Weekend cricket round-up
Leyland are the new Northern League Division One champions after performing a demolition job on title rivals Blackpool on Saturday.
The two teams went into the match on the final day of the season knowing that whoever came out victorious would win the league.
However, rather than being a tense and nervy affair, the game turned out to be a title procession for Leyland after a brilliant performance in the field at Stanley Park.
They dismissed the home side for a paltry 63 and then knocked off the runs inside 16 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Captain David Makinson admitted the day could not have gone any better as far he and his team were concerned.
“There was a big crowd on the day and we were expecting a pretty tense and close game,” he said.
“But we bowled really well right from the beginning.
“They found it really difficult to score.
“Karl Cross took three of the first four wickets and the two big wickets, when he got their professional Daryl Mitchell and Stephen Twist out.
“That left them 12-4 and so they were always going to struggle to put a decent score on the board.”
Cross ended up with 3-18 off eight overs, while South African sub-professional Pelser produced a miserly spell from 17 overs – each of his four wickets costing just 5.5 runs .
Skipper David Makinson (2-15) joined the attack to remove Blackpool’s highest scorer Tom Jefferson for 17.
In reply, Leyland cruised to victory despite Mitchell’s three wickets.
Chris Parkinson hit 26, but it was left to Henry Thompson (19 not out) and Brett Pelser (13 not out) to guide the visitors to the title.
Elsewhere, Preston signed off the season with a tight victory over St Annes at home.
Considering the West Cliff outfit finished bottom of the table last season without picking up a single victory, this year has been a massive improvement.
Sajid Patel’s men have finished in exactly mid-table, winning eight of their 22 games.
On Saturday, they laboured to 126 all out – a score which would have been a lot less if it had not of been for Patel’s 35 and a terrific half-century by Muhammad Mursaleen.
Mitchell Bolus and Tom Higson took four and five wickets respectively .
In reply, the visitors were all out for 113 as Lukman Vahaluwala (4-38) and Andrew Starkie (3-12) impressed with the ball.
Chorley are another team to have enjoyed a good season. Ian Dickinson’s men secured fifth place – and a 200-plus point haul – with a tight final-ball win over Morecambe at Windsor Park.
A fine half-century from Saeed Anwar junior saw the visitors post an imposing total of 183-5. However, Edwin Moulton (53) and Andre Holdsworth (54 not out) ensured Chorley won at the death.
In the other games, third-placed Fleetwood were comprehensive six-wicket victors over Lancaster, while Darwen were comprehensive winners after dismissing Kendal for 101.
In the Cumbrian derby, Penrith were four-wicket winners against Barrow at Tynefield Park.
FULwood and Broughton kept their nerve on the final day of the season to win the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title.
Mark Smith’s men went into the final weekend of the season 11 points clear of second -placed Vernon Carus.
Barring a catastrophic heavy defeat at Freckleton, F&B knew the title was theirs and they clinched it in style courtesy of a hard-earned 27-run win.
After being put in to bat, knocks of 43 and 39 from Amin Patel and Richard Turner helped F&B close on 146-9. Jonathan Millward and Jamie Hogarth both impressed with the ball, taking four wickets apiece.
After a poor start, Freckleton recovered to 94-5 and were looking like they could inflict only the third defeat of the season on F&B.
However, the stage was set for Usman Sadaqat, who produced a magical spell of bowling. He took four wickets for nine runs off just seven overs as Freckleton folded to 119 all out.
Vernons kept F&B honest by defeating Garstang by five wickets. The match was played at Netherfield CC’s Parkside Road ground due to Garstang’s Riverside ground being unusable due to flood damage.
It soon became a home from home for Vernons as they run through Garstang’s top order cheaply.
Ben Llewellin took three wickets and there were two apiece for Matthew Timms, Paul Hayton and Joe Allen.
Some late-order hitting from Ian Walling (36) pushed the home side’s score up 85 all out. Walling then took 5-39 in Vernons’ reply, but David Fisher’s fine half-century ensured there was no slip-up on the final day for the runners-up.
Elsewhere, Longridge secured third place by thrashing Thornton Cleveleys at Chipping Road. Tom Howarth (33) top scored for the home as they posted 149 all out and they were bowled to victory by Matt Greenall, Rory McDowell and Alex Mason.
They all took three wickets apiece as no batsman for Cleveleys reached double figures as they were routed for a paltry 72. The battle of the two relegated teams ended in an emphatic 70-run win for Whittingham and Goosnargh over bottom side Fylde, who have not won a game all season.
In other games, last year’s champions Great Eccleston got the better of Penwortham in a high-scoring game at Hall Lane.
The home side closed on 264-4 and restricted Penwortham to 208-8 in reply.
Croston got the better of Torrisholme at home after dismissing the visitors for just 84. Sam Marsh took 6-28.
Northern Cricket Premier League
Leyland 24 267
Blackpool 24 256
Fleetwood 24 245
Barrow 24 209
Chorley 24 205
Netherfield 24 193
Preston 24 171
Kendal 24 170
St Annes 24 157
Penrith 24 147
Darwen 24 143
Morecambe 24 121
Lancaster 24 106
Fulwood and Broughton 22 224
Vernon Carus 22 213
Longridge 22 182
Garstang 22 174
Freckleton 22 155
Great Eccleston 22 150
Croston 22 144
Penwortham 22 124
Thornton Cleveleys 22 118
Torrisholme 22 105
Whittingham & Goosnargh 22 94
Fylde 22 32