Fylde coast cricket preview: Fleetwood skipper looks forward to Blackpool derby as St Annes seek Garstang double

Fleetwood's Matt Clark is looking forward to derby day
Fleetwood's Matt Clark is looking forward to derby day

Fleetwood captain Matt Clark insists his side will start as underdogs in this weekend’s derby clash against Blackpool in the Northern Premier League.

Blackpool remain second in the league despite failing to pick up a win in their last two outings, with their last match falling foul to the weather.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, will be looking to build on last Saturday’s victory against Chorley which took them into the division’s top five.

Rain also played its part as Fleetwood chased down an amended score to win by three wickets.

Chorley reached 225 at Windsor Park, a target which was revised to 203 due to the rain. They ended up posting 205-7 in only 38 overs to claim the 15 points.

Adam Sharrock posted an unbeaten 54, while Damien Hutchinson, Alex Ryder and Neels Bergh claimed two wickets each.

Attention now turns to their home clash against Blackpool tomorrow which Clark (pictured) is expecting to be an uphill challenge.

“I always look forward to this game, it’s our biggest game of the season,” he told The Gazette.

“They go into the game as favourites but they’ve got a bit of pressure on them because they can’t really afford to lose again.

“Their match was rained off last week so they will be looking to bounce back and pick up a win, so I think it’s do or die for them.

“It will be a tough task for us, no doubt. We’ve got a few youngsters in the team so it will be a good experience for them. But we’re definitely the underdogs.

“It’s going to be a tough game, it always is. They’re always very tight.

“They’ve had a good season and they’ve got a very good side. But with the rub of the green we might get a victory.”

Blackpool slipped further behind Netherfield at the top of the table following last weekend’s abandoned encounter.

They had managed to dismiss last year’s Palace Shield champions, Garstang, for 140, with Andy Furniss and Matthew Siddall both claiming three wickets along the way.

Blackpool were 18-0 in response before the rain came, leaving both sides with five points each.

Leaders Netherfield took full advantage as they needed next to no time in seeing off bottom side Preston to extend their lead.

St Annes are also seeking victory as , following last weekend’s abandoned game against Leyland, they welcome league new boys Garstang to Vernon Road knowing a win will keep the pressure on second-placed Blackpool.

Victory will also see them do the double over Garstang, having beaten them by six wickets when the two teams met at the Riverside in May.

In the Liverpool Competition, Lytham were frustrated by bottom side Highfield last time out and are at home to Colwyn Bay on Saturday.

They got the better of their visitors when they met in May, winning by seven wickets as Ben Saunders took 5-39 in bowling out Colwyn Bay for 96.

Northern Premier Cricket League first division: Fleetwood v Blackpool, Leyland v Chorley, Morecambe v Preston, Netherfield v Barrow, Penrith v Fulwood and Broughton, St Annes v Garstang.

Liverpool Competition ECB premier league: Lytham v Colwyn Bay.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier league: Croston v Great Eccleston, Eccleston v Lancaster, Kendal v Longridge, New Longton v Thornton Cleveleys, South Shore v Torrisholme, Vernon Carus v Penwortham.

Division 1A: Freckleton v Hoghton, Fylde v Norcross, Grimsargh v Rufford, Kirkham and Wesham v Standish, Mawdesley v BAC\EE Preston, Withnell Fold v Tarleton.