Fylde coast cricket preview: Fleetwood CC hope to end a tough year on a high
Fleetwood Cricket Club are determined to bounce back up to the Northern Premier League at the first attempt – but their immediate aim is to end their 69-year stay in the competition on a high.
Defeats in relegation battles with St Annes and Fulwood and Broughton over the holiday weekend sealed the fate of the NPCL founder members, who will contest the Palace Shield next season.
Chorley will go down too unless they win tomorrow’s final game at Broadwater but Fleetwood captain Adam Sharrocks is anxious not to let that happen.
He told The Gazette: “We’ve lost enough games this season and we want to finish with pride and win for the people who have supported us. We would do the league an injustice by not doing our best.
“The game at St Annes was in our hands and that would have given us momentum to take into Monday but we threw opportunities away.
“I’m extremely disappointed for this great club but we have an opportunity to re-evaluate and move forward.
“I’ve had many good times here but we feel we’ve let the club down, though there is a real spirit of togetherness.
“The Palace Shield is a great competition with some very good teams, but our focus will be on getting back to where we think we should be.”
St Annes require six points at Leyland to guarantee their safety, with Morecambe the other club Chorley could potentially overtake.
There are no such worries for champions and cup winners Blackpool, who end their campaign at home to Netherfield.
Though the NPCL ends tomorrow, the Fylde coast cricket season does not. The Shield has two Saturdays to go and the Liverpool Competition three, though promotion-chasing Lytham play their final home game tomorrow against Ainsdale.
Fleetwood are set to join a Palace Shield premier division containing fewer Fylde coast clubs, with South Shore and Fylde CC relegated.
Kirkham and Wesham could yet climb into the NPCL, though victory at Penwortham tomorrow is probably a must if they are to challenge Vernon Carus for the second promotion spot behind Penrith.
Northern Premier League (12.30): Blackpool v Netherfield, Fleetwood v Chorley, Leyland v St Annes, Kendal v Longridge, Lancaster v Fulwood and Broughton, Morecambe v Garstang.
Liverpool Competition first division (12.0): Lytham v Ainsdale.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier division (1.30): Fylde v Thornton Cleveleys, Great Eccleston v South Shore, Penwortham v Kirkham and Wesham, Barrow v Preston, Croston v Penrith, Eccleston v Vernon Carus.
Division 1B: St Annes 2 v Leyland 2, Chorley 2 v Fleetwood 2, Fulwood and Broughton 2 v Great Eccleston 2, Netherfield 2 v Blackpool 2.
Division 2: Thornton Cleveleys 2 v Longridge 3, Ingol v Norcross, Whittingham and Goosnargh v Wrea Green.
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