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Fylde coast cricket: Lancashire's Croft helps Lytham to vital victory; Palace Shield round-up

Steven Croft
Steven Croft
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Lytham eased to a much-needed nine-wicket win at bottom club New Brighton which lifted them four places up the Liverpool Competition table.

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It was an altogether far happier second Lytham appearance of the season for Lancashire’s Steven Croft following the previous Saturday’s 10-wicket thumping by Bootle.

Croft’s unbeaten 41 from 36 balls featured three fours and three sixes as Lytham needed only 15 overs to overhaul their winless hosts’ meagre total of 80.

New Brighton chose to bat at Rake Lane but struggled to extend their innings to 35.4 overs at little more than two runs per over as Ben Saunders dismissed all the top four on his way to figures of 5-21 from 17.4 overs.

The captain also bowled 10 maidens on his way to a second five-for of the season.

Croft then shared in an unbroken second-wicket stand of 78 with Taylor Cornall, who carried his bat for 33 and also struck six boundaries.

Croft also took two catches in a victory which propels Lytham out of the bottom two in the ECB premier league and into seventh spot.

Croft finds himself out of favour with the Red Rose county in his testimonial year, missing out on the current return to County Championship action against Essex as well as the closing matches of the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.

The Palace Shield has new leaders after Longridge’s 42-run win over Thornton Cleveleys saw them overhaul a Croston side dismissed for just 61 at Vernon Carus.

Thornton slipped to second-bottom and all three Fylde coast clubs are in the lower half of the premier division, though South Shore climbed three places to eighth with their two-wicket win at Penwortham.

Opener Michael Brooks blasted 122 in Kirkham and Wesham’s 275-8 but they still lost by three wickets at Grimsargh in division 1A.

Brooks struck 14 fours and three sixes but K&W still drop two spots to sixth.

They are replaced in the top four by Fylde, who defeated BAC/EE Preston, while Norcross’ home defeat by Tarleton drops them back into the bottom two.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier division: Eccleston 223 beat New Longton 169 by 54 runs, Kendal 153-1 beat Torrisholme 149 by nine wickets, Lancaster 117-3 (J Hills 66no) beat Great Eccleston 116 (M Moat 45, L Moffat 3-34) by seven wickets, Longridge 234-5 (J Mullin 88) beat Thornton Cleveleys 192-9 (J Eade 37, T Howarth 4-39) by 42 runs, Penwortham 216-8 (J Aspden 65, R Sumner 54, M Valimula 3-52) lost to South Shore 219-8 (A Haider 48, A Billington 3-80) by two wickets, Vernon Carus 182-9 beat Croston 61 by 121 runs.

Division 1A: Fylde 173 (B Anderson 61, S Vohra 5-41, O Austin 4-47) beat BAC/EE Preston 135 (T Graham 37, D Smith 5-27) by 38 runs, Grimsargh 276-7 (R Hilton 68, M Hitchen 48, J Butcher 3-69) beat Kirkham and Wesham 275-8 (M Brooks 122, P Brook 3-62) by three wickets, Hoghton 157-3 beat Standish 156 by seven wickets, Norcross 140-9 (L Parry 59, J Tabord 5-24) lost to Tarleton 197-7 (D Thompson 71, S Perkins 6-52 by 57 runs, Rufford 136 lost to Mawdesley 140-8 by two wickets.