Fylde coast cricket review: St Annes’ league and cup success while Blackpool leapfrog Fleetwood

Amar Ullah took four wickets as St Annes won again on Saturday
Amar Ullah took four wickets as St Annes won again on Saturday

St Annes continued their stunning late season form to all but secure Northern Premier Cricket League status for next season.

Having looked down and out only a few weeks ago, they moved 38 points clear of the bottom two with a three-wicket win at Chorley on Saturday.

The bowlers dominated a low-scoring affair at Windsor Park in which neither team made it to three figures.

After asking their opponents to bat first, St Annes dismissed Chorley for only 97 in the 45th over.

Mohamed Nadeem and Amar Ullah were the men largely responsible as they recorded figures of 4-37 and 4-22 respectively.

Thomas Bradley took the other wickets to fall as he claimed 2-5, while Edwin Moulton top-scored for Chorley with 35.

Chasing 98 for victory, St Annes made hard work of their task with Chorley’s Chamikara Edirisinghe doing his best to derail their hopes.

He took 4-32 and Moulton 2-14 but they were unable to shift Tim Smithies, whose undefeated 60 took St Annes to 98-7 and a maximum 15 points.

Elsewhere, Fleetwood dropped to fifth in the table as they lost by 51 runs at leaders Leyland.

Neels Bergh had taken 5-59 as the home side reached 173-8, opener Karl Cross top-scoring with 68.

However, Fleetwood were shot out for 122 in reply with Nathan McDonnell taking 4-14 to keep Leyland 14 points clear of Garstang.

Blackpool leapfrogged Fleetwood in the table as they climbed into fourth place with a nine-wicket win against bottom side Barrow.

The Cumbrians had made a game of it by reaching 192-9 in their 50 overs, Dineth Thimodya Hewathanthre top-scoring with 75.

However, Blackpool raced to victory by reaching 195-1 in the 31st over of their reply.

Opener Sam Dutton hit 105 not out from only 87 balls, while Tomas King (50) and Brad Williams (37 not out) were also among the runs.

St Annes also set up a Berrys Beds 40-Over Cup final against Netherfield following victory against Garstang on Sunday.

Nathan Armstrong’s men won by four wickets to take their place in the final next weekend.

Having defeated Blackpool in the last eight on a bowlout a fortnight earlier, it was a slightly more routine victory for St Annes this time around.

It was Garstang who batted first but they lost wickets at regular intervals in their innings.

They were eventually dismissed for 139 in the 37th over with the wickets shared around the St Annes attack.

St Annes’ reply saw them lose a couple of early wickets but they were always ahead of the game.

Tom Higson and Mohamed Nadeem put together a decent partnership, which ended when the former was dismissed for 48 to leave them 87-3.

Once St Annes had reached three figures, there was a slight wobble as they lost three further wickets.

Nadeem was one of those to be dismissed for 52 with Ben Reader (6) bowled when the scores were level.

However, Armstrong hit the winning run to see his side into the final.

Lytham are 10 points from safety in the Liverpool and District Competition after losing by 37 runs against Formby on Saturday.

Ben Saunders’ players lost a low-scoring ECB Premier League encounter after a stellar performance with the ball from Formby’s David Atkinson.

Having seen his side dismissed for 129 when batting first, Atkinson routed the Lytham batting line-up to claim 8-30 as they were all out for 92.

Ross Zelem (10) and Matthew Taaffe (7) were out early but Lytham had reached 57-2 before Atkinson had Toby Lester (18) caught and bowled to trigger a spectacular collapse.

He ran through the middle and lower order, leaving Tom Jefferson 36 not out with Ben Aitchison (1-11) and Dewi Jones (1-18) taking the other wickets.

Earlier, Lester had taken 3-27 and Alex Mason 3-17 as Lytham had given themselves a chance of victory which would have seen them leapfrog third-bottom Southport and Birkdale.

In the Moore and Smalley Palalce Shield, Fylde enjoyed a surprise win against high-flying Croston in the Premier Division.

The bottom club won by three wickets at Moorland Road, chasing down their target of 167 after being reduced to 35-5.

Having taken 2-44 with the ball, Fylde skipper Keith Moore struck 48 not out and received good support from Robin Kilner (34) and Anthony Ellison (29 not out) as they added an unbroken 64 for the eighth wicket.

However, Fylde are still at the foot of the table, 18 points adrift of safety with three games remaining.

South Shore endured a miserable day as they went down by 71 runs against leaders Lancaster.

They had dismissed the table-toppers for 145, Mitch Bolus claiming 5-39, but they were skittled for 74 in reply.

Opener Luke Jardine (19) was the only batter reaching double figures as Ben Simm took 4-29 and Iain Perrieman 3-13.

In Division 1A, leaders Kirkham and Wesham had the earliest of finishes as they saw off Norcross by eight wickets.

Andrew Hogarth claimed the remarkable figures of 6-3 from seven overs as the leaders routed Norcross for 42, a total Kirkham and Wesham surpassed in the 12th over.

They are seven points ahead of Thornton Cleveleys, who saw off Rufford.