Saturday’s stormy weather could not prevent a second weekend of drama in cricket’s Northern Premier League, as Blackpool were denied a first victory of the season at Kendal and Fleetwood played out a thrilling tie with Garstang.
READ MORE: Professional Bergh returns for Fleetwood
Blackpool unveiled their new Sri Lankan professional Lahiru Madushanka when they were put in after a rain-delayed the start at Shap Road and set a target of 175-9.
The Colombo CC all-rounder announced his arrival with 58 from 80 balls (three sixes and two fours) and shared in the game’s best stand of 47 for the fifth wicket with Andy Furniss (20).
Madushanka, who represented his country in four ODIs in 2017, was bowled by Wes Marshall, who took 6-24 from his 13 overs.
The loss of 10 overs to rain saw Kendal’s target reduced to 157 from 40, which looked beyond them as they slumped to 77-9, having put on 50 for their opening wicket as Marshall made 42.
Matthew Grindley paved the way for what looked a surefire Blackpool win with 6-44 from 17 overs and Matthew Siddall followed his six wickets in the derby defeat by Fleetwood with 3-21 from 13.
But the final pair dug in as Edward Price, with 38 not out from 78 balls, and last man Matthew Park ensured Kendal remain unbeaten since promotion. Seamer Madushanka sent down seven overs without reward.
The first game of the season at Broadwater won’t be quickly forgotten as Fleetwood and Garstang tied.
The hosts were put in and reached 167 for the loss of seven wickets, thanks largely to the third-wicket stand between wicketkeeper Keegan Armstrong (79) and returning professional Neels Bergh (49). However, only one other player reached double figures as Danny Gilbert took 6-52 from 17 overs.
Fleetwood secured the tie as Garstang lost their final wicket on 167 with 25 balls remaining. Ian Walling’s unbeaten 47 batting number eight looked like seeing Garstang over the line but he ran out of partners with just one run required as wickets were shared between South African Bergh (4-53 from 12), Callum Birtwell-Jones (3-9 from 5.5) and Toby Lush (3-51 off 12).
The only NPL match not to reach a conclusion was at Vernon Road, where only 17 overs were possible between St Annes and Leyland. The hosts were put in and reached 65-2. Netherfield are the only club to have won their opening two games.
Other NPL results: Barrow 78 lost to Netherfield 80-3 by seven wickets, Fulwood and Broughton 137 lost to Penrith 137-6 by four wickets, Longridge 88-3 drew with Chorley 130-9.
The Liverpool Competition fared less well with the elements. Lytham’s game at Southport and Birkdale was the only one to start in the ECB premier league and that was abandoned after 37 overs, the hosts having laboured to 69-8 as Joshua Holden’s 12 overs yielded 4-29.
There were no weather issues but yesterday was another tough one for the Fylde coast’s senior sides as two out of three fell at the first hurdle in the ECB National Club Championship.
St Annes progressed to the quarter-finals with a five-wicket home win over Spring View but there were heavy defeats in the same group for Fleetwood and Lytham.
Fleetwood lost by 74 runs away to NPL newcomers Longridge, who set a target of 227-7 from their 40 overs as Matt Greenall top-scored with 41. The visitors were all out for 152 with 14 balls left, despite Jack Wilkinson’s gallant unbeaten 34 at number nine. Lachlan Bangs and Ian Simpson both took three wickets.
Lytham headed to Horwich RMI and lost by 62 runs chasing the Bolton League club’s 224-7, in which Joe Baldwin made 55 and Jack Saunders took 4-49 off six overs.
New opener Ross Zelem gave the Lytham reply a solid start with 48 but they fell away from 131-4 to 162 all out in 37.4 overs as Jack Berry claimed 3-30 from eight oves.
St Annes dismissed Spring View for 79 in 28.4 overs at Vernon Road, Tom Higson returning an impressive 4-16 from eight overs. The hosts overhauled the Liverpool Competition second division club in just 19.1 overs, Amar Ullah retiring on 32 in St Annes’ 80-5.
St Annes will host Fulwood and Broughton in the group four quarter-finals in a fortnight and Blackpool, who had a bye, will welcome Leyland.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield results
Premier division: Great Eccleston 139-4 (revised target)beat Vernon Carus 206-2 by six wickets, Morecambe 140-8 beat Penwortham 108-8 by 32 runs, New Longton 105-6 (revised target) beat Fylde 121 by four wickets, Preston 156-5 beat Eccleston 109-9 by 47 runs, South Shore 97 (S Callow 5-46) beat Standish 61 (M Bolus 5-26, A Mehmood 3-12)by 36 runs, Croston v Lancaster abandoned
Division 1A: Grimsargh 137-9 lost to Tarleton 167-8 by 30 runs, Hoghton 97 lost to Rufford 113-5 by 16 runs, Norcross 103-8 tied with Whittle & Clayton-le-Woods 70-6 (revised target, Z Gane 3-27), Thornton Cleveleys 103-5 (rev target) beat Torrisholme 146-6 (J Cookson 59) by five wickets, Mawdesley v Kirkham and Wesham abandoned.