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Match Day 7th June 2003


By Gerry Wolstenholme

Steven Croft, Gary Jackson, Gareth Evans and Lloyd Ferreira all scored centuries in Saturday's round of Northern Premier League games but their fortunes all differed. Croft's 109 could not ensure a Blackpool win as Netherfield held out for the draw, Gary Jackson's effort of 104 ended the same way as Leyland Motors kept out Darwen and Gareth Evans' 109 was in a losing cause as Lloyd Ferreira replied with 104 not out to take opponents Fleetwood to victory.

Darwen, despite failing to bowl out Motors, held on to the league lead as they amassed 240-6 in their 57 overs. Jackson's 104 was the mainstay of the innings and Keith Semple contributed an even half century as James Aspinwall took 5-50 in a sustained effort of good bowling. The experienced David Makinson led Motors' resistance as he made 56 not out with son Andrew making 24 and Asif Ashraf 28 as his side closed on 143-8 and took four points to Darwen's 10.

Second-placed Morecambe picked up a win against Leyland who batted first and made a noble effort to reach 172 with Stephen Dunk making 49 and professional Luxman Vahalawala making 42 while the mercurial Peter Stephens took 5-45 and Andy Bird once again shone with the ball taking 4-21. The total was, however, no problem to Morecambe as in-form openers Mark Woodhead, 40, and Phil Dennison, 80 not out with 12 fours, gave them a cracking start and it was eventually a nine-wicket victory at 173-1 with Ramesh Powar not out 35.

Lancaster defeated Preston, who seem to have dispensed with draws as they either win or lose! Preston's 155 was restricted by Graham Barnes' 4-51 and Ben Simm's 4-67 with only Anthony Mann, 35, passing 30 and once Luke Phillips got into his stride, making 55 not out, there was only one winner. Lancaster's 156-5 gave them victory by five wickets.

The other winners were Fleetwood at Vernon Road where spectators were treated to a run feast as 517 runs were scored with Fleetwood shading the total by three. St Annes got off to a good start from Adrian Darlington, 48, and Gareth Evans but two old boys came back to dismiss the former as he was stumped by James Ellis off Zac Taylor. Evans went on to make 109 with 11 fours and one six, Steve Twist contributed 42 and stand-in professional Mohammed Mansoor made 40 not out as St Annes closed on an impressive 257-3. But it was not enough for a very much in-form Fleetwood side who also got a good start from the evergreen John Wright and Michael Dewhurst. Wright made 46, Dewhurst a senior best of 86, with eight fours and one six, and then professional Lloyd Ferreira put the icing on the cake with a magnificent 104 not out to take Fleetwood to victory. He struck three sixes and 11 fours in an innings that Brian Moore, former Blackpool Cricket Club captain, described as "one of the best Northern League centuries I have ever seen". And he watched Bill Alley from close quarters!

Meanwhile Chorley and Kendal were involved in an epic struggle at Shap Road. Tom Smith made 44 while Stephen John, 34, Neil Senior, 34, and Jim Fazackerley, 33, all made useful contributions. Kabir Khan took 5-64 as Chorley were bowled out for 195. Kendal then fell two runs short of victory at 193-7 with the main contributors being Kevin Howarth, 39, Martin South, 38, and Chris Florence, 34.

At Stanley Park Blackpool made 207-6 with Steven Croft's 109 the main contribution and with Mark Lomas making his now customary half century with 57. Netherfield's reply stuttered from the start, got some momentum going and then died so they finished at 180-9 with Rishi Girdhari, grandson of former player S K Girdhari, making a fine 43.

There were two Second Division centuries as well but neither brought victory for their side. N Walker made 120 for Kendal as they lost to Chorley and Danny Welbourne made 103 not out for Netherfield as they could only draw with Blackpool.

First Division scores in brief (home team in bold):

Blackpool 207-6 (Croft 109, Lomas 57), Netherfield 180-7 (Girdhari 43, Kruis 4-57)

Blackpool 11 points, Netherfield 6 points

Chorley 195 (Smith 44, Khan 5-64), Kendal 193-7

Chorley 10 points, Kendal 8 points

Darwen 240-6 (Jackson 104, Semple 50, Aspinwall 5-50), Leyland Motors 143-8 (Makinson D 56*)

Darwen 10 points, Leyland Motors 4 points

Leyland 172 (Dunk 49, Vahalawala 42, Stephens 5-45), Morecambe 173-1 (Dennison 80*, Woodhead 40)

Leyland 2 points, Morecambe 12 points

Preston 155 (Barnes 4-52, Simm 4-67), Lancaster 156-5 (Phillips 55*)

Preston 3 points, Lancaster 12 points

St Annes 257-3 (Evans 109, Darlington 48, Twist 42, Mansoor 40*), Fleetwood 260-2 (Ferreira 104*, Dewhurst 86, Wright 46)

St Annes 3 points, Fleetwood 12 points



Club P W15 W12 D4 D1 L NR4 BP Pts
Darwen 9 2 2 1 0 1 3 8 78
Morecambe 9 1 4 0 1 1 2 4 76
Kendal 9 3 0 0 1 2 3 13 71
Chorley 9 0 2 3 0 2 2 25 69
Preston 9 2 1 1 0 4 1 17 67
Fleetwood 9 0 4 0 1 3 1 9 62
Netherfield 9 1 1 1 2 1 3 14 59
Lancaster 9 0 2 1 2 2 2 21 59
St Annes 9 0 1 2 2 1 3 23 57
Leyland Motors 9 2 0 0 2 4 1 15 51
Blackpool 9 0 1 2 0 4 2 19 47
Leyland 9 1 0 0 0 5 3 10 37



By Gerry Wolstenholme

Despite a fine hundred from Steven Croft, Blackpool failed to bowl out Netherfield who hung on for a draw at Stanley Park on Saturday. Croft made 109 out of Blackpool's total of 207-6 and although Netherfield looked at one time as though they might seriously challenge this total, their innings fell away and they held on at the end with 180-9.

