Lancaster hoping to keep pace with Palace Shield leaders
Lancaster Cricket Club skipper Luke Phillips reckons the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division is just beginning to take shape.
After a topsy-turvy opening few weeks of the summer, two teams – Croston and Longridge – have opened up a little gap at the top after winning five of their first six games.
However, after collecting two wins on the bounce, Lancaster have moved up to third in the table – on the coat-tails of the top two.
While accepting that it is still currently very tight with just 17 points separating fourth-placed Eccleston and second-bottom Penwortham, Phillips believes the next few weeks will see the table begin to stretch.
“Hopefully we will get another win this weekend,” said Phillips.
“I think the top group might start to pull away a bit over the next few weeks, although it’s still quite close at the minute.
“If you lose, you can still drop down a couple of places, but I think over the next couple of weeks there will be a bit more of a top-and-bottom feel to the division.
“But with 12 points for a win, you can still get back in it so we’ve just got to try and keep winning and put a bit of distance between ourselves and the teams below us.”
Lancaster welcome Vernon Carus to Lune Road this weekend and Phillips is hopeful of making it three wins on the spin.
“I think Vernons have lost their last two so will be looking to end their losing streak,” Phillips added.
Meanwhile, in the Northern League Division One, Leyland face a tough task when they travel to Stanley Park to take on league leaders Blackpool.
However, skipper David Makinson – who is currently injured with a sore shoulder – believes his men can draw on past good experiences of their trips to the Fylde coast.
“It will be a good game,” said Makinson.
“They will be out for a bit of revenge, the last two times we have been to Blackpool we have bowled them out for around 70 or 60 and beaten them comfortably so they will be after a bit of revenge.”
Leyland have endured an inconsistent season so far, but look to be finding a bit of form, comprehensively outplaying Fleetwood last weekend.
Makinson said: “It’s been bit hit and miss but we have had quite a few experienced players missing that we are hoping to get back in the next few weeks.
“As long as we don’t fall too far behind the leaders in the next couple of weeks I think we have still got a chance of challenging.”
Leyland are expected to have Karl Cross in their line-up despite him missing the T20 Cup games on Sunday through injury.
Preston go in search of their first win of the season when they host second-bottom Penrith at West Cliff on Saturday.
Northern League Division One: Barrow v Morecambe, Blackpool v Leyland, Chorley v St Annes, Fleetwood v Garstang, Netherfield v Fulwood and Broughton, Preston v Penrith.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division: Croston v Thornton Cleveleys, Great Eccleston v South Shore, Kendal v Penwortham, Lancaster v Vernon Carus, Longridge v Eccleston, Torrisholme v New Longton.