Fleetwood Cricket Club couldn’t take advantage of slip-ups by their Northern League title rivals after losing Saturday’s derby at St Annes.
The Vernon Road club’s revival continued as their total of 165-9 proved enough for a 32-run win over the third-placed visitors.
Mohamed Nadeem, run out for 28, was the hosts’ top scorer as Fleetwood professional Neels Bergh took 4-48 and in-form Alex Ryder 3-62, both from 16 overs. But five other members St Annes’ top seven scored between 17 and 26 to set a competitive total.
That didn’t look like being the case when Fleetwood’s second-wicket pair of wicketkeeper Keegan Armstrong (53) and opener Rana Singh (42) were together, though their eight team-mates who followed them to the crease could manage only 26 between them .
Amar Ullah’s fourth five-for of the season (5-38 from 15-2) and Tom Higson’s 4-43 from 11 helped dismiss Fleetwood for 133 with 3.4 overs remaining.
The defeat was not too costly to Fleetwood’s title aspirations as neither of the teams above them won, though Leyland’s winning draw at home to Netherfield extended their lead over Garstang to 14 points and over Fleetwood to 23 with four matches remaining. Fleetwood’s visit to the leaders on Saturday will have a massive bearing on the outcome.
St Annes’ season has turned around remarkably. Having won none of their first 13 games, they have won their last three completed matches to jump 23 points clear of the relegation zone.
Blackpool won by 20 runs at struggling Penrith, who would have fancied their chances after restricting the champions to 154-9.
Josh Boyne was Blackpool’s top scorer with 44 and one of four victims for Greg Hall, whose 17 overs went for just 48 while Obus Pienaar took 3-45, also off 17.
But any Blackpool nerves were eased by substitute professional Ockert Erasmus, who took 5-43 from 15 overs as the Cumbrians lost seven wickets before reaching 100.
Their final pair did cause a few Blackpool nails to be bitten by putting on 26 before Matthew Siddall (3-50 from 16.4) ended the reply at 134 with 5.2 overs remaining. Blackpool remain fifth, 35 points behind Leyland.
Other results: Chorley 112-4 beat Garstang 109 by six wickets, Fulwood and Broughton 160 beat Barrow 109 by 51 runs, Kendal 53 lost to Longridge 94 by 41 runs, Leyland 197-7 drew with Netherfield 156-5
Lytham recorded their first Liverpool Competition victory of the season at the 17th attempt thanks to an outstanding display by captain Ben Saunders.
They won by two wickets at Northern after Saunders’ career-best figures of 7-38 from 16.5 overs saw the Crosby club slump from 83-3 to 93-7 before being all out for 135 in 53.5 overs.
Even so, Lytham looked destined for yet another defeat at Moor Park as they laboured to 102-8 only for number eight Saunders to fire 42 from 43 balls and seal victory in 42.2 overs in an unbroken partnership with Anthony Mulligan. The win lifts Saunders’ men off the bottom of the ECB premier league and gives them a fighting chance of avoiding relegation.
Fourth-placed South Shore still have an outside chance of a top-two finish in the Palace Shield after Great Eccleston stunned Morecambe. To do so Shore must dislodge Croston, who bowled Preston out for 15, though surely no-one can halt Lancaster’s procession to the title.
Kirkham and Wesham lead division 1A by three points from Rufford, with Thornton Cleveleys four points further back but very much in the promotion race.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier division results: Great Eccleston 122-4 (W Thistlethwaite 58no) beat Morecambe 121-5 (R Pearson 37) by six wickets, Lancaster 145-9 (C Swarbrick 48, U Abrar 6-48) beat Fylde 39 (L Moffat 7-9, C Swarbrick 3-22) by 106 runs, South Shore 94-4 (N Bolus 42no) beat New Longton 92 (S Nalbandh 36no, N Bolus 5-30) by six wickets, Preston 15 lost to Croston 130-7 by 115 runs, Standish 116 lost to Penwortham 239-9 by 123 runs, Vernon Carus 118-4 beat Eccleston 114 lost six wickets.
Division One A: Hoghton 120-9 (D Eccles 43, J Newman 5-45) lost to Thornton Cleveleys 121- 3 (D Howard 58no, M Bagiya 3-37) by seven wickets, Tarleton 50 (A Wilson 6-10) lost to Kirkham and Wesham 125 (S Oldfield 30, S Wilkinson 5-28, M Parkinson 4-37)by 75 runs Grimsargh 155-9 (I Basheri 40, I Davies 5-31) beat Norcross 71 (P Brook 4-19, J Wilson 3-18 by 84 runs, Rufford 75-1 beat Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods 74 by nine wickets, Withnell Fold 125 beat Torrisholme 93 by 32 runs.
Thornton Cleveleys were beaten by eight wickets in a rain-affected Meyler Cup final away to Palace Shield premier division high-flyers Croston on Sunday.
Thornton chose to bat but could post only 80 in 36.2 overs, Joshua Vincent the sole player to reach double figures with 18 as Sam Marsh took 4-14 from 6.2 overs and Millie Hodge 3-16 off seven.
The rain then saw Croston's target revised to 42 from 20 overs, a total they reached with 14 deliveries to spare for the loss of two wickets.
Opener Ian Dickinson was unbeaten on 24 in in the cup winners' 43-2.