Blackpool claimed Fylde coast bragging rights on a low-scoring final day of cricket’s Northern Premier League thanks to a career-best bowling effort by Matt Grindley.
READ MORE: St Annes' tremendous turnaround
Blackpool’s 38-run victory over Fulwood and Broughton at Stanley Park saw last year’s champions finish third, leapfrogging both the visitors and Fleetwood, who lost by eight wickets at Chorley.
Leyland took the title from Blackpool, sealing their fourth triumph in 10 seasons with a 66-run conquest of Longridge, who they dismissed for 44.
Grindley took seven wickets for the first time in an NPL match and conceded only 17 runs in 15.2 overs unchanged as Fulwood were dismissed for just 55 in 30.2 overs chasing Blackpool’s 93. The hosts had chosen to bat but were themselves dispatched in 40.5 overs, guest pro Ockert Erasmus the top scorer with 26.
Batting proved no easier at Windsor Park, where Fleetwood were put in and totalled just 76 from 30.5 overs, professional Neels Bergh leading such resistance as there was with 29 as James Lee claimed 5-29 from 10 overs and Chamikara Edirisinghe 3-16 from 9.5.
Will Moulton then stood firm for an unbeaten 32 in Chorley’s 77-2 from 19.1 overs as Fleetwood slipped to fourth.
St Annes couldn’t extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to a 12th game as they too went down by eight wickets to runners-up Garstang.
All three Fylde coast clubs failed to reach three figures batting first and St Annes managed just 92 from 38.5 overs having been put in at the Riverside, despite Tom Higson providing a platform with 38. Ian Walling took 5-35 from 17 overs and Travis Pieters 4-30 from 16.
St Annes’ remarkable transformation in the second half of the season had seen them climb clear of relegation danger and lift the Berrys Beds 40-Overs Cup the previous weekend, though this was a match too far as Michael Walling carried his bat for 36 in Garstang’s 96-2 from 26.2 overs.
The drama of the day took place at the bottom end of the table, where Barrow recorded only their second win of the season by 54 runs at Penrith and so consigned their fellow Cumbrians to join them in the bottom two.
Kendal, meanwhile, moved above Penrith and out of the relegation zone with an 87-run win at Netherfield.
Standing by to replace the bottom pair for 2020 are Palace Shield champions Lancaster and either Morecambe or Croston, whose race to be runners-up goes to the final day next Saturday with just two points separating them.
Bottom club Fylde kept alive their hopes of a great escape with victory over South Shore, though they will need another derby success at Great Eccleston if they are to remain in the premier division.
Kirkham and Wesham and Thornton Cleveleys are promoted to the top flight of the Shield.
Thornton are targeting victory over Tarleton on Saturday to take the division 1A title from Kirkham, who completed their campaign by thumping Grimsargh.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier league results: Eccleston 75-2 beat Great Eccleston 74 (A Green 34, I Bradley 3-3), by eight wickets, Fylde 123-7 (K Moore 59no, N Bolus 3-23) beat South Shore 122 (T Davis 36no, A Ellison 4-49, A Sheffield 3-30) by three wickets, Lancaster 206-8 beat New Longton 101 by 105 runs, Penwortham 118 lost to Preston 251-8 by133 runs, Standish 103-9 lost to Croston 105-3 by seven wickets, Vernon Carus 51 lost to Morecambe 192 by 141 runs.
Division 1A: Kirkham and Wesham 89-1 beat Grimsargh 88 by nine wickets, Tarleton 184-5 beat Norcross 89 by 95 runs, Withnell fold 67 (G Tirrell 6-17) lost to Thornton Cleveleys 68-5 ( S Ashton 3-17) by five wickets, Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods 154-9 beat Mawdesley 153 by one run.
Lytham’s second win of the season boosted their bid to avoid the drop form the Liverpool Competition’s ECB Premier League.
They defeated mid-table New Brighton by five wickets at Church Road, where the visitors were put in and dismissed for 136 for 45 overs as Alex Mason took 5-14 from 9.4 overs. Lytham then slumped themselves to 36-5 before Matthew Taaffe ( 57) and the outstanding Mason (43) came together for an unbroken century stand to seal victory in 41 overs at 137-5.
Second-bottom Lytham are now 14 points from safety with two to play. They visit Rainhill on Saturday before hosting leaders Bootle.