WEEKEND CRICKET: Seven-wicket haul for Leyland bowler Ross Bretherton
Leyland beat the weather – and Fleetwood – to steal a march on their rivals in the Northern League Division One.
The game at Broadwater was the only completed match of the weekend – in fact not a single ball was bowled in any of the other five matches due to incessant rain.
The victory for James Rounding’s men saw them move four points clear at the top of the table.
The damage was done by Leyland’s Ross Bretherton and Karl Cross, who shared the 26-over workload.
Bretherton struck first when he had James Gregson caught and bowled without scoring.
Cross was next to strike when Keegan Armstrong (2) was lbw to leave Fleetwood 10-2. Next to go was opener Rana Singh, when he became Bretherton’s second victim, caught by Henry Thompson for 25.
That left Fleetwood 28-3, before Bretherton then accounted for Declan Clerkin (2) and Adam Sharrocks (2) to pick up his third and fourth dismissals.
Neels Bergh and Tom Wilson added 26 for the sixth wicket, a partnership ended when the latter was lbw for 12 to give Bretherton his fifth wicket of the innings.
With Fleetwood 68-6, Bergh and Alex Ryder produced an innings-high stand of 45 for the seventh wicket.
Bergh reached his half-century but, having made 53, he was the next man out when Bretherton took his sixth wicket.
His seventh arrived when Toby Lush was out for a duck before Cross ended the innings by dismissing Ryder (15) and Amor (0).
Those wickets gave him figures of 3-44 but it was Bretherton who shone by claiming 7-68.
In reply, Leyland reached their target with two balls of the 26th over remaining.
Opener Thompson top-scored with 30 before falling victim to Clerkin, who also accounted for Kurtis Watson (16) to end with figures of 2-13 from four overs.
There were also two wickets for Ryder as he sent back Thompson’s fellow opener Cross (9) and Nathan McDonnell (23) on his way to figures of 2-37.
Lush took the remaining wicket when he bowled Saif Badar (16) but it was left to Bretherton (16 not out) and Andrew Makinson (four not out) to see Leyland reach their target, with their 15-point haul seeing them go top of the table for good measure.
Morecambe maintained their position at the top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division thanks to victory over Eccleston.
The fixture at Woodhill Lane was one of only two to survive the weather – the other being Lancaster’s win at South Shore.
Reduced to 24 overs per side, the hosts won the toss and elected to bat first.
Their total of 145-7 was built around an excellent partnership between skipper Ryan Pearson and Graeme Cassidy.
The captain’s knock of 65 came off just 46 balls and included six fours and three maximum hits.
Cassidy blasted as many sixes, but only one four in his 27-ball score of 35.
Stuart White and Robert Michael Atkinson both took two wickets as no other batsman seriously troubled the scorers.
Eccleston’s reply followed along similar lines as only two batsmen were able to come to terms with the conditions.
Sam Bromley struck three fours and two sixes in a superb half-century from 38 deliveries.
Thomas Wilkinson was slightly more circumspect during his score of 36, which included two boundaries.
However, Eccleston fell 26 runs short of victory as they were bowled out for 120.
Lancaster moved into second spot in the table after another rain-affected clash at Mad Nook.
The visitors managed to post a competitive score of 124-9 off 23 overs.
Jamie Heywood top scored with 37 and he was ably supported by Charlie Swarbrick (33). Mitch Bolus, Ashley Perera and Neil Ashford took two wickets apiece.
In reply, South Shields were dismissed for 96 with Kieran Moffat taking 5-31. Bolus scored 34.
It was an enjoyable Sunday for Longridge as they defeated Blackpool in the ECB National Club Championship tie.
Nick Wilkinson’s men were 23-run winners at Stanley Park.
Blackpool had asked Longridge to bat first and struck early with the dismissal of Tom Howarth (6).
However, his opening partner Dan Wilkinson Jnr was to lead the Longridge innings by top-scoring with 64. James Whitehead (34) and Luke Platt (30) played key supporting roles as Longridge ended their 40 overs on 186-6.
Blackpool’s reply saw a number of batters get starts, albeit without converting them into something more substantial.
Syed Kazmi top-scored with 39 but Ian Simpson’s 4-34 ensured Blackpool could only reach 163-9.
St Annes, meanwhile, lost by five wickets against Horwich RMI at Vernon Road.