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Match Day 17th April 2005


By Gerry Wolstenholme

It was almost a complete washout in the opening weekend of the Northern Premier League Cricket League on Saturday when only two games in Division One started and thereafter only one was played to a finish. There was no play at Chorley, Darwen, Leyland and Morecambe while at Netherfield the second innings had just got underway when rain intervened. The exception was at St Annes where, in artic conditions, the game started just before three o'clock with 11 overs lost to each side and ended in even colder conditions just before eight o'clock. By then an entertaining game had finished in favour of St Annes who, despite doing their best to self-destruct against some fighting play by Lancaster, won by three wickets.

For Lancaster stand-in Australian professional Brad McDonald held the innings together with a battling 45 while Ian Parkinson's 12 was the next best effort as Lancaster limped to 102-9. Stephen Twist bowled admirably to take 4-22 in 15 hostile overs. St Annes set off well but then lost wickets steadily to the tidy, varied and penetrative leg spin of McDonald who finished with 5-28 from 14 overs. It was something of a relief for watching St Annes' cricket manager Ian Austin when the winning runs were scored with 13 balls remaining. Adrian Darlington top scored with 30 in St Annes' 104-7.

At Parkside Road Netherfield batted first and Grahame Clarke top-scored with 46 in the home side's 192-7. Chris Parry made 40 and Tommy Prime 27 while Daryl Wearing took 3-54 and Rawl Lewis 2-38. Barrow just had time to make 18 without loss before the premature close.

Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Chorley v Fleetwood, Darwen v Preston, Leyland v Blackpool, Morecambe v Leyland Motors all abandoned without a ball bowled.

All sides four points each.


Netherfield 192-7 (Clarke 46, Parry 40), Barrow 18-0

Rain stopped play - match abandoned. Both sides four points.


Lancaster 102-9 (McDonald 45, Twist 4-22), St Annes 104-7 (McDonald 5-28)

St Annes 12 points, Lancaster 2 points


Two games in the Second Division were played out as draws with the rest abandoned without a ball being bowled. Morecambe's Izzat made the day's top score with 93 not out, closely followed by his teammate Gulam Maje who made 80 as Morecambe totalled 185-2. Leyland Motors replied with 120-7. Netherfield made 122-6 with J Winder making a top score of 48 to which Barrow replied with 102-9 as J Sturgeon made 46.


Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Netherfield 122-6 (Winder 48), Barrow 102-9 (Sturgeon 46)

Netherfield 7 points, Barrow 2 points


Blackpool v Leyland, Fleetwood v Chorley, Lancaster v St Annes, Preston v Darwen all abandoned without a ball being bowled, although the Lancaster game was a victim of some damaged drains and was called off earlier in the week; so the game may well be replayed.

The other four sides have four points each.


Morecambe 185-2 (Izzat 93*, Maje 80), Leyland Motors 120-7

Morecambe 9 points, Leyland Motors 1 point



Lancaster 102-9, St Annes 104-7
By Gerry Wolstenholme

In conditions more suited to outdoor ice hockey, St Annes and Lancaster served up some extremely entertaining fare in an effort to warm the cockles of those brave enough to sit outside for the duration of the game. The start was delayed until shortly before three o'clock but when the action started it was non-stop for five hours.

St Annes won the toss and invited Lancaster to bat, a decision that was always going to be a good one on such a day but which turned out to be doubly so when Lancaster lost their opening batsmen for 17. Craig Heywood was the first to go when Stephen Twist clipped his bails when he had made three and Lancaster had progressed to six. They had added a further 11 runs when David Heywood edged Twist to Duncan Whalley who gratefully accepted the offering.

Luke Phillips kept deputy professional Brad McDonald company while the total moved on to 28 but then he found a ball from Joe Davies lifting on him and he could only edge it to Whalley. Raymond Shah made five before St Annes Australian professional took his first Northern League wicket on a day when he wished he had been at home. He bowled with some pace and fire and trapped Shah back on his stumps and Lancaster were 36-4.

There followed the best partnership of the innings between McDonald, who began to blossom after a watchful start, and Ian Parkinson as the pair added 27 runs before the latter was caught by Whalley off Twist for 12. Jamie Heywood made one before Twist had him leg before wicket at 73-6 and it was 78-7 when Harwood took the catch of the day to dismiss Chris Glover for one. Glover drove Michael Baer over mid-off only for Harwood to run backwards and then take a gigantic leap to catch the ball one-handed over his head. The batsmen had crossed and in an effort to get the strike back McDonald called poor Ben Morgan for a chancy single and Hegan's underarm throw defeated the non-striker who was run out without facing a ball. That was 78-8.

McDonald had progressed to 45 when he chipped Baer to Hagen at mid-wicket and Lancaster were 95-9. Paul Dennison, an unorthodox five not out, and Grahame Barnes, four not out, saw Lancaster through to a modest 102-9 at the end of their 41 overs as a relatively simple catch was missed in the final over that would have had the visitors all out.

While not a mammoth total, anything was possible on such a day but the only result that looked likely after Lancaster's opening overs was a win for St Annes. Darlington started in fine form, cutting successive threes off Barnes and Shah, and with Gareth Evans, took the score comfortably to 35 before Evans fell to the day's second stunning catch. He drove McDonald through extra-cover but Phillips leapt high to made a stunning one-handed catch and Evans was gone for 12.

With Twist as his partner, Darlington carried on the attack and St Annes had reached 60 with no serious alarms, even though McDonald was producing one of the finest spells of leg-spin bowling seen at Vernon Road for some time, particularly in the freezing cold conditions. McDonald then bowled Twist for 16 and St Annes began a self-destruct programme that saw them lose four wickets in the space of 14 runs.

First to go was Harwood, who had struck one beautiful cover drive. He tried to pull McDonald for six, did not get enough power and Glover at deep mid-wicket took a very good catch so the professional had gone for 11 and St Annes were 74-3. Davies obviously did not learn from his professional for he too, after one well struck boundary, holed out to Glover in exactly the same position off McDonald and that was 83-4. Whalley failed to score as he flat-batted Glover to Barnes at mid-off and then the third wicket to fall while the total remained stuck on 83 was that of Darlington who tried to sweep McDonald and was bowled for 30.

Fortunately St Annes had kept back Hagen and he and Ashworth brought some stability back until the latter was run out for two at 88-7. A limping Adam Cotton joined Hagen and together they scored the runs that took St Annes to victory. But it was not easy as both McDonald and Glover bowled very tightly until Glover strayed off line and Cotton swept him for four and followed this with a cover drive to the boundary that left him 10 not out and with Hagen nine not out, his side had achieved victory by three wickets with 13 balls of the innings remaining. McDonald did remarkably well to return 5-28 from 14 very tight overs and he was happy to return to the warmth of the fireside, as were the hardy souls who had seen the game through.

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