The Northern Premier League’s three Fylde coast clubs couldn’t muster a win between them on Saturday, though Fleetwood did hold leaders Netherfield to a draw, but there were defeats for St Annes and a deeply troubled Blackpool.
On a day of low scoring in the first division, Fleetwood and Netherfield put on the biggest totals of the day as the hosts reached 152-8 from 44 overs at Broadwater , chasing 180.
The visiting Cumbrians were put in at Broadwater and were grateful to wicketkeeper Lewis Edge for his 55 at number five, which included nine fours and a six, with solid support from Bradley Earl (36).
Sam Bell claimed 3-47 from 17 tidy overs as Netherfield were dismissed in 43.5, while Alex Ryder required just 4.5 overs to collect 3-17.
Fleetwood professional Neels Bergh then took the fight to the leaders with an unbeaten 73 which included nine fours.
However, the rest of the top six managed just 19 between them as Mark Clarkson claimed 3-31 from 10 overs to help ensure his side had the better of the draw, their first of the season.
Any hopes that Blackpool had put their form slump behind them with the previous weekend’s win at Barrow were dashed with a 13-run home defeat by bottom club Morecambe at Stanley Park, their fourth loss in five games.
The visitors, with only two previous wins all season, chose to bat and were dismissed for 132 after 41 overs in a match reduced to 42 per side by rain.
Opener Viraj Bhati made 57 from 104 balls for Morecambe, and although only two team-mates reached double figures Bhati hung around to take them to 115-6, after which the innings fell away quickly, Tom Jefferson finishing with 4-23 from nine overs.
However, Blackpool could muster just 119 in reply and were soon up against it as all the top three all fell for ducks,
A stand of 49 for the fifth wicket between Josh Boyne and Andy Furniss revived their hopes and wicketkeeper Ben Howarth top-scored with 39 but he could only look on as Tommy Clough ripped through the Blackpool tail.
And when Howarth became Clough’s fifth and final victim, for 27 off 13.2 overs, Blackpool were all out with four balls remaining.
Despite another setback, Blackpool’s bonus points actually lifted them level with fourth-placed Leyland on a day none of the top six won.
Like Blackpool, St Annes are searching for substitute professionals each week, in their case while Matthew Breetzke is back home on international duty with South Africa Under-19s – he scored a century in Friday’s ODI win over West Indies.
St Annes haven’t found deputies easy to come by but they recruited an influential one for Saturday’s visit to Cumbria in Breetzke’s countryman Shaun von Berg.
The all-rounder was St Annes’ best with bat and ball but couldn’t spare them a 19-run defeat.
Penrith were put in and the league’s top wicket-taker Matt Grindley removed both openers very quickly on his way to 3-51 from 17.
Indeed, all the hosts’ top seven fell cheaply except number three Jesse Dinnie who made 36, then captain Jonathan Osborne chipped in with 34 as Penrith reached 149-8.
Like Grindley, leg-spinner Von Berg took three wickets in 17 overs but conceded a miserly 21 runs. The South African likes bowling in this competition, following a seven-for on his previous outing for Barrow at Kendal in May.
Von Berg then led the St Annes reply with 45 but new captain Nathan Armstrong was his only team-mate to score more than 10 as the visitors were all out with more than 11 overs to spare for 130.
Greg Hall dismissed Von Berg on his way to 5-39 from 13 overs, while Dinnie completed his fine day with 4-34 from 11.5.
Like Blackpool, St Annes boosted their league standing despite defeat and now share second spot with Chorley, though Netherfield now have a 31-point cushion at the top.
Fleetwood remain sixth but are only five points better off than Kendal in ninth.
Blackpool’s miserable weekend continued on Twenty20 finals day at Penrith, where they lost their semi-final to eventual winners Netherfield by 60 runs.
Out-of-sorts Blackpool, who had won all four group games against Fylde coast rivals St Annes and 2016 winners Fleetwood to reach the sun-drenched finals day, were dismissed for just 97 in reply to Netherfield’s 157-7.
In the other semi-final, Leyland beat hosts Penrith by 16 runs. The home side were dispatched for 93 in pursuit of 109, both teams losing eight wickets.
League leaders Netherfield then claimed glory in the final by a 32-run margin, setting a target of 127-8 before dismissing Leyland for 95.
Opener Taylor Cornall continued his outstanding season with the bat but couldn’t spare Lytham a third successive Liverpool Competition defeat as Colwyn Bay left Church Road as convincing seven-wicket winners.
Lytham were put in and Cornall again rose to the challenge with his ninth half-century of the season.
The opener scored 52 from 116 balls and stands third in the ECB premier league averages at 70.
Cornall shared stands of 65 for the opening wicket with Thomas Hessey (35) and 60 for the second wicket with New Zealander Michael Guptill-Bunce (32).
But after reaching 123-1 the hosts’ innings began to fall away and from 189-5 they subsided to 195 all out 54.2 overs.
AN Campion removed Cornall on his way to 4-12 from just four overs, while PE Jenkins claimed a more patient 3-55 from 16.2.
Lytham were then briefly buoyed by an early wicket but the Welshmen then put on 81 for their second as opener PJ Leach made 46.
And then an unbroken stand of 93 between outstanding captain Campion, whose 64 from 44 balls included six fours and three sixes, and ML Buddhika (44 from 55 deliveries) saw them to victory at 200-3 in 42.4 overs.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Stevenson claimed all three wickets for Lytham, who stand in eighth place, while the win lifts Colwyn Bay to fourth.
Garstang remain third in an unchanged top four in the Palace Shield after all four won, though Great Eccleston drop a spot to sixth after losing to second-placed Longridge and struggling Thornton Cleveleys were dismissed for just 48 by Vernon Carus.
Kirkham and Wesham and Wrea Green both won in division two and are within a point of each other in third and fourth spots.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield results
Premier division: Eccleston (71-5) beat Rufford (70) by five wickets, Fulwood and Broughton (117-5) beat Croston (116) by five wickets, Garstang (167-8, Mark Walling 46, M Wellings 44, M Jackson 4-71, D Woods 3-25) beat Torrisholme (78, I Walling 3-11, D Gilbert 3-30) by 89 runs, Longridge (145-4, J Whitehead 40) beat Great Eccleston (102-8, J Millward 4-26) by 43 runs, Penwortham (117-6, M Hewitt 42, M Rigby 3-24) beat Freckleton (113, D Fisher 48, N Patel 4-47) by four wickets, Vernon Carus (50-1) beat Thornton Cleveleys (48, P Hayton 5-22, M Timms 3-19) by nine wickets.
Division One: Fylde (154-8, S Davies 33) lost to Vernon Carus 2 (179-9, J Rigby 41, B Anderson 3-22, D Smith 3-58) by 25 runs, Hoghton (65)lost to Fulwood and Broughton 2 (153-5) by 88 runs, Norcross (112-9) lost to Longridge 2 (113-8, Z Christie 45, J Relph 4-21, L Coker 3-48) by two wickets, South Shore (144-2, D Jardine 67no) beat Whittingham and Goosnargh (143, H Patel 47, M Hall 3-41 ) by eight wickets, White Coppice (50-6) lost to New Longton (51-0) by 10 wickets.
Division Two: Grimsargh (85, J Jones 4-40, C Laycock 3-17) lost to Wrea Green (104, P Davis 4-23, A Kapadia 4-41) by 19 runs, Kirkham and Wesham (136-8, J Butcher 38, R Ryding 3-38) beat Penwortham 2 (134-6, I Stopford 42, D Reddy 3-44) by two wickets.