Walling brilliance too good for Fold

Jonny Hothersall of BAC/EE Preston against Penwortham in their Palace Shield Premier Division game
Jonny Hothersall of BAC/EE Preston against Penwortham in their Palace Shield Premier Division game
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Cricket’s Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title race is hotting up with nine games of the season to go.

Just 10 points separate leaders and reigning champions Vernon Carus from fourth-placed Garstang.

Sandwiched in between those two are Longridge and Great Eccleston, in second and third respectively.

Garstang were the biggest winners of the day as they hammered bottom side Withnell Fold by 122 runs at Higher Wheelton.

Michael Walling was the star performer as he hit a brilliant century for the visitors as they declared on 254-5 after 40 overs. Mark Winstanley hit 35 and Ian Walling struck an unbeaten half-century.

Will Proctor then took centre stage with the ball as he took 5-38 as Withnell were bowled out for 132. Josh Cunliffe top scored with 28.

The big shock of the weekend was Great Eccleston’s dramatic loss to mid-tableThornton Cleveleys at Illawalla.

After deciding to bowl first, Thornton had the visitors in early trouble as they were reduced to 37-3. Will Thistlethwaite and Oliver Parkinson both hit 35 as Great Ecc recovered to 168 all out.

In reply, the home side looked on course for a comfortable victory as Richard Jenkinson (41) and Daniel Howard (55) led them to within sight of victory.

However, with just 12 runs needed for the win, Thornton lost four wickets for just one run. It was left to the last-wicket pairing – Jake Apperley and Joshua Vincent – to inch their team to a surprise triumph.

Vernons enjoyed a comfortable five-wicket win over Fylde at Factory Lane.

Paul Hayton (5-59) and Joe Allen (3-41) set the ball rolling for the champions as Fylde reached 151-9 off their allotted 45 overs.

In reply, James McDonagh and Paul Chapman Junior both scored 33 but it was Christian Ash – who finished unbeaten on 42 – who guided Vernons to victory with more than 10 overs to spare.

Longridge were comprehensive six-wicket victors over Whittingham and Goosnargh at the Newsham Memorial Ground.

Home skipper Ian Simpson won the toss and inserted W&G, who were quickly in trouble as Dan Wilkinson (5-35) and Ian Simpson (3-11) ran through the card.

The visitors were eventually dismissed for 68 in the 28th over, and Longridge knocked off the runs with more than 25 overs to spare.

Jamie Skeoch’s fine half-century was to be in vain as BAC/EE Preston were beaten by Penwortham. The Riversiders posted 131-8 from their allotted 45 overs, with Neil Patel performing well with the ball, taking 3-34.

Penwortham looked to be in some trouble in their reply as their top three were back in the pavilion, having scored just seven runs between them.

However, Alex Unsworth (36) and Martin Hewitt (47 not out) repaired the damage as the visitors cruised home for the loss of five wickets.

Fulwood and Broughton were four-wicket winners over Freckleton at Bush Lane.

Edward Fiddler top scored for the home side as they were dismissed for 110. Jon Fenton took 5-21.

In reply, Mark Smith hit a fine half-century as F&B won with more than 20 overs to spare.