Longridge are early season pacesetters in Northern League, while old foes lead the way in Palace Shield

Longridge lead the way at the top of the Northern League Division One after a perfect start to the season.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 4:45 pm
Match action from Lancaster's game at St Annes

Nick Wilkinson’s men have won both of the opening league games – they were too strong for Leyland in their latest outing on Saturday at Chipping Road.

The visitors – who have yet to win this season – won the toss and elected to bat first and they were able to post a competitive total of 205 all out thanks to a brilliant knock of 82 from Kurtis Watson.

He was ably assisted by James Rounding (29) and Iain Critchley (36). Jonathan Millward and Daniel Wilson both took four wickets apiece.

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In reply, a fine second wicket partnership between Joshua Mullin (69) and James Whitehead (57) looked to have set the hosts on the way to a comfortable victory.

However, they departed in quick succession and three quick wickets from skipper David Makinson gave Leyland a whiff of a chance but Thomas Turner’s unbeaten 28 tipped the balance back in the home side’s favour as they edged to victory.

Chorley got their season up and running with victory over Morecambe at Windsor Park at the weekend.

Andrew Holdsworth’s men were 35-run victors after bowling the visitors out for 187 after they had earlier posted 222-6.

Professional Siddesh Lad was the star of Chorley’s batting performance as he hit a superb century. The Indian paid man hit 16 boundaries and three sixes before being bowled by Jack

White for 113. He was given some excellent support by Joseph Tiffin, who struck 45.

In reply, Morecambe were all out for 187 despite Charlie Swarbrick’s swashbuckling 69 off just 61 balls.

Garstang were beaten, going down by 33 runs against Blackpool, at the Riverside.

The visitors had chosen to bat first and reached 194-7 at the end of their 50 overs. Sam Dutton hit 54 with Michael Walling, Brett Pesler and Danny Gilbert taking two wickets apiece.

Garstang’s reply saw Pesler (52) and Mark Walling (27) add 76 for the third wicket but the former’s dismissal triggered a spell which saw four wickets fall for 17 runs. They were eventually all out for 161. The damage was done by Trivadi (3-28), Siddall (3-34) and Grindley (3-37).

Fulwood and Broughton were beaten by Kendal at Highfield. Mike Sambell hit a superb unbeaten 88 and there were knocks of 40 each from Ben Parkinson and Sam Berry as the hosts posted 216-5.

However, Darren Nightingale and LukmanVahaluwala both hit 80 as the visitors cruised to victory for the loss of four wickets off 43 overs.

Elsewhere, Netherfield thrashed Fleetwood by 180 runs and St Annes enjoyed a winning draw at home to Lancaster.

Fierce rivals Vernon Carus and Penwortham have set the standard in the early weeks of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.

The two clubs are a stone’s throw from each other and they both begun the summer in red-hot form.

Vernons currently lead the way at the top of the table – on the same number of points as Pen after two games. The early season leaders were too strong for Fylde in a high-scoring game at Factory Lane.

The hosts batted first after winning the toss and posted a huge 248-5. Matthew Stevenson hit 50 at a run-a-ball, finding the boundary on 100 occasions.

Jamie Rigby then smashed six fours and three sixes on his way to 61 off 39 balls while Ian Dunn was a little more circumspect as his half-century came off 99 balls.

Ben Duerden then smashed an unbeaten 35 to set the visitors a daunting target.

In fairness, they made a good fist of the attempt but were bowled out for 212. Ben Anderson scored 64 but they were kept in check by Jacob Holland, Max Livesey and Joe Allen, who took three wickets apiece.

Penwortham were even more impressive with the bat as they got the better of Preston at West Cliff.

The visitors batted first and closed on 271-6. There were half-centuries for Ian Walmsley Junior, Martyn James Brierley and Maji Rajdeep. Sajid Nalbandh took 3-59.

In reply, Preston battled valiantly but they eventually succumbed 48 runs short of victory. Rizwan Patel top scored with 56 with Imran Jethva (39) and Nalbandh (32) also among the runs. Ashley Billington (3-44) and Sam Ryding (3-21).

Kirkham and Wesham are the only other team to have a 100% record and they got the better of Great Eccleston by 104 runs at the Woodlands.

The hosts batted first and compiled 180 all out off just 33.5 overs.

Sean Bovington was the star of the show with a brilliant 71 off 40 deliveries. A knock that included nine fours and four sixes. Salar Butt and Joe McMillan took three wickets.

In reply, Great Ecc were dismissed for a paltry 76 with Andrew Hogarth (6-13) and Anthony Harrison (4-16).

Eccleston suffered an agonising one-wicket loss to Penrith in Cumbria. Peter Cummings top scored as the visitors posted 139 all out.

The home side reached their targets thanks to Alister Craig’s 47. Andrew Hewitt took 3-38.

Croston were well beaten by Thornton Cleveleys at Illawala by 100 runs.

Richard Jenkinson top scored 30 as the hosts posted 174 all out. Jake Parsons took 3-35. In reply the vistors were all out for 74.

In the final match of the weekend, Barrow defeated South Shore by 50 runs.

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