Weekend cricket preview

Alex Mason of Longridge
Alex Mason of Longridge
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Longridge will be looking to maintain their Moore and Smalley Palace Shield title push when they host Whittingham and Goosnargh tomorrow.

The Chipping Road outfit are one of five clubs in contention for silverware.

Fulwood and Broughton are currently top of the pile, with Vernon Carus in second and Garstang third.

Then come Longridge, with Freckleton, having closed the gap on the chasing pack in fifth place in recent weeks.

Longridge skipper Kyle Helm said: “We are still within touching distance and we would like to be closer.

“We got beaten by Freckleton a couple of weeks ago, which set us back a bit.

“Joshua Holden did very well for Freckleton to take the game away from us.

“We bounced back last week to beat Garstang, which was a great result.

“Alex Mason did really well for us in that game. He took three wickets and then scored an unbeaten 42 – hitting a run a ball – when batting at eight.

“Fulwood and Broughton and Vernon Carus keep winning at the top, so we’ve got to keep pace with them.

“We still have to play those two in September.

“Freckleton have kicked on in the last few weeks, and caught up with the group above after there was a bit of a gap.

“So there are five clubs who are in contention.

“It should be a good game against Whittingham and Goosnargh on Saturday.

“They are a side who either scores 200-5 or are out for 80.

“They really go for it from the start and are capable of a good score.

“The forecast is better for the weekend so hopefully we can get a good afternoon’s game of cricket.”

On Sunday, Longridge’s second XI take on Vernon Carus seconds in the Loxham Cup final at Freckleton’s Bush Lane ground (1.30pm).

Elsewhere in the Palace Shield top flight, Fulwood and Broughton go to Torrisholme.

Vernon Carus are also on their travels, with a visit to bottom club Fylde.

Garstang host Croston at Riverside, with Penwortham going to Thornton Cleveleys.

Freckleton host defending champions Great Eccleston.

It is a double header in the Northern League this weekend.

The additional Sunday fixture card is as a result of the opening round of games having been postponed in April because of the wet weather and ground conditions.

There are two away games for third place Leyland, with them at Barrow tomorrow and then Fleetwood on Sunday.

With Fleetwood being just above them in the table, that is a key game in the title fight.

Leaders Blackpool are not playing this weekend.

It is their turn to sit out the fixtures on Saturday in the 13-team league and have requested to play the postponed first game on a different date.

FIXTURES

NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE: Barrow v Leyland, Chorley v Netherfield, Darwen v Lancaster, Kendal v Preston, Morecambe v St Annes, Penrith v Fleetwood

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: Fylde v Vernon Carus, Freckleton v Great Eccleston, Garstang v Croston, Longridge v Whittingham and Goosnargh,Thornton Cleveleys v Penwortham, Torrisholme v Fulwood and Broughton