Whipping boys Preston claimed their first league win in 2001 to send sorry Fleetwood to the bottom of the Northern League pile with a thumping 85 run victory at sunny Broadwater.
Preston openers Ian McDonnell and rookie James Anyon gave the visitors an early tonic, sharing a 55-run partnership for the first wicket.
Talented young batsman Anyon was at the crease for just an over an hour, facing 55 balls and firing eight fours in a swashbuckling knock of 46.
McDonnell (17) played the anchor role before valuable middle order contributions from Shah (30) and Manoj Parekh (36) saw plucky Preston clock up 195.
But there was controversy too as Fleetwood’s Kiwi pro Craig Pryor was removed from the attack for alleged intimidatory bowling following two previous warnings from the umpire.
Pryor grabbed 2-50 but Fleetwood’s most effective bowler was Alex Laird, who hauled in 4-28.
Fleetwood lost early wickets as Parekh and Akbar struck, sharing a six wicket haul. A fourth wicket stand of 42 between Nick Coultas and Peter Willis gave the home side real hope but Preston refused to be denied and made victory safe in the final over.
A monumental second wicket partnership of 183 between Munaf Bavla and Martin van Jaarsveld secured Leyland & Farington a significant eight wicket win over Blackpool at Fox Lane.
Replying to Blackpool’s 211-5 declared – Gavin Armstrong (51), Richard Lamb (28) Mark Lomas (52) – Leyland were never in trouble from the moment Bavla and mighty South African Jan Vaarsveld, the sub pro, began their furious assault.
Bavla batted for 181 minutes, firing eight fours, with Marcus Sharp eventually claiming his wicket for 88, but by then Leyland had the points in the bag.
Van Jaarsveld finished just one short of his century, unbeaten on 99, after facing 117 balls and despatching 13 fours.
Champions Netherfield keep a tight grip on top spot. But the Cumbrians were forced to fight all the way against spirited Leyland Motors before they could claim a hard-fought victory in the final over at Parkside Road.
Motors had looked on course for a modest score before a ninth wicket stand of 44 between Mark Baines (34) and Iqbal Lilley (27) pushed their total over the 150 barrier.
Mark Hadwin and Stuart Horne shared three wickets each – but Netherfield were quickly on the back foot when their reply began.
Indeed, at one stage Motors looked certain winners as Netherfield slumped to 108-8 with pro Stephen John collecting four wickets and Lilley three.
Skipper Jimmy Moyes’ conjured up a vital 43 and when tail enders Horne and 16-year-old student Ryan Wilson came together to share in an unbeaten 10th wicket stand of 11, Netherfield denied Motors with just four balls and one wicket to spare.
Rain disrupted Lancaster’s home date with Kendal at Lune Road, but David Fallows’ side claimed the honours with a winning draw.
Kendal racked up 148, with Terry Hunte contributing 73. Kabir Khan and Hunte shared in a fifth wicket partnership of 93.
Graham Barnes hauled in an impressive 5-42 – including the prize wicket of Hunte and openers Ellwood and Little.
Lancaster has made 58-3 in reply when the weather intervened.
Rain ruined any hope of a finish at Birch Hall, but St Annes claimed a winning draw against Darwen to keep the pressure firmly on leaders Netherfield.
Dave Callaghan’s unbeaten 92 was the obvious highlight of St Annes’ 212-6.
The big-hitting South African cracked 12 fours from 93 deliveries while Joe Davies also found robust form with the bat, hitting a valuable 40.
Callaghan and Adrian Darlington put on 55 for the second wicket before Callaghan and Russ Bradley piled on 63 as the Darwen bowling attack laboured. Their best return was Neil Cordingley’s 4-60.
Darwen had struggled to 75-5 – with three wickets for Dave Taylor and a double for star man Callaghan – when the rain rescued the East Lancashire men.
Chorley, unbeaten in the league this season, had to settle for the consolation prize of a winning draw after dominating Morecambe at Windor Park.
Chorley had built their 227-7 around a fourth wicket stand of 104 between Nigel Heaton (65) and James Fazackerley (49).
The Morecambe reply was quickly in trouble, though, before skipper Phil Thornton stepped in to rescue his team, putting on 72 for the fifth wicket with Nic Milner.
Thornton batted for 77 minutes, firing five fours, before Neil Bannister claimed Morecambe’s top run scorer for 69.
Iqbal Patel hauled in 4-57, but Morecambe hung on at the end with just two wickets intact.