PALACE SHIELD CRICKET: Preston maintain their perfect start

Preston all-rounder Asif Mahmood in fine form with both bat and ball (above) against South Shore
Preston all-rounder Asif Mahmood in fine form with both bat and ball (above) against South Shore

Preston maintained their excellent start to the new cricket season by making it three wins out of three at the weekend.

Muhammad Nauman’s men lead the way at the top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division – level on points with Morecambe.

The leaders were far too strong for South Shore at West Cliff, cruising to victory by seven wickets.

The visitors won the toss and decided to bat first. Knocks of 28 and 27 from Amjad Mehmood and Ryan Adderley respectively helped to 166 all out in the 45th over.

Asif Mahmood was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-34.

In reply, the home side cruised to victory with more than eight overs to spare.

Imran Jethva struck 51and there were valuable contributions from Mahmood (37) and Suhel Patel (44).

Morecambe look primed to make an immediate return to the Northern League Division One. They got the better of New Longton at Woodhill Lane.

The visitors were put in to bat and they were dismissed for 149 off 43.5 overs, with 
Chris Hands striking a fine 
half-century. Graeme Cassidy took 5-30 while Deno Baker chipped-in with 3-59.

The home side had no problems in reply as they cantered to victory for the two wickets inside 28 overs.

Sam Owen smashed a brilliant 70 and there were knocks of 36 from Mark Woodhead and skipper Ryan Pearson.

Penwortham’s miserble start to the season continued as they were well beaten by 
Lancaster at Lune Road.

Ashley Billington’s men are rock bottom in the table after five wicket loss.

Billington led the way with the bat after he lost the toss. His half-century and 31 from Anthony Dark enabled them to post 158 all out. Ben Sim took 4-38.

In reply Steven Fisher (59) and Charlie Swarbrick (43) ensured victory for the home side with eight overs to spare.

Vernon Carus’ indifferent start to the summer continued at the weekend as they were beaten at Standish, who picked up their first win of the season.

After being asked to have first use of the wicket, only a knock of 47 from Ben Duerden rescued the visitors from posting a paltry total.

In the end, they set the home side 147 for victory and despite losing eight wickets, Standish edged to victory thanks to Ali Ahmad’s 39. Ben Thomas took 4-23.

Eccleston were beaten at Moorland Road by Fylde. Usama Abrar’s 47 helped the hosts to 141 all out. The visitors fell 15 runs short of victory despite Sam Bromley’s half-century.Anthony Ellison took 5-55.

In the final match of the weekend, Great Eccleston were five-run winners over Croston.

Will Thistlethwaite struck 44 as Great Ecc posted 170-7. Sam Marsh took4-41.

In reply, Croston were all out for 165 with Ian Dickinson scoring 47. Peter Whittle took 4-35.