The cat was thrown among the pigeons on the first day of the Northern Premier Cricket League season as Fleetwood stunned champions Blackpool at Stanley Park.
READ MORE: Fylde coast clubs look ahead to gripping cricket season
Beaten only twice throughout the 2018 campaign, Blackpool went down by 36 runs to a Fleetwood side inspired by their South African newcomer Tyron Koen.
The shock result looked unlikely as Fleetwood were restricted to 158-9 in their 50 overs as Matt Siddall continued where he had left off last season with 6-59 from his 17 overs.
Returning captain Mat Clark fell early but the visitors put on 52 for their second-wicket courtesy of top-scoring wicketkeeper Keegan Armstrong (32) and Rana Singh (29).
The Blackpool attack was boosted by Lancashire’s Richard Gleeson (2-25 from 12), though a mid-innings knock of 30 from Adam Sharrocks helped Fleetwood to a respectable target figure.
This total proved ample as Blackpool stuttered to 17-3 and 34-5 before being all out for 122 with seven overs remaining.
Debutant Koen led the way with 5-32 from 15 overs and shared the top six wickets with James Amor (3-27 off 11).
Number five Josh Boyne hit six fours in his 36 from 50 balls, but when he was eighth out with the total on 79 Blackpool had little hope, despite a late captain’s knock from Paul Danson (28 not out).
St Annes had the better of the draw in their opener at Penrith, whose final pair held out at Tynefield Park.
Asked to bat first, St Annes set a target of 221-7 as new Australian opener Tim Smithies (21) shared in a third wicket partnership of 52 with Amar Ullah (40).
The mainstay of their innings was the fifth-wicket stand, which had put on exactly 100 when Richard Staines was run out for 34. Captain Nathan Armstrong went on to reach 67, including four fours and two sixes.
The home reply started positively as Zach Reekie (56) and captain Nicky Burns (55) put on 93 for the second wicket before Penrith slumped from 119-1 to 196-9.
Tom Bradley took 5-77 but the final wicket eluded St Annes as Penrith closed on 207-9.
Lytham were second-best to Colwyn Bay on the opening day of the Liverpool Competition but dug in doggedly for a draw at Church Road.
Thw Welsh club chose to bat and reached 203-4 from 55 overs, the platform laid by Ryan Westwell, who scored 11 fours in his 60 and put on 74 for opening wicket with Zack Gidlow (41). Alex Mason dismissed both openers but Colwyn added 65 for the fourth wicket as Adam Campion finished 53 not out from 39 balls.
Home hopes were already fading at 31-3 when number five Josh Holden gave the innings impetus with five boundaries in his 31.
Holden was one of five victims for Paul Jenkins (20 overs for 43) and no-one else scored more than 20. And when 87-4 became 97-8 it was all about survival for Lytham. This was achieved as Anthony Mulligan, deputising as skipper for the injured Ben Saunders, shut up shop with Mason.
Between them they faced 114 balls and scored six runs but they saw the game to a close at 108-8 from 53 overs.
MOORE AND SMALLEY PALACE SHIELD RESULTS.
Premier Division: Eccleston 149-4 beat New Longton 136 by 13 runs, Fylde 140 (J Davies 30, D Baker 4-32 ) lost to Morecambe 141-8 (R Pearson 46, A Ellison 4-38, A Churchill 3-19 ) by two wickets, Lancaster 300-3 (C Swarbrick 151) ) beat Great Eccleston 155 (A Green 69, B Simm 5-69, L Moffat 4-45 ) by 145 runs, Penwortham 104 lost to Croston 105-0 by 10 wickets, Standish 177 lost to Preston 179-4 by six wickets, Vernon Carus 190-8 (B Bridges 51, I Dunn 49, M Bolus 3-44) beat South Shore 179 (L Jardine 42, L Banfield 6-43, P Hayton 3-24 ) by 11 runs
Division 1A: Kirkham and Wesham 132 (J Hogarth 52, D Howard 4-13, J Newman 3-33, S Bradshaw 3-14 ) lost to Thornton Cleveleys 227 (J Sackfield 122, J Hogarth 6-58, R Kaye 4-56) by 95 runs, Rufford 98-6 beat Mawdesley 97 by four wickets, Tarleton 225-5 beat Hoghton 223-8 by five wickets, Torrisholme 159-7 beat Norcross 154 by three wickets, Withnell Fold 207 beat Grimsargh 125 by 82 runs.