Ton up for Reece, while Palace Shield title race is going down to the wire

Richard Turner
Richard Turner
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A fifth century in recent weeks from Luis Reece helped steer Leyland into the final of the Readers Cup.

Reece hit 104 in their 47-run victory over Lancaster at the weekend.

Leyland will meet Darwen in the final on Sunday at Fox Lane.

This was Reece’s third ton for Leyland since recovering from a broken hand, with him hitting two more for Lancashire’s second XI.

His 104 came off 110 balls and included 16 boundaries.

Opening partner Chris Parkinson added 41 and No.3 Richardt Frenz 35 as Leyland put a formidable 241-7 on the board.

In reply, Lancaster were 194 all out, Samuel Moorby hitting 52 and Charlie Swarbrick 38.

Reece helped himself to two wickets, with Andrew Jacques taking 3-26.

The day before, Leyland had lost to Darwen by five wickets in the Northern League at Birch Hall.

It was a high-scoring clash, David Makinson’s men putting 268-9 on the board.

Reece hit 73 at the top of the order and Nathan McDonnell struck 67 batting at five.

Darwen chased down their target with three balls to spare, sub pro Janaka Gunaratne scoring 115.

Morecambe stayed top of the league after taking eight points from their drawn game with Kendal.

Mark Woodhead’s 57 and 36 from Suraj Randiv helped them to 163-5 after they had elected to bat.

Kendal replied with 150-8, holding out to avoid defeat.

Second placed Blackpool drew against Lancaster at to stay in touch with Morecambe in the title hunt.

A high-scoring clash at Stanley Park saw more than 450 runs scored.

Blackpool batted first and posted 231-7, Stephen Twist hitting 74 and Andy Furniss 71.

In reply, Lancaster got close to their target, closing on 222-9 which gave them six points.

Skipper Ben Simm’s 64 not out was the visitors’ stand-out scorer, with Rameez Raja scoring 57 and opener Jamie Heywood 49.

Chorley conceded their visit to Penrith. They were unable to raise a team as most of the players were attending the wedding of long-serving player Gaurav Dhar.

Chorley had requested the game be moved or their bye weekend be scheduled for Saturday.

Fleetwood remain in title contention after a nine-wicket win at Preston.

Shabnan Ali’s 63 helped Preston to a first innings score of 107 all out.

Fleetwood chased down their target for the loss of one wicket, Ian Holland hitting 54 and David King 48.

Netherfield and Barrow drew their game.

Meanwhile, the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield title race looks to be going right to the wire with four teams in the hunt.

Just three points separate the top four, Garstang seeing their lead cut at the top after defeat to Fulwood and Broughton.

With five games remaining, Garstang are two points ahead of Longridge and Freckleton, and three clear of fourth-place Great Eccleston.

Garstang’s defeat to F&B at Highfield was only their third in the league this season.

Electing to bat, the visitors were bowled out for 146.

Arab Munir was in fine form with the ball, taking 6-25 in his 14 overs, with skipper Richard Turner posting 2-38.

The bulk of Garstang’s runs came from Michael Walling who hit 54 and Mark Walling with a knock of 40.

F&B chased down their target inside 38 overs, Turner scoring an unbeaten 65 and Matthew Smith finishing 64 not out.

Longridge’s victory over Penwortham at Middleforth was a close-run affair.

A high-scoring clash saw them win by five runs, the result seeing them close the gap on Garstang.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Longridge struggled early on and were 11-3 at one stage as Jon Roebuck removed the visitors’ top three.

The middle order steadied them, Luke Platt – batting at five – hitting 41, with No.6 Tom Howarth scoring four sixes and four fours on his way to a knock of 65.

Skipper Ian Simpson added 38, with Longridge closing on a healthy 216-9.

Undoubtedly, the batting display of the game came from Martyn Brierley.

He scored a magnificent 111 not out, seven sixes and nine fours sent to the boundary.

Brierley helped the hosts get to within touching distance of their target but they fell just short, finishing on 211-7.

Freckleton maintained their title challenge with a victory by 77 runs over Croston.

They chose to have first use of their Bush Lane track after winning the toss and posted 175-5.

Andrew Hogarth and Josh Holden were the batsmen in form, having unbeaten knocks of 69 and 67 respectively.

Hogarth, batting at seven, faced only 64 deliveries, with him hitting 10 fours and a six.

Lee Childs took all five wickets for Croston, returning figures of 5-20.

In reply, Croston were 98 all out, with five Freck bowlers claiming wickets.

Michael Rigby and Jamie Hogarth took three apiece, Jonathan Millward two, with Danny Gilbert and Edward Fiddler one each.

Great Eccleston beat Fylde by six wickets in their visit to Moorland Road.

Asked to bat first, Fylde were 168-8, Joe McMillan scoring 37.

James Thistlethwaite led Great Ecc’s reply, the opener hitting 65. Oliver Parkinson’s unbeaten 31 helped steer the visitors over the line.

Vernon Carus beat BAC/EE Preston by 38 runs.

The defending champions put 239-7 on the board after batting first, Christian Ash hitting 78 and Ian Dunn 56.

BAC/EE replied with 201-6, Craig Cook hitting 63 not out, while there was a half century for John McKeever.

Thornton Cleveleys won by seven wickets at Hoghton.

In the first innings, Hoghton were 155-9, Phil Hurst scoring 49. Taylor Cornall hit 71 not out in Thornton’s chase.