Weekend cricket round-up: Garstang pip rivals to qualify from group
Garstang hopes of achieving success in the amalgamated Northern League and Palace Shield competition this summer remain on course after the first stage of matches.
Mark Walling’s men pipped fierce rivals Longridge to the second qualification in Group B at the weekend to progress through to the next round.
Starting the weekend in third place, Garstang needed to beat Great Eccleston at Hall Lane and hope leaders Fulwood and Broughton would get the better of Longridge.
Garstang’s players certainly did the job they needed to do by crushing Great Ecc by 10 wickets, but they then had to wait anxiously as the two teams above them got embroiled in a titanic tussle at Highfield.
In the end it was F&B who prevailed, winning the thrilling contest by just one wicket with the winning run hit on the final delivery of the match.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Longridge compiled a competitive score of 142-7 off their 40 overs.
The total owed much to Luke Platt, who carried his bat, scoring a circumspect 61 off 111 deliveries, with six boundaries.
John Simpson and Daniel Wilkinson Jnr both hit 21 and there were two wickets apiece for Swapnil Singh Bist, Zach Procter and Chris Brookes.
In reply, the hosts appeared to be well on their way to comfortable victory at 79-3 with Ben Parkinson (25) and Simon Kerrigan (40) looking well set.
But a clutch of wickets put the visitors back in contention, with Joshua Holden (3-30) and Rory McDowell (3-35) impressing with the ball.
However, the last-wicket partnership of Zach Procter and Chris Brookes kept their nerve to ease F&B over the line.
Garstang were in irresistible form against Great Ecc. Mohammed Yusuf took 5-18 and Fayaz Ughradar 3-6 as the hosts were skittled for a paltry 66. Joe Davies scored 27.
In reply, the visitors required just nine over to secure victory, openers Michael Walling (30) and Michael Wellings sharing an unbeaten half-century stand.
Elsewhere, Preston defeated Kirkham and Wesham at West Cliff in a high-scoing contest.
Siva Sai hit 42 and Aasif Afinwala scored 30 as the home side closed on 194 all out. Anthony Harrison took 3-32. The visitors made a good fist of their reply but they fell 13 runs short despite Jamie Hogarth’s half-century.
Shafwan Ilyas Musa Patel took 4-19.
Northern League sides Leyland and Chorley have flexed their muscles over their Palace Shield counterparts to progress from Group C.
The men from Fox Lane topped the group after winning four out of five – their record only spoiled by the opening-day washout at Eccleston.
Chorley finished in second – two points behind Leyland – but six ahead of third-placed Eccleston.
Both enjoyed convincing victories at the weekend with Chorley particularly impressive in dispatching Vernon Carus at Windsor Park.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first but it proved to be a fateful decision as they were routed for a paltry 56.
Only Jamie Rigby (19) reached double figures as Will Moulton and James Lee took three wickets apiece.
In reply, Vernons enjoyed early success by removing both openers cheaply, but Harry Barclay (17 not out) and Moulton (24 not out) guided the hosts home with just under 30 overs to spare.
Leyland were made to work slightly harder by Euxton on a decent batting wicket at Fox Lane.
The visitors posted 147-6 after batting first, with Chris Pearson’s unbeaten half-century the highlight. He was ably supported by Jack Shovelton (41). Iain Critchley and skipper David Makinson each took two wickets apiece.
In reply, the home side were in all sorts of trouble at first as Jack Shovelton (2-26 and Joseph Bowden (2-23) removed the top four for a combined score of 10.
But Kurtis Watson (70 not out) and Andrew Makinson (51 not out) steadied the nerves with a brilliant fifth-wicket partnership to secure victory inside the 26th over.
In the other match to be played in the group, Penwortham got the better of Eccleston by three wickets at Doctors Lane.
The home side posted a score 195-5 from their allotted 40 overs, but the visitors timed their run chase to perfection – reaching their target with an over to spare.
Elsewhere, St Annes and Blackpool have progressed from Group A, while Netherfield and Morecambe secured the top two places in Group D.
St Annes qualified in some style, winning all four of their matches, rounding things off with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Thornton Cleveleys at Vernon Road.
Tom Higson took 5-14 as the visitors were bowled out for 89 and then scored 42 as the hosts cruised to victory inside 20 overs.
Fleetwood, who were five-wicket winners over Lytham were beaten to second place despite finishing on the same points as Blackpool, who were without a game. The superior run rate of the men from Stanley Park proving crucial.
Netherfield defeated Morecambe by four runs in a thrilling game at Parkside Road. Lancaster lost by 42 runs at Kendal.