Longridge out to topple league leaders Blackpool in Northern League

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Longridge could have the chance to go top of the Northern League this weekend – and be the first team to defeat reigning champions Blackpool.

Luke Platt’s men welcome the Seasiders to Chipping Road in confident mood after a fine start to the season.

They currently sit in third spot in the table, seven points behind their visitors who top the table after going unbeaten in their opening seven games.

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For their part, Longridge have been almost as impressive, winning five and losing only one of their opening seven games.

Longridge's Luke Platt battingLongridge's Luke Platt batting
Longridge's Luke Platt batting

Last weekend, they were in dominant form, brushing aside Netherfield by 40 runs after posting 209-8.

Even if Longridge get the better of last summer’s league champions, it still might not be enough to see them go top.

Second-placed Garstang have a similar record to Longridge but find themselves a place above them in the table. This weekend, they travel to Leyland who will still be smarting from last weekend’s humbling at the hands of Fulwood and Broughton.

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If Garstang were to emerge victorious at Fox Lane, then it could be them who are the new league leaders.

Danny Gilbert’s men were too strong for Lancaster, cruising to victory at Lune Road last Saturday by nine wickets. One of the pleasing aspects for Gilbert this season is that his team have not been too reliant on Indian professional Punit Bisht, who he has labelled as the best batsman in the league.

"We have got a good complement of players,” he said. "A lot of the guys have been together for a number of years and they are playing well alongside the pro Punit who is a quality player.”

Meanwhile, in the Palace Shield, there will be plenty to play at the top for this weekend as leaders Fleetwood host second-placed Morecambe while Penwortham, in third, travel to Great Eccleston – the team directly below them in the table.

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Northern League: Fulwood & Broughton v Penrith, Leyland v Garstang, Longridge v Blackpool, Netherfield v Chorley, St Annes v Lancaster, Vernon Carus v Kendal.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division: Barrow v Eccleston, Croston v Torrisholm, Euxton v Kirkham & Wesham, Fleetwood v Morecambe, Great Eccleston v Penwortham, Preston V Thornton Cleveleys.