Skipper convinced of Finals Day presence

Leyland's Karl Cross
Leyland's Karl Cross
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Leyland captain David Makinson is 99.9% sure that his men will have a Twenty20 Finals Day to look forward to later this summer.

Despite there being another round of group fixtures to go early next month, the Fox Lane skipper believes his men have already done enough to secure their semi-final place.

Grouped with neighbours Chorley and Preston, Leyland got their Twenty20 campaign off to a fine start by beating Andrew Holdsworth’s men at Windsor Park last month.

Last weekend, it was their turn to play two matches on their own patch as bothderby rivals arrived at the Stanning Memorial Ground on Sunday.

However, Leyland certainly made home advantage count as they recorded comprehensive wins to leave them with a 100% record.

There is a chance Preston can draw level on points with Makinson’s men by winning their two home games a week on Sunday, but Leyland’s run rate is far superior which means their Finals Day participation looks assured.

“We had two good wins on Sunday and I think that puts us through into the Finals Day because our run rate is exceptional ,”said Makinson, who is back to full fitness after spending the past month on the sidelines with a broken thumb.

“ I’m 99.9% sure that we are through.”

It was a good weekend all-around for Leyland as a convincing win over Blackpool on Saturday ensured they stayed just five points behind current leaders Netherfield at the top of the Northern League Division One.

However, the strength of Leyland’s squad will be tested for this weekend’s visit of Lancaster to Fox Lane as a number of players are unavailable.

“We are missing Karl Cross,” said Makinson. “He is going to be a big miss because he has been vital to us both bowling and batting.

“He split the webbing in his hand against Preston and will be out for three weeks

“My son Andrew and Will Jacques are also unavailable.”

To fill the void left by that trio, Makinson has called up Hamza Khan, Steven Pallett and Andy Jacques from the second team.

Meanwhile, it’s quarter-finals day in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Meyler Cup on Sunday.

The tie of the round sees current Premier Division league leaders and holders Garstang meet second-place Longridge at Chipping Road. Elsewhere, Croston host Penwortham, Vernon Carus entertain Fulwood and Broughton while Torrisholme are at Thornton Cleveleys.

Saturday’s fixtures

Northern League Division One: Chorley v Blackpool, Kendal v Penrith, Leyland v Lancaster, Netherfield v Morecambe, Preston v Fleetwood, St Annes v Barrow

Moore and Smalley Palace ShielD: Croston v Eccleston, Freckleton v Fulwood and Broughton, Great Eccleston v Garstang, Rufford v Penwortham, Thornton Cleveleys v Longridge, Torrisholme v Vernon Carus.