CHAMPIONS Lytham Cricket Club got the new season off to the perfect start, with a derby win over St Annes to lift the Lytham St Annes Express Trophy
Lytham won by 61 runs at Vernon Road, where visiting captain Anthony Mulligan elected to bat, and his side posted 237/6 off 40 overs.
Alan Flood’s late onslaught yielded 58 off 36 balls, including five fours and two sixes.
St Annes did not field a full-strength side, but Nathan Bolus returned respectable figures of 4-44 from eight overs.
Neil Bradley, skippering St Annes in the absence of Andy Kellett, rallied the side with a quickfire 62 off 58 balls (nine fours, one six) to take them to a creditable 176/7 from 40 overs.
The season starts in earnest this weekend, when Lytham visit Maghull in the first of three Building Finance Knockout Trophy group games, before beginning the defence of their Liverpool Competition ECB premier league title next month.
Captain Mulligan said: “We have all last season’s senior players back, and a lot of good young talent coming up through the junior ranks to give us depth. Everyone has renewed enthusiasm.”
St Annes have a largely settled side, as they begin their assault on the Northern Premier League title on Saturday, at home to Chorley.
The 2009 champions had to settle for third spot last season, but have been hugely boosted by the return of prolific wicket-taking Sri Lankan Dinuka Hettiarachchi as club professional for a third year.