Fylde coast Monday cricket review: Blackpool climb to second

Almost a caught and bowled for Lytham's Jack Saunders
Almost a caught and bowled for Lytham's Jack Saunders

Blackpool climbed to second in the Northern Premier League after an eight-wicket win at bottom club Penrith, overtaking a St Annes side dismissed for just 73 by new leaders Leyland.

Rain saw Blackpool’s match at Tynefield Park reduced to 45 overs a side yesterday but the winless hosts could only survive 38 before being dismissed for 120.

Ramsbottom’s Grant Thomson again stepped in as substitute-professional for Blackpool after injury ended Anurag Verma’s season, though it was another player from the first-class ranks who made a major impact for the visitors.

Seamer Richard Gleeson, guest starring for his old club over the holiday weekend while Northamptonshire were without a game, dismissed four of Penrith’s top five on his way to 4-32 from 10 overs, while Josh Boyne finished with identical figures.

Three of Penrith’s top four managed just one run between them as they slumped to 8-3 and it was left to Bhanuka Rajapaksa at number five to put up a show of resistance with 32.

Blackpool then lost two batsmen for ducks but that only brought together opener Ciaran Johnson and Thomson, who fired Blackpool to victory in 30.3 overs with an unbroken third wicket stand of 110.

Johnson’s 66 from 86 balls was his second half-century of the season and included 11 fours, while the South African’s 56 from 79 took his run total for the club to 186 from two innings. Thomson struck seven fours and a six.

Blackpool are six points behind champions Leyland, who needed only 10.1 overs to complete their 10-wicket win over visitors St Annes.

St Annes had got into a terrible mess at 27-6, having been put in, their top five scoring just 17 between them.

Number 10 Matt Grindley was top scorer with 15 as his side crawled to 73 from 40.3 overs, while there were four wickets apiece for Karl Cross (for 14 off 17 overs) and Ross Bretherton (for 18 off 13).

Cross then wasted no time in wrapping up a crushing win, his 57 from 37 deliveries including 11 fours and a six. St Annes are now 20 points behind the leaders after slipping from third to fifth.

Fleetwood stay in the bottom four despite a most welcome second win of the season by 35 runs at home to Lancaster.

It looked like the hosts might be in trouble after being dismissed for 144 in 41 overs, most of the runs shared between opener Dean Bell (41) and number three Joe McCluskie (36) as Kieran Moffat took 4-25 from nine overs and Iain Perrieman 3-51 off 15.

However, professional Neels Bergh ensured this total was ample with his third five-wicket haul.

The South African took 5-14 from nine overs as Lancaster were restricted to 109 from 34 overs.

Number five Kasun Madusanka put up a fight with 49 from 43 balls, while McCluskie chipped in with 3-47 from his eight overs.

n After his Lytham debut at Leigh on Saturday, the Church Road spectators were denied a home appearance by Steven Croft yesterday.

Without the Lancashire captain they were held to a draw by second-bottom Southport and Birkdale in the Liverpool Competition.

Put into bat, the visitors’ innings was given firm foundations by openers Ashley McDonald (52) and Taeran Gleeson (43).

But after their opening stand of 86, the wickets began to fall and 108-1 became 143-7 before Southport declared at 185-9 from 61.5 oves.

Taylor Cornall dismissed all the top four on his way to 5-26 from 16 overs, then completed his fine day by top-scoring for Lytham with 58.

Cornall put on 57 for the second wicket with Thomas Hessey.

But after a quickfire 41 by Joshua Holden, Lytham slipped from 137-4 for were clinging on at 148-8 after 34 overs as Chris Firth and Chris Cunningham both took three wickets.