F&B back in the winning routine
Fulwood and Broughton bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a comprehensive victory over Croston at the weekend.
Mark Smith’s men were knocked off top spot in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division by Garstang the week before but they were back in the groove on Saturday at Highfield.
Four wickets for just 19 runs from Richard Turner helped the home side restrict the visitors to 146 all out. Stephen Langton top scored with 37.
In reply, the bulk of F&B’s runs were scored by openers Smith (41) and Ben Parkinson (63 not out) as they cruised to victory for the loss of just two wickets inside 32 overs.
That win was not enough for F&B to regain the leadership as Vernon Carus’ win at home to Longridge kept them five points clear at the summit.
The visitors were never able to break free of the stranglehold of Vernons’ bowlers after being asked to bat first.
No batsmen was able to score above 30 as they could only muster 135-8 off their allotted 45 overs, with Matthew Timms the pick of the bowlers with 3-40.
The home side had no problems in their run chase, especially as Wes Royle cracked a quickfire 45 from 52 balls.
Ian Dunn (48 not out) provided the anchor as Vernons reached their target for the loss of just three wickets.
Third-placed Garstang kept themselves within touching distance of the top two as they hammered Fylde, who are looking increasingly cut adrift at the bottom of the table.
After being asked to bat first, Fylde were dismissed for a paltry 80.
Six of their batsmen were removed for ducks and only Joseph Calvert (39) managed to come to terms with the conditions. Ryan Wells was the executioner-in-chief with the ball, returning figures of 4-19.
Garstang then raced to victory for the loss of just one wicket off 16.3 overs. Michael Walling top scored with 39.
Penwortham snapped a four-match losing run in the league with victory over Freckleton at Middleforth Green.
It was not looking too good for the home side though, after they were put in to bat by the visitors. Early wickets saw them slump to 38-5 with Joshua Holden (3-45) impressing with the ball.
However, a fine partnership between Andrew Tobutt (68) and Andrew Sidgreaves (50 not out) stopped the rot and enabled Penwortham to post a sizeable 206-7.
A 63-run opening partnership between Andrew Hogarth (38) and Danny Gilbert (51) looked to have set the visitors up for a successful run chase.
However, they then suffered a collapse as they were bowled out for 142. Thomas Wilson and Nathan Walmsley took three wickets apiece.
Thornton Cleveleys were comfortable winners over Whittingham and Goosnargh at Illawalla.
Daniel Howard took five wickets as W&G were all out for 131.
Jon Eade then smacked 69 and Cleveleys eased to victory with eight wickets remaining.
In the final match of the weekend, reigning champions Great Eccleston had a big win at Torrisholme.
Mohamed Nadeem’s unbeaten 79 enabled the champions to post 160-7 and the home side were bowled out for 83 in reply. Jim Procter returned figures of 4-19.