Great Ecc stay in charge at summit

Longridge's James Whitehead and Josh Mullin chat between overs against Flixton
Longridge's James Whitehead and Josh Mullin chat between overs against Flixton
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The leadership of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield stayed in the hands of Great Eccleston after victory over Longridge.

Their win at the Newsham Memorial Ground was clinched in the final over and it kept them ahead of title rivals Freckleton and Garstang who both recorded victories.

Electing to bat first on their home track, Longridge put 183-8 on the board.

Luke Platt hit a half-century and Daniel Wilkinson (41), while skipper Ian Simpson added 24 lower down the order.

For Great Ecc, Jim Procter took 3-38 in 15 overs and Jon Jeffries’ eight over spell saw him post figures of 2-23.

The visitors were 184-8 in reply, clinching the win with five balls left.

James Thistlethwaite’s 51 was the bedrock of the innings, Will Thistlethwaite and Jon Jefferies both adding 21.

Jefferies and skipper Mustaq Mohammed were at the crease to guide Great Ecc over the line.

Longridge suffered further disappointment on Sunday when they exited the Lancashire Cup.

They lost to Flixton in a contest hit by the weather and can count themselves unlucky.

Batting first, Simpson’s men were 219-5 in 40 overs.

After a rain interruption, Flixton’s target was revised to 123 in 23 overs, a target which the Bolton Association outfit reached with three balls to spare.

Freckleton remain hot on the heels of Great Ecc, just four points behind in second place. They won by five wickets at Hoghton, maintaining their title challenge.

Hoghton were asked to bat first, the hosts putting 160-5 on the board in 45 overs.

The bulk of the runs came from opener Darren Eccles who struck 72, Phil Hurst the next highest scorer with 17.

Freck chased down their target after 37 overs, scoring 164-6. Edward Fiddler top scored with 45, Jamie Hogarth adding an unbeaten 42.

Garstang’s 21-run victory over BAC/EE Preston was a game when bowlers had the better of things.

Twenty wickets fell in the Riverside clash, Garstang 159 all out after batting first.

Openers Michael Walling and Allan Cook found some form, Walling scoring 61 and Cook 36 – both of their wickets claimed by Thomas Wilcock, who finished with 4-27.

Oliver Austin took 6-59, only Dave Whalley (22) getting into double figures after Walling and Cook departed.

BAC were 138 all out, John Mounsey top-scoring with 52.

Mark Smith’s ton helped Fulwood and Broughton to a resounding 98-run victory over Vernon Carus at Factory Lane.

Smith hit an unbeaten 101, his century including 13 fours, as F&B closed on 199-5.

They bowled Vernons out for 101, the hosts’ last seven wickets tumbling for 28 runs.

Arbab Munir took 5-24, with Matthew Rossiter taking 2-6.

Penwortham beat Fylde by nine wickets at Middleforth.

They dismissed the visitors for 192 then chased down their target with just one wicket lost.

Jack Aspden and Martyn Brierley were unbeaten on 78 and 74 respectively.

Croston won their first game since promotion, beating Thornton Cleveleys by 38 runs.

Simon Marsh hit 51 and Sam Marsh 49 as Croston posted 198-7 in the first innings.

In reply, Thornton were 160-9, Lee Childs taking 3-51.