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Match Day 18th June 2005


By Gerry Wolstenholme

With less than half the season completed St Annes have opened a commanding 26-point lead at the top of the Northern Premier League table. On Saturday they constructively destroyed second-placed Netherfield while the other challengers, notably, Blackpool, who could only manage a draw and Darwen, who did not have a game, fell a little off the pace. A win for Fleetwood saw them move into fourth place.

At Vernon Road the contest was over almost as soon as it had begun as Shane Harwood's pace was too much for the Netherfield batsmen who subsided to 19-8 but a late rally, of sorts, saw them reach 49 all out with Harwood taking 7-10. Ian Austin then blasted a quick 35 not out to win the game for his side by nine wickets at 50-1.

Blackpool had a bizarre game at West Cliff where the last 13 wickets to fall brought in only 85 runs as Preston went from 135-4 to 152 all out and Blackpool had to fight 49 overs to reach just 68-7. Mario Ventura made 50 and Ian McDonnell made 21 as Steven Croft took 3-31 and Michael Taylor 3-15. Croft then made the significant contribution to the modest Blackpool total with 26 and Robin Bracewell made 19 as Lukman Vahaluwala took 3-18.

Fleetwood methodically beat Leyland Motors who could make only 96 in reply to Fleetwood's 138 to which Adam Sharrocks contributed 48 not out and James Ellis 41 while professional Doug Watson had a rare off-day, failing to score. Nishat Afsar took 4-21 and Atif Ashraf 3-31 for Motors who then had only Ashraf, 51, and Karl Cross, 10, in double figures as Dave Fish took 4-30 and Michael Clinning 3-14.

Barrow kept up with the leaders with a good win over Morecambe at Woodhill Lane. The home side made 157-9 with Tommy Clough top scoring with 57 and Richard Cupit making 33 while Daryl Wearing took 6-46 and Rawl Lewis 3-34 for Barrow. Mike Hughes led the Barrow reply with 52, Tod Bamber made 33 not out and skipper Ian Allington 27 as his side won by five wickets at 158-5. Peter Stephens was the best of the Morecambe bowlers as he returned 3-36.

Lancaster took 15 points at Shap Road when they totalled only 110 all out but it was 21 runs too many for an inconsistent Kendal side who were bowled out for only 89. Extras with 27 was the top scorer for Lancaster followed by Luke Phillips who made 23 while Kevin Howarth took 5-62 and Kabir Khan 4-40 for Kendal. The same two players then made most of the Kendal runs with Khan making 34 and Howarth 20 and only Terry Hunte of the rest in double figures with 12. Graham Barnes took 5-36 and Yasim Bari 3-24 for Lancaster who took a significant move up the table.

The Chorley and Leyland game ended in a draw as Chorley made 221-6 with the in-form Tom Smith making 108 and Neil Bannister 66 but only extras with 14 of the rest reached double figures. Substitute professional Jonathan Harvey took 2-42 and then when Leyland replied he added 69 as Leyland closed on 185-8 with Tom Smith making it a good all-round day with 3-32 while Grav Dhar took 3-75.

Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Chorley 221-6 (Smith T 108, Bannister 66), Leyland 185-8 (Harvey 69)

Chorley 9 points, Leyland 5 points

Lancaster 110 (Howarth 5-62, Khan 4-40), Kendal 89 (Barnes 5-36)

Lancaster 15 points, Kendal 3 points

Fleetwood 138 (Sharrocks 48*, Ellis 41, Afsar 4-21), Leyland Motors 96 (Ashraf 51, Fish 4-30)

Fleetwood 15 points, Leyland Motors 3 points

Morecambe 157-9 (Clough 57, Wearing 6-46), Barrow 158-5 (Hughes 52)

Morecambe 3 points, Barrow 12 points

Preston 152 (Ventura 50), Blackpool 68-7

Preston 7 points, Blackpool 4 points

Netherfield 49 (Harwood 7-10), St Annes 50-1

Netherfield 0 points, St Annes 12 points


Division One
Club P W15 W12 D4 D1 L NR4 BP Pts
St Annes 11 2 6 1 1 0 1 7 118
Netherfield 11 2 2 3 1 1 2 19 92*
Blackpool 11 2 1 2 2 1 3 16 80
Barrow 11 1 3 1 1 2 3 10 78
Fleetwood 12 2 1 2 0 4 3 16 78
Darwen 11 1 3 1 2 0 3 8 77
Lancaster 11 1 2 0 0 5 3 8 59
Chorley 11 1 0 2 3 2 3 22 58*
Leyland 11 0 2 1 2 3 3 15 57
Morecambe 11 1 0 3 2 3 2 20 57
Kendal 11 0 1 1 2 4 3 24 54
Preston 11 1 0 1 2 4 3 14 45*
Leyland Motors 11 0 1 1 1 6 2 19 44