Blackpool won the toss, elected to bat and Martin Pickles and Chris Simcock had 18 on the board with no effort at all. Then disaster struck as the pair went for an unlikely third run that resulted in a fine throw from Ben Haddrick beating Pickles' despairing dive for the crease. He had gone for nine and it was 18-1. That quickly became 18-2 as Simcock, nine, was adjudged leg before wicket to Scott Clement.

But that was the end of Netherfield success for almost three hours as Croft and Mark Lomas put together a partnership of 149 for the third wicket. Croft in particular played some splendid shots all round the wicket while Lomas was probably restricted by a muscle pull that gave Martin Pickles the chance to spend some more time out in the middle as his runner. Netherfield alternated their bowling but it had little effect on the Blackpool pair and the loose balls that were sent down were duly punished.

It was Croft who was the main contributor to the partnership for Lomas went into becalmed spells and struggled through the 40s in around 10 overs. He reached his half century and then hit a straight six before trying to repeat the blow at the other end and Rishi Girdhari held a boundary-edge catch off Pieter Strydom and Lomas was returning to the pavilion with 57 to his name made from 140 balls with seven fours in 164 minutes.

Chris Barrow made only four before he sacrificed himself in the cause of Croft's chase for a century as he was run out when a misunderstanding gave Haddrick plenty of time to find the wicketkeeper to remove the bails. That was 179-4 and five runs later Croft reached a deserved century before adding nine runs and then slipping in mid pitch to find himself run out as he lay prone on the track. His 109 had come from 165 balls with 12 fours.

Paul Danson made just one before he became the third run out victim as Craig Walmsley's throw beat him and with Deon Kruis making 13 not out, the innings closed at 207-6, a total that, on a flat track, seemed perhaps not to be testing enough.

But Netherfield's reply faltered with the first ball of the second over as Croft continued his fine day by having Gareth White adjudged leg before wicket before a run was on the board. Craig Walmsley and Grahame Clarke then put on 54 untroubled runs before the former was undone by a flighted ball from Danson that bowled him for 31. And with the total unmoved, Clarke, 24, was bowled by a ball from Kruis that never rose more than a couple of inches.

A somewhat subdued Strydom and Girdhari tried to repair the damage and they added 46 runs to take Netherfield to the 100 before Strydom, having just driven a big six into the pavilion, played a casual flick at Croft to find himself leg before wicket for 16. Chris Parry joined Girdhari and Netherfield continued to chase the runs with Girdhari executing some magnificent cover drives, reminiscent of his grandfather who played in the league many years ago. He had made 43 when he went down the track to David Higham and Martin Hackett duly completed the stumping and Netherfield were 133-5.

With the addition of only one run Tommy Prime edged Kruis through to Hackett who took a low catch, so low that Prime, having failed to score, fell justified in checking that the ball had in fact carried. It had and Netherfield were 154-6 and now looking at more of a rearguard action than a chase for victory.

However, Parry and new batsman Haddrick looked as though they still thought victory was a possibility and they added a quick 23 before Haddrick's little cameo of 31 came to an end as he was caught by Croft off Kruis for 31. The catch was one of the best seen at Stanley Park for many a long day as Haddrick drove low, hard and well wide of Croft at a shortish extra cover. But Croft took off and magnificently held the ball inches from the ground to complete what was for him a memorable day. And when Parry was caught at slip by Lomas off Kruis for 18 one run later, it was time for Netherfield to put up the shutters.

But one more wicket fell to give Blackpool added hope as Ryan Wilson, three, was bowled by Higham at 180-9. With an over and four balls remaining the last pair, Marc Hadwin and Clement were at the wicket. Hadwin successfully kept out the rest of the over from Higham and then Clement, despite surviving one vehement appeal for leg before wicket, successfully negotiated the final over from Kruis. Netherfield therefore closed on 180-9 and took six points to Blackpool's 11.

Second Division scores in brief (home side in bold):

Kendal 205-8 (Walker 120), Chorley 210-5 (Hotham 86*)

Kendal 5 points, Chorley 12 points

Leyland Motors 131-9 (Bonner 5-37), Darwen 132-5 (Heys 43*)

Leyland Motors 2 points, Darwen 12 points

Fleetwood 137, St Annes 138-4 (Patel 50*, Ashworth 40*)

Fleetwood 1 point, St Annes 12 points

Preston 139 (Dawson 6-41), Lancaster 90 (Starkie 5-34)

Preston 15 points, Lancaster 4 points

Leyland 51 (Quinn 6-15), Morecambe 55-3

Leyland 1 point, Morecambe 12 points

Netherfield 218-3 (Welbourne 103*, Hampshire 56), Blackpool 189-7 (Aga 87)

Netherfield 10 points, Blackpool 5 points



Club P W15 W12 D4 D1 L NR4 BP Pts
Darwen 9 2 5 0 1 0 1 2 97
St Annes 9 1 2 3 0 1 2 22 81
Leyland Motors 9 2 3 0 1 1 2 5 80
Chorley 9 0 5 0 0 2 2 8 76
Morecambe 9 0 4 1 1 1 2 8 69
Preston 9 2 0 2 1 2 2 17 64
Netherfield 9 2 1 1 0 4 1 13 63
Fleetwood 8 2 1 0 1 3 1 6 53
Leyland 9 0 2 0 0 6 1 10 38
Kendal 9 0 0 1 1 5 2 25 38
Blackpool 8 0 1 0 2 3 2 14 36
Lancaster 9 0 0 0 0 7 2 20 28

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