Fleetwood won a dramatic, low-scoring derby with St Annes on a day Blackpool were held to a home draw by Lancaster despite a century from professional Daryl Mitchell.
The home side chose to bat in the all-Fylde Northern Premier League contest at Broadwater, where Fleetwood’s modest 138-5 was just about enough for victory.
Professional Travis Dean made another vital contribution, but this time with the ball rather than the bat as his best bowling return for Fleetwood, 5-47 from 17 overs, helped dismiss the visitors in 36.2 overs.
Another key contributor to the victory was opener Wayne Clarke. Promoted from the seconds in the absence of Adam Parker, Clarke top-scored with 54, including five fours.
But the hosts struggled to score off some tight St Annes bowling, particularly that of professional Shadley van Schalkwyk, who had six maidens in his 17 overs and took 2-31.
Nathan Armstrong then led the reply with 51, his second half-century of the season, and St Annes looked on course for victory as he found solid early support from Gurman Bains and particularly van Schalkwyk (34).
But Dean and Pat Ashton (4-41 from 11.4 overs) combined to make the innings crumble. The final seven men in scored just 21 between them and five players failed to score at all as St Annes were all out for 133.
Victory lifts Fleetwood to fourth, overtaking a Chorley side held at home by bottom club Darwen.
The Broadwater club are nine points behind Blackpool, who remain second after being frustrated at Stanley Park.
The hosts chose to bat and pummelled the Lancaster attack with 241-6 as Mitchell fired his first Blackpool ton.
The New Zealander’s 105 came from 131 balls and included six fours.
He shared a stand of 102 for the fourth wicket with Stephen Twist, whose 58 came from 57 balls (seven fours), having put on 67 for the second with Ciaran Johnson.
Lancaster just about held on for the losing draw at 182-9, having looked in deep trouble at 83-5 after a resilient start saw them reach 54-1.
Number six Rajat Agarwal led the resistance with a defiant 43 from 74 balls.
Mitchell claimed a run-out from the final ball but didn’t bowl himself, though seven Blackpool players did, none more effectively that Dan Pile, who took 4-45 from 14 overs.
Leaders Leyland were also held at struggling Penrith as Blackpool cut the gap at the top by one point to nine.
n Fleetwood’s LCB Knockout tie at home to Oldham club Glodwick was abandoned for the second successive Sunday.
Only two overs were possible in the second-round match before the heavens opened at Broadwater yesterday.
The teams are scheduled to try again to settle the tie tomorrow evening. The winners will face Darwen or Ormskirk in round three next month.