Weekend cricket round-up
Leyland face a dramatic final day shootout against Blackpool to decide the destiny of the Northern League Division One title race.
The two teams will meet each other at Stanley Park on Saturday with the winners crowned champions.
David Makinson’s men ensured that the race will go right down to the wire thanks to a convincing win over Penrith at Fox Lane on Saturday.
That result could have seen them seal the title a week early, but Blackpool kept their side of the bargain with a crushing defeat of Lancaster at Lune Road.
Paul Danson’s men then moved to the top of the table on Sunday by winning their game in hand against Barrow at home.
Leyland piled on the runs after being asked to have first use of the wicket by visiting captain Kriss McLean.
Despite losing Chris Parkinson for a duck in the first over, Karl Cross and Henry Thompson enjoyed an excellent partnership for the second wicket.
Cross was the aggressor as he struck five boundaries and two sixes before being dismissed – one run short of a half-century.
Thompson was slightly more circumspect, but still struck nine fours in his 96-ball knock of 57.
The run fest continued with sub-professional Atif Ali Zaidi and young all-rounder Ross Bretherton at the crease.
The Pakistani paid man struck an unbeaten 71, finding the boundary rope on seven occasions.
Bretherton did not mess around as he cracked six fours and a six in his unbeaten knock of 37 as the home side closed on 233-3.
In reply, Penrith never looked like threatening Leyland’s total as they were dismissed for 113 inside 37 overs.
Makinson was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets for just six runs off eight overs. Will Jacques and Nathan McDonnell both chipped-in with two wickets apiece.
It was the bowlers who were in dominant form over the weekend for Blackpool as both Lancaster and Barrow failed to reach three figures.
Joshua Boyne took 5-24 as Lancaster were bowled out 82 on Saturday. An unbeaten 26 from Daryl Mitchell, who also took two wickets, guided Blackpool to victory by six wickets.
Mitchell (40 not out) was among the runs again on Sunday as he and Tom Jefferson (45 not out) were untroubled in their pursuit of Barrow’s lowly score of 90.
Elsewhere, Preston were well beaten by Netherfield at Parkside Road. Jibran Khan struck 63 as the visitors posted 154-8. Daniel Ingham took 4-22.
In reply, an unbeaten half-century from James Johnson and 45 from Tom Bruce condemned Preston to defeat.
Chorley collapsed to 121 all out in their pursuit of Darwen’s 177 at Birch Hall. Only Nekoli Parris (30) and Joseph Tiffin (40) had any joy with the bat as David Bowdon produced a match-winning five-wicket haul.
Fleetwood could still finish in the runners-up spot and they enjoyed a comprehensive 103-run win over St Annes at Vernon Road.
Barrow were humiliated despite bowling Kendal out for 69. The Cumbrians were routed for just 43 in reply.
Fulwood and Broughton need just two bonus points from their final match of the season to win the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title.
The men from Highfield Road defeated fourth-placed Longridge at Highfield on Saturday to maintain their 11-point lead over Vernon Carus.
Mark Smith’s men – who have not won the title since 2005 – were far too strong for Longridge.
Charlie Rossiter’s excellent half-century and a fine 44 from Matthew Smith helped F&B posy 176 all out. Daniel Wilkinson Junior took 4-41 and Ian Simpson chipped in with three wickets.
Chris Brookes then did most of the damage with the ball as he returned figures of 4-21 to help skittle Longridge for 126. Usman Sadaqat took 3-18.
Vernons are still clinging on to their title aspirations after a thumping 81-run win over Freckleton at Factory Lane.
Home skipper Christian Ash ensured his bowlers had something to defend with a battling 46 as Vernons posted 138 all out.
Jonthan Millward was the pick of the bowlers with 4-39, while Matthew Rigby and Danny Gilbert took three wickets apiece.
Matthew Timms (4-22) set the ball rolling for the home side during Freckleton’s reply, taking three early wickets.
Fellow opening bowler Ben Llewellin (3-10) then came to the party as Freckleton were routed for a paltry 57.
At the other end of the table, Torrisholme emerged victorious in the big relegation scrap against Whittingham and Goosnargh at boundary Meadow. The home side’s comprehensive eight-wicket victory means they have preserved their Premier Division status at the expense of W&G.
Devastating spells of bowling from Graham Lee (4-16) and Daniel Woods (3-8) resulted in W&G being skittled for a meagre 56 off 24 overs. It was a total which Torrisholme surpassed in the 13th over.
Rock bottom Fylde’s season plunged a new low on Saturday after reigning champions Great Eccleston plundered 342-8. Mohamed Nadeem struck 162 and there were half-centuries for James Thistlethwaite and Ashfaque Patel. Benjamin Anderson took five wickets.
In reply, Fylde closed on a 170-5 – 173 runs short of their victory target.
Elsewhere, Garstang moved back up third in the table after a 73-run win over Penwortham at Middleforth Green. Allan Cook struck 66 as the visitors posted 216-6 and dismissed Penwortham for 142.
Croston enjoyed a 33-run win over Thornton Cleveleys at Illawala.