Palace Shield cricket: Simpson century puts Longridge in charge at the top

John Simpson scored a century for Longridge
John Simpson scored a century for Longridge

John Simpson helped Longridge take a firm grip on the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title race at the weekend.

The opener hit a brilliant century as Nick Wilkinson’s men moved 22 points clear at the top of the table after a rain-affected win over Penwortham at Middleforth Green. The visitors were asked to bat first and piled on the runs, with Simpson hitting a brilliant century.

He was ably assisted by fellow opener Neil Holden, who struck a half-century, and Tom Howarth (43 not out), as Longridge closed on 256-4.

Penwortham were handed a revised target of 220 off 31 overs, but they could only muster 54-5 off 24 overs in 
reply.

Second-placed Lancaster slipped further behind the leaders after suffering a seven-wicket loss at Lune Road to fourth-placed Kendal, who are pushing hard for a promotion spot.

After being reduced to 22-4, Lancaster recovered to eventually post a competitive 159-8 thanks in the main to George Marshall (33) and Lee Sparks (30).

Set a revised target of 95 off 20 overs, Kendal reached their target with four balls to spare. Lachlan Stewart top-scored with 28.

Third-placed Croston remain firmly in the promotion hunt after a comprehensive win over bottom club Torrisholme at Boundary Meadow. Callum Mcilveen took 5-37 and Sam Marsh 4-16 as then home side were dismissed for a paltry 74.

Lee Childs’ quickfire 39 and Ian Dickinson’s 30 saw Croston race to victory inside eight overs.

Vernon Carus dropped to fifth after there was no result in their clash against Eccleston at Factory Lane.

Paul Hayton took 5-50 and Joe Allen 3-58, but Eccleston still managed to post a score of 208 all out with Jamie Maitland (38) and Sam Bromley (46) contributing well.

In reply, Vernons had reached 150-4 off 29 overs when the weather intervened. Ian Dunn struck 33 at almost a run-a-ball and Wes Royle scored eight boundaries in his knock of 46.

New Longton won a thrilling game by four runs against South Shore at home.

Munaf Bavla hit a superlative 120 and Sajid Nalbandh fell five runs short of three figures as the home side posted 276-5.

South Shore were set a revised target of 195 for victory off 31 overs, but despite excellent knocks of Nathan Bolus (64) and Luke Jardine (56), they fell agonisingly short. Chris Hadfield took four wickets.

Great Eccleston claimed a seven-wicket win over Thornton Cleveleys after chasing down a reduced target of 126 -3 off 26 overs. Matthew Moat hit 50. Earlier, Cleveleys had posted 182-7. Daniel Howard was unbeaten on 72.