Final Palace Shield promotion place is still up for grabs

Ryan Pearson
Ryan Pearson

The fight for the final promotion spot in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division will go right down to the wire.

With just one game of the season to go, both Morecambe and Croston still have the opportunity to win the right to play in the Northern League Division One next seaon.

Second-placed Morecambe are the team in the box seat as they hold a two-point lead over Croston heading into the final weekend.

Ryan Pearson’s men kept their noses in front by thrashing Vernon Carus at Factory Lane. The skipper led the way with a superb unbeaten 80 as the visitors posted a sizeable 192 all out. Jacob Holland took 5-47 and Joe Allen chipped in with three wickets.

In reply, Vernons were routed for a paltry 51, with Tommy Clough taking a remarkable four wickets for just one run off 5.3 overs.

Croston kept up the pressure by getting the better of Standish, who are deep in the relegation mire and face Morecambe next weekend, at Green Lane.

After restricting the hosts to 103-9, Adam Sexton’s men overhauled the total off 27 overs with seven wickets to spare. This weekend Croston entertain Eccleston knowing they will go up if they win and Morecambe slip up.

Champions Lancaster recorded their 17th win of the campaign – and kept New Longton deep in relegation trouble.

Ben Simm’s men racked-up a sizeable 206-8 at Lune Road thanks to half-centuries from Charlie Swarbrick (66) and Kieran Moffat (51). Chris Hadfied took 5-66.

In reply, the visitors were bowled out for 101. Ben Simpkins top scored with 36 and Nathan whitehead produced an excellent spell of bowling, taking 5-14.

With both Standish and New Longton losing, bottom side Fylde gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding the dreaded drop by getting the better of South Shore at Moorland Road.

Good bowling performances from Anthony Ellison (4-49) and Andrew Sheffield (3-30) helped the home side limit the visitors to 122 all out.

In reply, Fylde got over the finishing line with three wickets to spare thanks to an excellent unbeaten half-century from captain Keith Moore.

Elsewhere , Eccleston look set for a top-five finish after crushing win over Great
 Eccleston at Doctors Lane.

Ian Bradley was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts as his three wickets for three runs saw Great Ecc stumble to 74 all out.

Eccleston cruised to victory for the loss of eight wickets. Matthew Ashcroft finished unbeaten on 28.

In the final match of the weekend, Preston hammered Penwortham by 133 runs at Middleforth Green.

The visitors posted a huge 251-8 and then bowled the home side out for a sorry 118.