Fylde coast cricket review: St Annes are safe while Lytham spinner comes close to a perfect day
St Annes secured their spot in the Northern Premier Cricket League for 2022 on a dramatic final day of the season.
Despite losing by four runs at Leyland, the half-dozen points St Annes gained in defeat were enough to see them finish two places and three points clear of the relegation spots.
Leyland elected to bat first at the Stanning Memorial Ground, where they were dismissed for 143.
Skipper Tom Higson led by example with the ball for St Annes, sharing eight wickets with Tom Bradley as both picked up four apiece.
It was Bradley who accounted for Leyland’s top scorer, Saliya Saman, after he had made 50, on his way to figures of 4-33.
Higson claimed 4-27 but the late contributions of Andrew Jacques (12) and Ian Farrington (19 not out) were to prove crucial.
St Annes’ reply ended with them all out for 139 with 14 overs of their innings still intact.
Higson again led from the front, top-scoring for St Annes with 47.
Nevertheless, the key contribution was to come from Leyland’s Nathan McDonnell, who decimated the middle and lower order on his way to taking 4-8 from five overs.
Chorley, who had started the day second-bottom, ensured basement club Fleetwood ended their season with defeat, losing by nine wickets.
Having chosen to bat first, Fleetwood’s batting wilted against Chorley bowlers Will Moulton and Samuel Steeple.
Moulton took 5-38 and Steeple 5-42 as Fleetwood were all out for 105, Declan Clerkin top-scoring with 20.
Chorley then breezed to their target, reaching 106-1 inside 27 overs with Siddesh Lad hitting an undefeated 65 in taking them to victory and ensuring they climbed out of the bottom two.
Those results meant Morecambe’s defeat to Garstang ensured they would be returning to the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield next year.
Elsewhere, champions Blackpool were unable to end the season with victory as they went down by 28 runs to Netherfield at Stanley Park.
The visitors opted to bat first and concluded their 50 overs on 214-6.
Exactly half of that total came via Shrikant Mundhe’s 107 not out, made from 105 balls and including 14 fours and two sixes.
Finlay Richardson added 35 during a fourth wicket stand of 98, while James Bowman added 24 and skipper Ben Barrow 22.
Matt Siddall again headlined the Blackpool attack, returning figures of 5-69 from his 15 overs.
However, the Blackpool reply ended with them all out for 186 with six-and-a-half overs remaining.
After losing both openers in being reduced to 28-2, they made it to 104-4 before losing the next four wickets for only 37 runs.
Sri Lankan sub-pro Sachithra Serasinghe top-scored with 36 and Ben Howarth added 34 as Blackpool struggled against Oli Wileman.
He had claimed four wickets as they fell to 161-9, and although Paul Danson and Siddall added 25 for the final wicket, it was Wileman who had the final word with the dismissal of Danson to end with 5-42.
In the Liverpool Competition, Lytham’s spin sensation Zia Ur Rehman Akbar posted the division’s best bowling figures this season in helping them to a 128-run victory against Ainsdale.
He took 9-36 as Ainsdale were all out for 117 in reply to Lytham’s 245-6 declared.
It was Akbar’s 10th five-wicket haul for the season, taking him to 72 overall.
He took the first five wickets to fall at the weekend but any hopes of a perfect 10 were dashed when Tom Myerscough collected the sixth.
Lytham had earlier been asked to bat first with Ed Fiddler hitting 70 and Josh Holden 49.
Akbar then smashed an undefeated 48 from only 31 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes, while Richard Staines added a brisk 31.
Victory means Lytham are fourth in the table, 14 points behind second-placed Birkenhead Park with two games remaining.
In the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield, Kirkham and Wesham maintained their hopes of promotion into the Northern Premier Cricket League with a six-wicket victory against Penwortham.
They are third in the division, nine points behind Vernon Carus who occupy the second promotion spot.
Fylde were beaten by 72 runs when they met fourth-placed Thornton Cleveleys, while bottom side South Shore lost by eight wickets against Great Eccleston.
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