Fylde coast cricket review: Blackpool lose key points as St Annes and Fleetwood move on up
Blackpool Cricket Club had to settle for a winning draw at Leyland and lost some ground in the Northern Premier League title race, while St Annes and Fleetwood climbed the table after returning to winning ways.
After two games without a win, Netherfield’s seven-wicket success at Fulwood and Broughton moves them nine points clear of Blackpool with four matches left, including a crunch clash between the sides in Cumbria next Monday.
Blackpool chose to bat at Stanning Memorial Ground and Paul Danson may have been ruing his decision at 25-4, Ross Bretherton having removed three of them.
But that brought in Andy Furniss for a season’s-best 65 from 104 balls, including nine fours.
Blackpool’s situation still looked grim at 69-6, no-one else in the top eight scoring more than 10, but Furniss found a durable ally in Matt Grindley (38 from 54) and their eighth-wicket stand of 55 enabled the visitors to reach 177 before their final wicket fell to the last ball of their 50 overs.
Leyland will have fancied their chances as the reply passed 100 with six wickets intact and Andrew Makinson compiling an unbeaten 33, sharing in a half-century stand for the sixth wicket with James Rounding.
But Blackpool bowled tightly enough to keep them in check and the innings closed at 160-7.
After 14 wickets in the previous two games, Matt Siddall had to settle for one as professional Jovaun van Wyngaardt led the attack with 4-53 from 17 overs.
St Annes’ five-wicket win over Chorley saw them leapfrog their visitors to reclaim third spot.
Chorley were put in and made a fine start at Vernon Road as opener Wian van Zyl scored 13 boundaries in his 87 from 97 balls.
But from 129-3, Chorley were disappointed to total only 165 from 46.2 overs as St Annes pro Amar Ullah, who had reached 50 league wickets at Blackpool seven days earlier, took a season’s-best 7-50 from 15.2.
The St Annes reply was hardly consistent but top knocks from Mohamed Nadeem (64) and Andy Drake (63 not out) saw them home in 46.5 overs at 167-5.
Fleetwood climbed back into the top half ahead of the double-header holiday weekend thanks to a three-wicket win at Garstang.
Damien Hutchinson with 4-18 from 9.4 overs and pro Neels Bergh (3-36 off 16) shot Garstang out for 122 with 14 deliveries remaining after the hosts were put in at the Riverside, only Coen Oosthuysen putting up much resistance with 45.
Jeremy Davies then gave the visitors a winning platform with 42 before being caught and bowled by Oosthuysen, who completed his fine day with 4-22 from 11 overs but could not prevent Fleetwood from wrapping up victory in just 37.1 overs at 123-7.
New Brighton boosted their Liverpool Competition survival hopes with a 13-run victory at Lytham.
It looked like being plain sailing for the hosts as Ben Saunders put the Wirral club in and recorded his fourth five-for of the season (5-43 off 18 overs) as New Brighton were dismissed for just 107 in 36.2 overs, captain Andrew Clarke their only player to reach 20.
The Lytham reply got off to a shaky start at 26-4, though they looked most likely winners at 94-6 but failed to add another run as Ashraf Nawab (5-24) and Andrew Clarke (3-27) ripped through the tail. Matthew Cartmell scored 30 as eighth-placed Lytham were all out in 42.1 overs.