Blackpool CC’s derby win over Fleetwood has given them the edge in the race for runners-up spot in cricket’s Northern Premier League afterNetherfield inevitably sealed the title on Saturday.
Blackpool’s 40-run win at Fleetwood left them two points above third-placed St Annes, victors by seven wickets at Preston, though Neitherfield’s 62-run win at Kendal saw them crowned champions with three to play.
Fleetwood professional Neels Bergh took 4-54 to restrict Blackpool to 122 at Broadwater but was overshadowed by Blackpool’s guest pro Luis Reece.
Derby-shire’s former Lancashire all-rounder took 7-33 from seven overs to dismiss the hosts for 82 in 37 overs.
Fleetwood’s Tom Wilson was the game’s top-scorer with an unbeaten 48 but only one of his team-mates reached double figures.
Blackpool had chosen to bat and Andy Furniss was their top scorer with 28 in a 45.5-over innings in which Sam Bell took 3-23 from 17.
Another of Saturday’s star bowlers was St Annes’ Matt Grindley, whose 5-32 from 17 overs was his seventh five-for this season.
Preston were put in at West Cliff and managed only 85 in 40.1 overs as the league’s leading wicket-taker took his tally to 68.
Atiq Uz-Zaman then hit eight fours in an unbeaten 52 to ease St Annes to victory at 86-3 in 25.4 overs.
On Monday Blackpool entertain Chorley, who slipped from second to fourth after their 26-run home defeat by Leyland, while St Annes head to Barrow and seventh-placed Fleeetwood are at home to Preston.
Lytham battled back to salvage a Liverpool Competiton draw against Leigh after labouring to 55-6 at Church Road.
Having been put in, Lytham’s upper order had no answer to Leigh’s Matthew McKiernan, whose 23 overs went for just 25 runs and who took four wickets, including Lancashire captain Steven Croft for 19.
However, Lytham managed to bat on for 64 overs and reach 193-8 thanks largely to a seventh-wicket stand of 82 between Josh Holden (38) and Joseph Davies, who went on to an unbeaten 67 with nine fours.
Leigh were also in strife at 47-5 but Adam Shallcross’ 62 and his sixth-wicket stand of 75 with Matthew Hibbert ensured that honours were even when they reached 135-7 after 39 overs, Ryan Maddock taking 4-40 off 13.
The three-way title race goes on in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield after top three Garstang, Fulwood and Broughton and Vernon Carus all won.
Garstang maintain their nine-point lead over F&B with three to play in the premier division, with Vernons a further five points behind.
Thornton Cleveleys lost at Garstang by seven wickets but are safe from relegation, though second-bottom Freckleton are down.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield
Premier division: Eccleston (194-8, MR Atkinson 77, A Hogarth 5-41 ) beat Freckleton (123, T Wilkinson 5-35) by 71 runs, Fulwood and Broughton (120-5) beat Rufford (119) by five wickets, Garstang (90-3_ beat Thornton Cleveleys (89, G Jennings 4-21, C Oosthuysen 4-23, Mi Walling 34no) by seven wickets, Longridge (129-0) lost to Torrisholme (130-9) by one wicket, Penwortham (191-8) beat Croston (80) by 111 runs, Vernon Carus (151-7, W Royle 35, M Nadeem 4-39) beat Great Eccleston (150-9, M Timms 5-40) by three wickets
Division One: Fylde (63, A Simpson 6-12) lost to Longridge 2 (145-8, J Livesey 36) by 82 runs, Hoghton (117) lost to New Longton (118-3) by seven runs, Norcross (192-4) beat Garstang 2 (191) by six wickets, South Shore (124-2, M Cowell-Makin 48) beat Fulwood and Broughton 2 (123, A Ahmed 34, A Perera 3-6, M Cowburn 3-10) by eight wickets, White Coppice (161) lost to Whittingham and Goosnargh (268-9) by 107 runs, Withnell Fold (101) lostto Vernon Carus 2 (106-3) by seven wickets.
Division Two: Kirkham and Wesham (81-7, N Trengrove 3-19 ) beat Mawdesley (80, D Reddy 6-15) by three wickets, Standish (246-5, A Hill 65, Z Khan 54, U Khushnood 50, C Hedges 3-81) beat Wrea Green (74, D Monckton 5-14, S Khan 3-23) by 172 runs