banks took 5-54 from 11 overs.

Home captain Antony Wilson told The Gazette: “It all came together in a really important game Fleetwood are a fantastic side who do the basics well,

Kirkham and Wesham captain Antony Wilson aims to follow up last weekend's defeat of Fleetwood

“We asked the lads to do the basics just as well – hold catches, bowl tight and hit the bad ball – and try to take the pressure off us.”

Spin-bowling all-rounder Banks from Port Elizabeth played his part in dismissing the leaders for 180 and Wilson added: “We wanted a spinner and we really like Justin's winning attitude, which has really rubbed off on the rest of the lads.”

It's a difficult second season for K&W in the Shield's top flight after their remarkable fourth-placed finish in 2021, though that confidence-boosting win lifts them to seventh ahead of a home clash with Torrisholme tomorrow.

“We always knew it would be tough to repeat last season and we lost the first four,” said Wilson. “We've tended to lose and win games in clumps but we're on a three-match winning run now.

“It's that word 'consistency' and we want to push forward for a big finish now.”

Wilson believes the club emerged from the pandemic stronger and explained: “It actually helped us because we got funding for the ground and updated facilities, and since Covid people have just wanted to get out and enjoy some cricket.

“Our future looks bright and we have young lads in the seconds knocking on the door, though it's a big jump from division three to the premier.”

Fleetwood bounced back with a 50-run win at Eccleston in their Meyler Cup semi-final (Declan Clerkin 78, Adam Sharrocks 57) and will face Morecambe in the showpiece decider.

TOMORROW'S FIXTURES

Northern Premier League (12.30): Garstang v Blackpool, Longridge v St Annes

Liverpool Competition First Division (12.0): Lytham v Rainford

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier dvision (1pm): Kirkham and Wesham v Torrisholme, Croston v Great Eccleston, Penwortham v Thornton Cleveleys, Preston v Fleetwood

Division 1A (1pm): Fylde v Rufford

Division 1B (1pm): Blackpool 2 v Penwortham 2, Fleetwood 2 v Netherfield 2, Great Eccleston 2 v Fulwood and Broughton 2, Thornton Cleveleys 2 v Morecambe 2.

Division 2: Norcross v Wrea Green, St Annes 2 v Preston 2.