Fylde coast cricket preview: Fleetwood’s massive weekend

Fleetwood captain Dean Bell
Fleetwood captain Dean Bell

A massive weekend is in prospect for Fleetwood Cricket Club, with three home games in 24 hours that will test their talent and resilience in equal measure.

First up, they have a home clash with champions Leyland tomorrow in the Northern Premier League. Then on Sunday, Broadwater will be the stage for important Twenty20 action.

Fleetwood will be in catch-up mode against Blackpool and St Annes in south division one.

First Fleetwood take on a Leyland side currently second in the NPL table and making a concerted bid for back-to-back titles.

Dean Bell, captain of a Fleetwood side lying sixth in the table, is under few illusions over the magnitude of the task against Leyland.

He said: “Leyland have been one of the strongest teams in the league for several years now.

“It is always tough to play against them and there is no such thing as a walkover against Leyland.”

Fleetwood will be close to full strength on both days, the one exception being Tom Wilson,

Bell, in his first season as skipper at Fleetwood, believes things are starting to knit together. The man he succeeded in the captain’s role, Mat Clark, has been a big help, while the commitment to the club of South African professional Neels Bergh has been enthusiastic.

Bell said: “Neels has been brilliant. As well as playing at the weekend, he is at the club four days out of five coaching and only takes one day off.

“As well as being such a very good cricketer, he has fitted into the club really well. We pride ourselves at Fleetwood on being a family club, where everyone works together.

“Mat has been a big help to me as well. I am on the phone to him virtually every day.

“The fact he is not full on all the time as captain has meant ta lot of the pressure is off him and that has helped his batting.”

On Sunday, Fleetwood stage the final round of T20 group games against their Fylde coast rivals.

The hosts have ground to make up on Blackpool, who boast a 100 per cent record after three games.

Bell said: “We need to win both matches and improve our run-rate to earn a place on finals day.”

FIXTURES

Tomorrow

Northern Premier League: Blackpool v St Annes, Fleetwood v Leyland, Lancaster v Chorley, Morecambe v Kendal, Penrith v Preston

Liverpool Competition ECB premier league: Lytham v Wallasey

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield

Premier Division: Eccleston v Thornton Cleveleys, Fulwood and Broughton v Torrisholme, Garstang v Croston, Longridge v Freckleton, Penwortham v Great Eccleston, Vernon Carus v Rufford

Division One: Fylde v New Longton, Hoghton v Garstang 2, Norcross v Whittingham and Goosnargh, South Shore v Longridge 2, White Coppice v Vernon Carus 2, Withnell Fold v Fulwood and Broughton 2

Division Two: Kirkham and Wesham v BAC/EE Preston, Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods v Wrea Green

Sunday

NPL Twenty20: Fleetwood v St Annes (noon), Fleetwod v Blackpool (3.30pm);Penrith v Barrow and Kendal, Netherfield v Lancaster and Morecambe.

LCB Knockout third round: Egerton v Lytham