LEYLAND were knocked off the top of the Northern League Division One table after suffering a surprising 45-run home defeat to Barrow.
The Fox Lane outfit looked well set for victory after dismissing their hosts for 133 in Saturday’s clash.
However, an out-of-character batting collapse saw Leyland bowled out for just 88 in reply.
With captain David Makinson unable to play due to a back injury, Chris Parkinson skippered the side.
His first act was to lose the toss as Barrow decided to bat first, but they were kept in check by a disciplined home bowling attack.
Wickets fell at regular intervals with both Karl Cross and Nathan McDonell each taking three wickets apiece as no visiting batsman was able to score above 30.
Chasing 134 for victory, Parkinson struck a fine half-century but he was given no support as the rest of the batsmen scored just 29 runs between them as Leyland folded to 88 all out.
It was a miserable day for Preston too as they were well beaten by Kendal at West Cliff. Andrew Starkie took three wickets but was unable to prevent the visitors from posting a decent total of 166-8. Shane Hoyland top scored with 47.
In reply, several Preston batsmen got starts but were unable to turn them into a match-winning score as they were bowled out for 117 in the 44th over.
Lukman Vahaluwala top scored with 29, while Chris Miller returned figures of 4-21.
It was a similar tale of woe for Chorley as they travelled north to Cumbria and suffered a four-wicket loss to Netherfield.
After being asked to bat first, Chorley progressed to 99-1 thanks to an excellent 81-run second-wicket partnership between Stuart Naden (49) and Ian James Dickinson (35).
However, the pair departed in quick succession and the visitors were only able to add a further 50 runs as they were bowled out for 149 in the 50th over. Marc Hadwin took 4-25.
In reply, the home side had a few scares with Edwin Moulton and Ian Oakes both taking two wickets apiece.
However, in the end they comfortably achieved their victory target thanks in the main to Bruce’s quick-fire 53, which included eight fours and a six.
Elsewhere, Fleetwood moved nine points clear at the top of the table after a comfortable 57-run win over Penrith at Broadwater.
The home side batted first and some heavy scoring at the top of the order set them on their way to a sizeable 219-8, with Adam Parker top scoring with 48.
Paul Hindmarch took three wickets and he then chipped in with a fine half-century in Penrith’s reply, but it was not enough to guide the visitors to victory as they were bowled out for 162.
Five wickets by Tom Higson and three from Shadley Van Shalkwyk helped St Annes to victory over Morecambe, who were dismissed for 90 chasing 129 for victory.
In the final match of the weekend, a low scoring game Lune Road saw home side Lancaster defeat Darwen by two wickets.
The visitors could only muster 93 all out after batting first, but gave Lancaster a fright in their response. Charlie Swarbrick’s 40 proved crucial.
A nine-wicket haul from Ian Walling helped Garstang beat Longridge to stay top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.
Walling returned stunning figures of 9-41 in 14.2 overs in the clash at Riverside.
Longridge, who had started the day in second place, were dismissed for 67 as Walling took control with the ball.
Ryan Wells was the other wicket taker, with Alex Mason top-scoring for Longridge with a knock of 17.
Garstang chased down their target inside 11 overs, Michael Walling unbeaten on 47.
Fulwood and Broughton moved into second place with an 86-run victory over Penwortham.
Asked to bat first on their Highfield track, F&B put 155-9 on the board in a rain-reduced 27 overs.
Matthew Smith hit 41 and Charlie Rossiter 25, with Jon Roebuck taking an impressive 6-54 for the visitors.
In reply, Penwortham were 69 all out, F&B’s bowling attack enjoying a fruitful time.
Chris Brookes and Richard Turner took three wickets apiece, Smith collecting two as he added to his good knock with the bat.
Vernon Carus came out on top of their visit to Torrisholme, winning by 36 runs at Boundary Meadow.
James McDonagh struck five boundaries on his way to 51 and Christian Ash hit 43 as Vernons totalled 166-6.
Torrisholme put in a battling reply but ran out of wickets in their chase, bowled out for 130 in the 38th over.
Adam Bee struck 50 and Chris Parry 37.
For Vernons, Ben Llewellin took 4-24, Joe Allen 3-38 and Matthew Timms 2-48.
Defending champions Great Eccleston beat Croston by 33 runs at Hall Lane.
Electing to bat first, Great Ecc put a very decent 224-7 on the board in their 45 overs.
Opening pair Adam Green and James Thistlethwaite were among the runs.
Green struck a mighty 85 with Thistlethwaite scoring 58.
There were three wickets apiece for the visitors’ Sam Marsh and Lee Childs.
Marsh hit 60 in Croston’s reply but they were 191 all out, with Mohammed Nadeem doing plenty of damage – taking 7-66 in a 13-over spell.
There was a 21-run win for Whittingham and Goosnargh at Freckleton.
Safraz Patel’s 57 helped the visitors to 182 all out after they were put in to bat.
Freckleton were dismissed for 161 in reply, Jamie Hogarth top-scoring with 59.
Thornton Cleveleys were 160-run winners over Fylde.
Rob Dingle’s 91 helped them to 198-7, with Jordan Beech and Daniel Howard then taking five wickets apiece as Fylde were bowled out for just 38.