Battle of title rivals finishes all square

Matthew Smith for Fulwood and Broughton during their game against Longridge
Matthew Smith for Fulwood and Broughton during their game against Longridge
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Title contenders Fulwood and Broughton and Longridge could not be separated in their Moore and Smalley Palace Shield clash at Highfield.

The sides went into the weekend as the top flight’s top two and a thrilling contest ended in a tie.

It was Longridge who chose to bat first after winning the toss, the visitors putting 130-7 on the board.

After wickets fell higher up the order, it needed some strong batting lower down.

Skipper Kyle Helm, who came in at No.7, hit 22 not out.

Even better came from Ian Simpson at nine, with him joining Helm at the crease to enjoy an unbeaten knock of 38.

For the hosts, Matthew Smith took 3-24 and Richard Turner 2-33.

In reply, F&B were 130 all out, losing their last wicket in the 44th over.

Opener Amin Patel was their top scorer with a knock of 33, Turner adding 18.

After his earlier success with the bat, Simpson took 4-17 for Longridge, with Rory McDowell returning figures of 3-35.

F&B took seven points from the tie and Longridge eight –they gained an extra bowling point.

Longridge stayed on top of the table, Garstang moving second ahead of F&B after a 60-run win at Eccleston.

Put in to bat, Garstang were 172-6, Coen Oosthuysen hitting 36, while Allan Cook and Mark Walling both had knocks of 29.

They bowled out their hosts for 112, Danny Gilbert taking 4-32.

Vernon Carus are right in the title battle after a 37-run win in their derby clash with neighbours Penwortham at Middleforth Green.

Although in fourth place, they are within seven points of the leaders.

Invited to bat first by their hosts, Vernons put together a challenging 206-9.

Ian Dunn hit nine fours on his way to 49, denied a half century by Thomas Wilson.

James McDonagh and Christian Ash kept the score ticking along with knocks of 37 and 31 respectively.

Penwortham were 169 all out in reply, Jack Aspden and Andrew Tobutt hitting the bulk of the runs.

Opener Aspden struck 67, with Tobutt scoring 66 – his time at the crease featured five sixes and five fours.

Paul Hayton returned fine figures of 7-16 off 11.5 overs, Adam Parker taking 3-48.

Mohammed Nadeen was the star of Great Eccleston’s five-wicket win over Rufford.

Nadeen took 8-38 to help bowl Rufford out for 122 in the first innings at Hall Lane.

He then struck 63 not out as Great Ecc successfully chased down their target.

Thornton Cleveleys beat Croston by two wickets, Jake Parsons hitting 45 and Luke McQuade for the Croston.

Torrisholme were 22-run winners over Freckleton at Boundary Meadow.