Bowlers on song in weekend wins

St Annes batsman Nathan Bolus is clean bowled by Netherfield's Dieter Klein
St Annes batsman Nathan Bolus is clean bowled by Netherfield's Dieter Klein
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It was a fantastic weekend for Chorley as they sparked their season into life thanks to two terrific victories.

Andrew Holdsworth’s men had made an inauspicious start to the summer with only one win from their opening four games.

But they hit top form on Saturday with victory over high-flying Morecambe in the Northern League Division One and then followed that up a day later by beating Lytham in the opening round of the ECB National Knockout Competition.

Morecambe led the table when they arrived at Windsor Park, but they had no answer to a brilliant home bowling performance led by James Lee (3-23) and Will Moulton (4-11).

Chasing a reachable 140 for victory, the visitors were routed for just 96 inside 38 overs.

Earlier, Chorley’s overseas amateur Brenton McDonald top scored with a watchful half-century and was assisted by Ian James Dickinson (29).

Buoyed by that performance, the bowlers were at it again as Liverpool Competition outfit Lytham were dismissed for a paltry 115, with Lee taking another three wickets, while Keiran McCullagh also chipped in with three.

In reply, a good opening stand between David Fisher (32) and Gaurav Dhar (25) ensured the run chase was built on solid foundations.

It was left to Jack Catterall (21 not out) to guide the team over the line, despite a late flurry of wickets.

It was also an enjoyable couple of days for Leyland as they kick-started their league campaign by beating Fleetwood at the Stanning Memorial Ground on Saturday, before ending Longridge’s bid in the ECB Knockout Competition a day later at Chipping Road.

Henry Thompson struck 73, while Andrew Makinson fell one run short of a half-century as Leyland racked up the runs against their Palace Shield Premier Division opponents.

Ian Simpson took 4-43, but the visitors’ 217-7 proved too much for Longridge as they were all out for 165. James Fairclough top scored with 34.

A day earlier, Sam Oldham took 4-27 as Fleetwood closed on 176-9. David King and Ian Holland both hit half-centuries.

The home side’s victorious run chase owed much to Chris Parkinson’s half-century at the top of the order, while Andrew Makinson (34 not out) steered his team to victory for the loss of six wickets.

Preston are still looking for their first win of the season as they were well beaten by Kendal at Shap Road.

Having been put in to bat, the home side closed on 196-8 thanks in the main to Darren Braithwaite’s 79. Sajid Patel took 3-46.

Preston never looked like chasing down the target as they were bowled out for 114 inside the 45th over. Patel top scored with 28.

In the battle near the bottom, Netherfield clawed some ground back on St Annes courtesy of a five-wicket victory.

Reigning champions Blackpool moved to the top of the table by beating Barrow in a low-scoring contest at the Ernest Pass Memorial Ground.

In the final game of the weekend, Lancaster moved to within a point of second-placed Darwen by beating them by a narrow 20 runs.