The eagerly-anticipated Northern Premier League decider turned into a disappointing anticlimax for Blackpool as Leyland dismissed them for 63 to seal the match and the title.
Blackpool took a four-point lead into the winner-takes-all clash at Stanley Park but couldn’t claim a second first division title in three seasons as Leyland won by a seven wickets.
Blackpool skipper Paul Danson won the toss and chose to bat but only two of his men reached double figures as the wickets began to tumble.
Leyland’s guest professional, the South African Brett Pelser, did most damage with 4-22 from 17 overs, eight of them maidens, while Karl Cross claimed 3-18 from eight.
Tom Jefferson, one of many younger players to make a major impact this season, was top scorer with 17 as Blackpool struggled to score runs for 35.4 overs.
New Zealander Daryl Mitchell, out for a duck in what could prove his final outing as Blackpool professional, did his utmost to make amends by claiming three wickets but the hosts couldn’t defend such a meagre total.
Leyland reached 65-3 in 15.5 overs as opener Chris Parkinson his five fours in his 26 and Henry Thompson added an unbeaten 19.
Mitchell took 3-25 from eight overs but there was no stopping Leyland celebrating their first title since 2013.
It was a similar story in the second division decider between the same two clubs at Leyland’s Stanning Memorial Ground. Leyland Seconds won by 63 runs, dismissing Blackpool for 86.
Third-placed Fleetwood ended their first divisioncampaign with a six-wicket home win over bottom club Lancaster.
The visitors were put in at Broadwater, where Pat Ashton took 5-44 to dismiss them for 129 with 4.1 overs remaining. It was Ashton’s fourth five-wicket haul, taking his league total to 66 wickets this season.
Number three Lawrie Atkinson gave the Lancaster innings some momentum with 56 but only one of their final five batsmen managed to score as Mike Clinning returned a remarkable four wickets for three runs from his four overs.
Mat Clark’s side then reached their target from just 35.3 overs, Paul Willis marking his elevation from the seconds with 60, including eight fours and a six.
Ninth-placed St Annes’ disappointing season ended with a 13-run defeat at Preston, despite a season’s-best return of 5-44 from 16 overs by Tom Higson.
Mitch Bolus chipped in with 4-36 off 14 to match his best-ever season’s haul of 43 as Preston were all out for 126 from exactly 50 overs after choosing to bat. Muhammad Mursaleen was their mainstay with 60 at number six, though the five men who followed him in could muster only four between them.
However, St Annes could managed only 113 in reply, their former all-rounder Lukman Vahaluwala taking 4-34 from 14 overs.
Andrew Starkie claimed a very economical 3-12 from 10.4 as St Annes were all out with 10.1 overs remaining, Higson top-scoring with 22.
St Annes’ neighbours Lytham also finished ninth in the Liverpool Competition, losing by 44 runs at Rainhill on the final day.
Their St Helens hosts laboured to 183-9 from 64.2 overs but left themselves enough time to seal victory.
Having chosen to bat, Rainhill saw three players get out in the 30s and looked in trouble at 112-6 until Paul Ford and Mike Rotherham put on a vital 68 for the seventh wicket. Thomas Hessey and Matthew Taaffe took three wickets apiece.
Lytham were dismissed for 139 in exactly 50 overs, in-form wicketkeeper Gary Knight running out of partners to finish unbeaten on 48 as David Atkinson took 4-57. Leigh were crowned ECB premier league champions.
There were no final-day twists in the Palace Shield title race, as Fulwood and Broughton held off the challenge of Vernon Carus to take their crown after both Preston clubs won away to Freckleton and Garstang respectively.
Fylde ended the premier division campaign having lost every match bar the one which was abandoned and are replaced by division one champions Eccleston.
Division two winners South Shore lost only once all season, while St Annes 3 clinched promotion from division four and Wyre won division five.
Moore and Smalley SE+ Palace Shield
Premier division: Croston 85-6 beat Torrisholme 84 by six wickets, Freckleton 119 (U Sadaqat 4-9, J Fenton 3-23) lost to Fulwood and Broughton 146-9 (A Patel 43, J Millward 4-30, J Hogarth 4-36) by 27 runs, Garstang 85 lost to Vernon Carus 91-5 by five wickets, Great Eccleston 264-4 (A Patel 68no, A Green 42, M Nadeem 41 ) beat Penwortham 208-8 (J Aspden 52, R Sumner 42, P Booth 4-59) by 56 runs, , Longridge 149 beat Thornton Cleveleys 72 by 76 runs, Whittingham and Goosnargh 211 (Z Desai 56, I Patel 40, D Smith 4-70) beat Fylde 131 (D Smith 47no, S Polli 5-28)by 80 runs.
Division One: BAC/EE Preston 55 lost to Rufford 100 by 45 runs, Eccleston 141-8 beat Longridge 2 140 by two wickets, Fulwood and Broughton 2 181-7 (beat Kirkham and Wesham 180-5 by three wickets, Hoghton 147-9 beat Withnell Fold 80 by 67 runs, Norcross 204-9 (J Davies 55, R Dixon 5-28) beat White Coppice 45 by 159 runs, Vernon Carus 2 91-1 (B Duerden 44no) beat Garstang 2 90 (R McCutcheon 3-29) by nine wickets.
Division Two: Blackpool 3 92 lost to New Longton 93-6 by four wickets, Penwortham 2 148 lost to Mawdesley 149-6 by four wickets, South Shore 137-3 (D Jardine 46, N Bolus 42no) beat Great Eccleston 2 136 (D Simmons 44no, M Cowburn 4-22, L Jardine 3-40) by seven wickets, Tarleton 189-8 beat Gregson Lane 69 by 120 runs, Thronton Cleveleys 2 249-7 (D Crawforth 113) beat Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods 203-9 by 46 runs, Wrea Green 157 (P Wood 42, E Brown 4-33, M Eastham 3-22) beat Walton-le-Dale 132 (J Ainscough 53, C Laycock 3-0, by 25 runs
Future’s so bright for Blackpool: http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/sport/cricket/disappointed-blackpool-cricket-captain-says-future-is-so-bright-1-8132813