Reigning Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division champions Great Eccleston’s season is lurching from bad to worse.
Mustaq Mohammed’s men have made an inauspicious start to the defence of their crown and on Sunday they were knocked out of the prestigious Meyler Cup in the first round.
Great Ecc were totally outplayed by last season’s cup winners Vernon Carus at Hall Lane, going down to a nine-wicket defeat.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat first but they could only muster 121 all out off 28.1 overs.
That total would have been drastically less if it had not of been for battling knocks from James Thistlthwaite (42) and Irfan Dudhara (43).
Paul Hayton was the executioner-in-chief, taking 4-47 while Joe Allen took 3-21.
The result was never in doubt as soon as Vernons’ openers Ian Dunn (45) and Bob Bridges (60 not out) hit their straps.
Current league leaders Fulwood and Broughton’s fine start to the season continues as they progressed to the second round, courtesy of a comfortable win at Hoghton.
The home side were bowled out for a paltry 67 as Matthew Smith (3-15) and Arbab Munir (3-5) wreaked havoc.
In reply, F&B’s run chase was dominated by Dominic Jackson, who blasted a quickfire 40 to seal victory.
Longridge’s hopes of achieving cup success this season were ended at the first hurdle against Torrisholme.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first at Chipping Road, the home posted a decent score of 179 all out.
The innings was underpinned by a good half-century from Neil Holden, while James Fairclough hit 31. Matt Jackson was the pick of the bowlers with 4-29.
In reply, Longridge made some early inroads with Andy Simpson accounting for the visitors’ top three. However, a solid unbeaten partnership from Andy Butler (48) and Jackson (38) saw Torrisholme through to the next round.
Freckleton will not be repeating the cup success of 2012 and 2013, after they were well beaten at Garstang.
Their innings never really got going as Ian Walling (3-10) and Ryan Wells (3-24) kept a tight rein on the visitors.
They eventually closed on 145-9 off their allotted 40 overs. Garstang cruised to their victory target for the loss of just two wickets. Michael Walling struck 50 and Tom Wells 74.
The 2011 winners Penwortham safely negotiated their passage into the next round with a eight-wicket victory over Division One side Norcross.
A half-century from Rick Blampied helped Norcross post 179-8, but scores of 63 and 50 from David Jackson and Jack Aspden respectively saw Penwortham home with nearly five overs to spare.
The clash of the Division One outfits ended with Eccleston crushing Kirkham and Wesham by nine wickets.
Josh Pope took 3-11 as Kirkham were bowled out for 69 and in reply Eccleston cruised home inside 10 overs.
In the final match , Croston got the better of Whittingham and Goosnargh by 85 runs. Stephen Langton’s 63 helped Croston close on 165-8 and this enabled Jonathan Driver (6-28) to rip through the home side’s batting card.