Fylde coast cricket review: St Annes’ cup final win as Blackpool and Fleetwood’s top-four fight goes to the final day

Josh Boyne made 82 not out as Blackpool posted a winning draw against St Annes
Josh Boyne made 82 not out as Blackpool posted a winning draw against St Annes

The fight for a top-four finish in the Northern Premier Cricket League will go down to the final day following Saturday’s matches.

Blackpool go into their final match sitting fifth, three points behind Fulwood and Broughton, after a winning draw against St Annes at Vernon Road.

In a game reduced to 49 overs per side, St Annes had opted to bowl first.

That decision looked a good one when Thomas Bradley dismissed both Blackpool openers, Tomas King and Sam Dutton, without scoring.

However, the rest of the Blackpool top order rallied with Ciaran Johnson (37) and Ockert Erasmus (35) staging a recovery.

Their efforts were backed up by Josh Boyne, who top-scored with 82 not out in taking Blackpool to their eventual score of 221-7.

Craig Brown (23) and Andy Furniss (18) added useful late contributions as Amar Ullah ended with 3-71.

In reply, St Annes lost Tom Higson (5) and Alex Bradley (2) early on before their batsmen decided to dig in.

Tim Smithies made 27 but it was Ullah and Mohamed Nadeem who frustrated Blackpool in their search for victory.

Both made half-centuries with Nadeem hitting 55 and Ullah 50 as St Annes finished their overs on 163-6.

That gave St Annes three points to leave them ninth in the table with Blackpool taking 10 points.

They sit on 201 points, eight behind third-placed Fleetwood after they beat Netherfield by two wickets.

Netherfield chose to bat first and compiled 141-9 from their 50 overs.

Skipper Ben Barrow top-scored with 55 before he fell victim to Declan Clerkin, who claimed 4-31 and Neels Bergh 3-22.

Both men also played key roles with the bat, making 24 each as Fleetwood replied with 142-8.

Adam Sharrocks top-scored with 36 despite the best efforts of Mat Jackson (3-31) and Isaac Medhurst (3-33).

St Annes capped their excellent second half of the season with victory in Sunday’s Berrys Beds Cup final against Netherfield.

Sunday’s showers meant the match was reduced to a 15-over-a-side match, starting at 4.35pm.

It was St Annes who batted first and they set a challenging score of 118-6.

Having lost Smithies (7) early on, Nadeem and Higson steadied Saints’ ship.

Higson made 31 but was followed quickly by Ullah (0) and Liam Castellas (3) as St Annes reached 79-4.

Ben Reader (3) was next to go but Nadeem reached 53 in giving St Annes a good score to defend.

Nadeem then starred with the ball, taking two early wickets as Netherfield were reduced to 33-2.

Higson also picked up a wicket before Smithies effected a runout to leave Netherfield 81-4.

As well as losing wickets, Netherfield were always behind the run rate and needed 29 from the final two overs.

More wickets followed, leaving them seven down and needing 25 from the final over.

They only managed nine, finishing on 103-7 and giving St Annes the trophy.

Lytham CC are 10 points from safety in the Liverpool Competition ECB Premier League after losing at Orrell Red Triangle on Saturday.

Having seen the home side declare on 166-8 from 45 overs after they chose to bat first, Lytham were all out for 151 in reply.

Toby Lester had struck early in the Orrell innings with the wicket of Minhaj Bhada (1) but it was to be the second and third wicket partnerships which gave Orrell the platform for their score.

Chris Riley and Andrew Baybutt added 53 for the second wicket, a stand which ended when Riley (21) was bowled by Anthony Mulligan.

That left Orrell 62-2, only for Baybutt and Sam Heeley to put on 64 for the third wicket before Baybutt (69). became the first of three wickets for Ben Saunders.

His dismissal also triggered a period of play that saw Lytham take six wickets for 25 runs.

Heeley (26) followed, again to Saunders, who also accounted for Matthew Wareing (9) to finish with 3-55.

Alex Mason then got in on the act, sending back Tom Jones (5), Siddiq Patel (0) and Shahrukh Khan (2) as Orrell fell to 151-8.

Mohammed Bhada (two not out) and Afaq Ali Sartaj (nine not out) took Orrell to their eventual total with Mason taking 3-31.

Lytham’s reply was a story of batsmen who got starts without being able to convert them into a decisive knock.

They had put on 66 for the first wicket and then reached 104-5 before a self-inflicted late collapse.

Openers Matthew Cartmell and Ross Zelem top-scored as both made 29.

Mason hit 21 before he became Sartaj’s fifth victim (5-41) to leave Lytham 132-7.

The final three batters were then run out with Matthew Stevenson (0) and Jack Saunders (0) followed by Anthony Mulligan (11).

In the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division, there were defeats for Fylde and South Shore.

Kirkham and Wesham are seven points clear of Thornton Cleveleys in Division 1A but have played a game more.