Northern League title is not decided after top two slip up

Ian Walling took 7-17 for Garstang (photo: Tim Gilbert of Preston Photographic Society)
Ian Walling took 7-17 for Garstang (photo: Tim Gilbert of Preston Photographic Society)

Garstang will be kicking themselves after throwing away a golden opportunity in the Northern League Division One title race.

On the penultimate weekend of the season, Mark Walling’s men – in second spot in the table – could have narrowed the gap between themselves and leaders Leyland to just three points heading into the final game of the summer.

However, a disastrous batting display against relegation-threatened Kendal saw them shot out for a paltry 70, chasing just 80 for victory.

Their frustration will have been heightened by the fact that Leyland froze with the title there for the taking. They were well beaten by Fulwood and Broughton at Highfield.

As it stands, David Makinson’s men remains odds-on favourites to win the league, 13 points clear.

Garstang bowler Ian Walling must wonder what he has to do after he produced a lethal spell of bowling. He took 7-17 and was backed up by Travis Pieters (3-35) as Kendal were all out for 79.

In reply, only one batsman was able to reach double figures for Garstang as they succumbed to defeat. Chris Miller took 4-23.

Leyland got off to the best possible start in their match as F&B’s openers were dismissed cheaply. But an unbeaten knock of 62 from professional Simon Kerrigan and 35 from Rob Dingle saw the hosts close on 150-7.

After Matthew Smith (3-12) ripped through Leyland’s top order, Nathan McDonnell repaired the damage with a well-crafted half-century. But when Kerrigan (4-34) trapped him in front , the visitors folded to 123 all out, Ross Bretherton’s 33 proving to be in vain.

Meanwhile, Longridge ensured Penrith will endure a nervous finale thanks to a winning draw at Chipping Road.

A knock of 48 from James Whitehead was the mainstay behind the home side’s 140-8 in a rain-reduced match. In reply, the visitors reached 126-7, Greg Hall was 51 not out.

Chorley endured a few nervous moments before finally prevailing against relegated Barrow at the Ernest Pass Memorial Ground.

There were three wickets apiece for Edwin Moulton and Keiran McCullagh as Barrow were bowled out for 117. Toby Mowat hit a half century.

Mowat then took four early wickets as the visitors floundered in reply. They were saved by a quickfire knock of 45 from Alexander Howarth. His runs came off just 26 balls and included four boundaries and three sixes.

Elsewhere, Fleetwood maintained their position in third spot thanks to a narrow two-wicket win over Netherfield at Broadwater. Chasing 142 for victory, Mat Clark’s men reached their target with three wickets to spare.

An unbeaten knock of 82 by Joshua Boyne helped Blackpool to a winning draw over St Annes at Vernon Road.