Bells’ toll as pressure stays on

Craig Brown for Blackpool

Craig Brown for Blackpool

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A fine innings of 77 from Blackpool keeper Craig Brown ensured a winning draw in the Fylde coast derby clash with St Annes.

Putting Blackpool in, St Annes got off to a decent start when Callum Jones caught Alex Smith for just four from the bowling of Luckman Vahaluwala.

When skipper Paul Danson fell for only nine runs, caught by Neil Bradley off the bowling of pro Toby Bulcock, Blackpool looked in trouble.

But a quick 35 from Stephen Twist, coupled with a steady show from opener John Mounsey clawed the home side back into it.

Then in came Brown.

His blistering 77 off just 73 balls featured ten boundaries, Blackpool, with a little help from Andy Furness (29) and Richard Gleeson (34) ending 223-6.

Chasing 224 to win St Annes lost Matthew Taaffe , Nathan Bolus and Vahaluwala cheaply.

But opener Nathan Armstrong proved a stubborn customer, smashing ten fours on his way to 60 before being bowled by Danny Gilbert.

A handy 34 not out for Andy Kellett helped steer St Annes to 185-8 from their 50 overs, Blackpool unable to administer the killer blow despite a handy 66-3 from Richard Gleeson.

At Broadwater Fleetwood kept up the pressure on Barrow and Leyland at the top of the table with a monster 162 run win over Preston.

Opener Mike Clinning rattled off 81, Adam Parker adding 69 at the other end as Fleetwood declared on 231-4.

It proved Bell hell for the visitors, who were skittled for just 69 in reply – Fleetwood bowlers Sam and Joe doing the damage.

The former returned figures of 27-4 from his 15 overs, the latter needing just eight balls to administer a lethal blow – three wickets with no runs given away.

Professional Ian Holland chipped in with two wickets and two catches for the reigning champions.