Makinson aiming to stay at summit

Leyland's Henry Thompson (left) with skipper David Makinson

Leyland's Henry Thompson (left) with skipper David Makinson

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Leyland skipper David Makinson is pleased to see his side at the top of the Northern League table but admits it is still relatively early days in the title battle.

The Fox Lane outfit went to the summit thanks to a 68-run victory over Darwen last week.

Until that clash, Darwen had led the table but it is now Makinson’s men who enjoy a nine-point advantage.

It is a lead which Leyland will look to maintain tomorrow when they head to Vernon Road to take on St Annes.

Makinson told the Evening Post: “It is still quite early in the season but it’s still nice to be at the top with more points than the other teams.

“I always think it is the beginning of August before you can see if you have a chance of winning the league or not.

“We had a good win against Darwen last week on a wicket which was not easy to bat on.

“Our pitch had got saturated earlier in the week – the place was like a lake.

“We were put in to bat and I thought our score of 148-9 was plenty on that wicket.

“Henry Thompson got 57 which was a really good knock.

“He is a good player and it was nice for him to get a bat because earlier in the season when we got some wins, we were knocking off the runs early without him getting in.

“We then got Darwen out for 80 after bowling well.

“Hopefully we can follow that up with a win at St Annes.

“I’m expecting the wicket to be more batsmen-friendly and our lads are looking forward to having a bat.”

Makinson will have Luis Reece available for the trip to the coast as the Lancashire player is not on county duty.

Against Darwen it was Reece’s bowling rather than his batting which caught the eye. He took 4-31 after a steady knock of 24 at the top of the order.

Said Makinson: “Luis is in Lancashire’s seconds at the moment, who play in midweek.

“So that leaves him free to come back to play for us at the weekend.

“Obviously, we all want to see him back in the first XI even though that would mean he is unavailable to us.

“Luis likes coming back here because he can have a bowl as well as a bat.

“Maybe he relaxes a bit more with us because he’s played for six years and has got his friends here.

“He is only a young lad of 23 and has time on his side to get back into the Lancashire team.”

Leyland are also in action on Sunday in the first round of the Readers Cup against Penrith.

Chorley, fresh from their National Knockout win over St Annes last week, travel to Fleetwood tomorrow, before hosting Lancashire Colts in the Readers Cup.

There is a double header for Preston too, with a league visit to Morecambe followed by a cup clash at Kendal.

Game of the day in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield is leaders Great Eccleston against title-holders Vernon Carus.