Final glory up for grabs on Sunday

Leyland Cricket Club captain David Makinson

Leyland Cricket Club captain David Makinson

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Both the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield and Northern League will see silverware competed for this weekend.

Vernon Carus and Thornton Cleveleys will contest the Meyler Cup final on Sunday at BAC/EE Preston’s Riverside.

On the same afternoon, Leyland and Darwen do battle for the Readers Cup in the final at Fox Lane.

Vernons and Thornton both recorded Premier Division victories last week.

And they are in league action first on Saturday before meeting in the final.

There is a trip to Longridge for Vernons while Thornton welcome Penwortham to their Illawalla ground.

Longridge are one of four sides in contention to win this summer’s Palace Shield crown.

With five rounds of games left, just three points separate Garstang, Longridge, Freckleton and Great Eccleston.

There promises to be plenty of twists and turns along the way before the destiny of the title is known.

It is first versus third battle tomorrow, with leaders Garstang hosting Freckleton.

Great Eccleston play host to Fulwood and Broughton at Hall Lane and will be vary of their visitors.

F&B beat Garstang last Saturday and also recently got the better of Freckleton.

The Northern League’s Readers Cup final comes on the back of a league programme tomorrow.

Leyland go to Blackpool and Darwen visit Preston.

The form of Luis Reece could be key to Sunday’s outcome, the Leyland opener and Lancashire second team player currently in fine form.

He has hit five centuries for club and county since returning from a hand injury.

His latest ton helped came in last Sunday’s Readers Cup semi-final win over Lancaster.

Leyland skipper David Makinson was pleased to have reached the final, the victory against Lancaster coming 24 hours after losing at Darwen in the league.

Makinson said: “It was good to bounce back after Saturday’s defeat.

“Sunday was always the important game for us, I thought Luis Reece bowled really well in his spell.

“Luis is in unbelievable form for us at the moment, every time he bats I think he’ll get a big hundred.

“We fancy our chances against Darwen on Sunday, we’re playing very well at the moment. We have no worries about our batting, we’re setting big totals and it’s happening on a regular basis.”

Meanwhile, a Northern League Under-21s side faces the Liverpool Competition today at Blackpool’s Stanley Park in the Opening Up Cup.

The cup has been provided by the Opening Up Cricket organisation, formed after the untimely death of Sefton Park cricketer Alex Miler last year.

Tomorrow’s fixtures

NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE: Blackpool v Leyland, Penrith v Kendal, Morecambe v Fleetwood, Preston v Darwen, St Annes v Barrow, Netherfield v Lancaster. Chorley no game.

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: Longridge v Vernon Carus, Great Eccleston v Fulwood and Broughton, Thornton Cleveleys v Penwortham, Croston v Fylde, BAC/EE Preston v Hoghton, Garstang v Freckleton.