Makinson will not give up on the title

Makinson's Leyland team 'will keep up 'their pursuit 'of Blackpool
Makinson's Leyland team 'will keep up 'their pursuit 'of Blackpool
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Leyland skipper David Makinson says his side’s Northern League title challenge is very much alive.

The defending champions trail leaders Blackpool by 28 points going into the Bank Holiday weekend fixture double-header.

But they have a match in hand over the Stanley Park outfit and Makinson believes it is all to play for over the next four weekends.

Tomorrow afternoon, Leyland host Lancaster, then they are back at Fox Lane on Monday to tackle Fleetwood.

Makinson said: “Blackpool have five games left and we have six because we still have Lancashire Colts to play on the final Sunday. We are 28 points behind them at the moment but you never know.

“If we won the extra game that would cut the deficit by 15 or 12 points depending on how the match went.

“But Blackpool don’t seem to be able to stop winning – I think they have won 15 of their last 17 matches or something like that.

“The challenge for us is to try and keep on winning ourselves and see what happens in the next few weeks, although Blackpool are showing no signs of slipping up.

“We have got two difficult games this weekend. Although Lancaster are near the bottom, they have beaten a couple of sides very well and have some good players.

“It is always a tough match against Fleetwood whenever we play them.

“Earlier this season we beat them by one run and that was one of the best games I had played in for a long time.”

Leyland kept up their challenge at the top with an eight-wicket win over Chorley last Saturday. Makinson was among the wickets, taking 3-44, with his son Andrew Makinson, Tayyab Afsar and Will Jacques all returning batsmen to the pavilion.

It is such a spread of wickets which the skipper believes has brought success of late.

“It was a good win over Chorley and we were without our overseas amateur Alex Ross, who has returned to Australia,” said Makinson.

“What I like about our side is that we do tend to share the wickets. Some teams have one bowler who will bowl 300 overs a season. It is a long time since we have had someone who has bowled more than 210 overs.

“We have quite a few lads who can do a job with the ball, and if it is not quite happening for someone, we have others to step up.”

Leyland will have Luis Reece available tomorrow but he will miss Monday’s game as he is on duty with Lancashire’s second XI.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the four-way battle at the top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division. Vernon Carus hold a three-point lead at the summit and have a home game against Fulwood and Broughton at Factory Lane tomorrow.

Second-placde Great Eccleston visit Freckleton, while Longridge – in third – welcome Penwortham to the Newsham Memorial Ground.

Garstang visit BAC/EE Preston as they attempt to close the gap from fourth spot.

FIXTURES

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

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: BAC/EE Preston v Garstang, Freckleton v Great Eccleston, Longridge v Penwortham, Thornton Cleveleys v Fylde, Vernon Carus v Fulwood and Broughton, Withnell Fold v Whittingham and Goosnargh