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Don’t rain on Blackpool CC’s parade

Matt Grindley
Matt Grindley
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Mention the words Lancashire Cricket Club and Blackpool in the same sentence and the rainclouds suddenly gather over Stanley Park.

Blackpool’s Lancashire games have a history of falling foul of the weather, and the imminent arrival of next week’s double dose of Super League and Second XI County Championship action has seen the weather forecasters deliver their rain warning.

Before then, Blackpool CC hope their title challenge is not dented by derby rivals St Annes or by the weather tomorrow.

The Northern Premier League title race was given a new lease of life by Netherfield’s defeat by Barrow last weekend, which enabled Blackpool to cut their lead to eight points courtesy of a nine-wicket win at Fleetwood. St Annes are a further 20 points back in third spot.

Long-standing Blackpool skipper Paul Danson is hoping the notorious Fylde coast micro-climate does not thwart his side’s chances.

He told The Gazette: “If it was not for the weather we’d still be at the top. Hopefully the clash is on against St Annes.

“It is a big game, not just because we are local rivals but because of the way the league table is right now.

“We know what we have to do. We have six games to go, and we just take it one game at a time and concentrate on ourselves.

“Barrow did us a favour beating Netherfield but we cannot watch them. We have to take care of ourselves and keep winning – if the weather will let us!”

The clash has extra spice given Blackpool’s capture of St Annes’ former captain and strike bowler Matt Grindley.

He did the damage when the teams met at Vernon Road and Danson is certain revenge will be high on their opponents’ agenda.

He said: “We will be at full strength, Andy Furniss is back and that is good for us.

“Matt has been a great signing and has fitted in really well but given that, the derby day element and the league position St Annes will be up for a battle.”

And he is looking forward to having Lancashire back next week, with the Thunder’s Super League T20 against Yorkshire on Tuesday followed by three days of Second XI action against Leicestershire.

Danson said: “Every time we seem to get them in town it rains, but as a club we are in a really good position right now.

“We have a thriving ladies section and juniors too. We are in a good place and we are looking forward to it ... weather permitting!”

Tomorrow’s fixtures:

Northern Premier League: Barrow v Penrith, Blackpool v St Annes, Chorley v Garstang, Fleetwood v Leyland, Netherfield v Morecambe, Preston v Fulwood and Broughton.

Liverpool Competition ECB premier league: Bootle v Lytham

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier division: Croston v South Shore, Great Eccleston v New Longton, Kendal v Eccleston, Lancaster v Penwortham, Longridge v Vernon Carus, Torrisholme v Thornton Cleveleys

Division 1A: BAC/EE Preston v Tarleton, Fylde v Freckleton, Hoghton v Rufford, Kirkham and Wesham v Mawdesley, Norcross v Grimsargh, Standish v Withnell Fold.