Leyland lining up a title showdown

David Makinson is hoping to skipper Leyland to the title once more
David Makinson is hoping to skipper Leyland to the title once more
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Leyland captain David Makinson believes the advantage in the Northern League Division One title race is with his team – but only just.

The men from Fox Lane went to the top of the table on bank holiday Monday when they crushed Darwen at home by seven wickets.

The result saw them move 11 points ahead of previous leaders Blackpool, who on the same day came unstuck at derby rivals Fleetwood.

Paul Danson’s men have played one game less than Leyland and know that they can move back to the top with a maximum points haul from their game in hand.

The likelihood is that it will all boil down to the final day of the campaign when the two teams meet each other at Stanley Park for a potential title decider.

Makinson admitted the prospect of having to beat Blackpool to win the title is a mouth-watering prospect.

However, a lot could happen in the meantime with Leyland due to face Kendal away tomorrow, and Penrith at home the following Saturday, ahead of the final weekend of the season.

At this stage of the season, Makinson revealed he would probably plump to be in his team’s position if he had the choice, especially if the weather intervenes, as it so often does during the month of September.

“It’s a tough question, but I would just about choose to be in our position, but only just,” said Makinson. “There’s not a lot in it though.

“We are 11 points clear after beating Darwen, but Blackpool have a game in hand so if they win that, they could go four points clear.

“It’s looking likely that we will have to beat Blackpool on the final day to win the title.

“But you never know, the weather could still play a big part yet.

“It’s supposed to be a really nice September so we’ll see.

“I think so far this season, we have had two abandonments and Blackpool have had one.

“One of the frustrating things is one of those games we had Preston 80-odd all out, so we would have expected to have won that and we would be in a really strong position now.

“But it’s just one of those things – there’s nothing you can do it, just hope it evens itself out over the season.”

If Leyland were to go on to claim the title for the third time in six years, Makinson believes it would top the previous two triumphs.

“I don’t think we are feeling nervous in the dressing room – more excited,” he said.

“We have won the title in 2010 and 2013 so we’ve won it before but I think this would be our best win because we have had to play five games without an overseas player after Richardt Frenz went back home early.”

Frenz’s South African countryman Brett Pelser featured for Leyland on Monday and will play again this weekend. He is also primed to play against Blackpool.