* 2 points deducted for Slow Over Rate

In the Second Division every game ended in a definite result, a sequence that saw Chorley leapfrog beaten leaders Netherfield and previously second placed Morecambe, who were also beaten, to go to the top of the table while an astonishing win for Kendal saw them move up one place to third from bottom. Kendal made only 77, with D McDermott taking an excellent 7-36, the day's best bowling figures, but this was enough to win the game by four runs as Lancaster were dismissed for 73. Runs were difficult to come by and top scorer for the day was Blackpool's young Jamie Reddy who made 58 and then went on to take two wickets as Blackpool's 203 all out was 98 runs too many for Preston's 105

Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Barrow 168-8 (Adams R 52, Patel 4-54),

Morecambe 119 (Dutton 56, Bandara 5-25)

Barrow 15 points, Morecambe 2 points

Blackpool 203 (Reddy J 58), Preston 105 (Kaye 41)

Blackpool 15 points, Preston 3 points

Leyland Motors 188-6, Fleetwood 194-3

Leyland Motors 3 points, Fleetwood 12 points

Kendal 77 (McDermott 7-36), Lancaster 73 (Yasim 4-15)

Kendal 15 points, Lancaster 3 points

Leyland 117, Chorley 118-6

Leyland 1 point, Chorley 12 points

St Annes 159 (Taylor 52*), Netherfield 112 (Palmer 4-17)

St Annes 15 points, Netherfield 3 points


Division Two
Club P W15 W12 D4 D1 L NR4 BP Pts
Chorley 11 2 4 1 1 0 3 7 102
Fleetwood 12 2 4 0 1 3 2 14 101
Netherfield 11 4 1 2 1 1 2 12 101
Morecambe 11 1 4 2 0 2 2 15 94
Barrow 11 1 3 2 1 2 2 17 85
St Annes 10 1 4 0 2 0 3 6 83
Darwen 11 1 3 2 1 2 1 17 81
Preston 10 2 1 0 1 3 3 5 60
Leyland Motors 11 0 2 2 1 5 1 19 56
Blackpool 11 1 0 1 0 6 3 18 49
Kendal 11 2 0 0 1 7 1 13 48
Leyland 11 1 1 0 1 5 3 7 47
Lancaster 11 0 0 0 1 7 2 9 18



Netherfield 49, St Annes 50-1

By Gerry Wolstenholme

When the League leaders meet their closest challengers one might be forgiven for thinking a close game would be the outcome but that was not the case at Vernon Road on Saturday when the sheer pace of professional Shane Harwood finished the game as a contest almost before it had begun. He took the first seven Netherfield wickets by the time the total had reached 14 and finished with 7-10 from nine overs as the visitors were bowled out for a paltry 49. St Annes took just 9.2 overs to win the game by nine wickets at 50-1.

Netherfield won the toss and on a perfect, firm track quite rightly opted to bat but it was a decision that quickly backfired on them. In the first over Harwood proved too fast for Walmsley and bowled him for nought without a run on the board. Gareth White battled gamely and he had scored six when Harwood steepled a ball at Prime who could only edge it through to wicketkeeper Duncan Whalley and he had gone for one at 7-2. The Netherfield professional's decision to come in down the order failed to work as Harwood ripped through his defence to bowl him for nought and it was 7-3. Chris Parry suffered a similar fate as Harwood's fiery pace rearranged his stumps before he had scored and that was 7-4.

Grahame Clarke played and missed at a couple of pacy rising balls from Harwood before he cut the professional for four to register the first boundary in the 13th over. But he paid for his adventurous shot for later in the over he too received a ball that rose off a length and he could only fend it off into the wicketkeeper's gloves and that was 13-5. It was soon 14-6 when the battling Gareth White could do nothing with the 39th ball he had received and, as he pushed forward at it, he was struck on the pad and leg was dismissed leg before wicket for seven. Steven Jones arrived at the crease but he did not occupy it for long as Harwood beat him for pace and bowled him first ball and that was a calamitous 14-7. Scott Clement did, however, prevent a hat trick with a studious forward defence stroke.

After a couple more overs Harwood took a rest and Clement took advantage by making, what in the context of what had gone before was a reasonable score of four before he drove at a ball from Ian Austin and Steven Twist, who had bowled well in harness with Harwood, snapped up the catch at first slip and that was 19-8. Usually in such circumstances someone does emerge to make a stand of some kind and in this instance it was the unlikely batting heroes of Marc Hadwin and Ryan Wilson both of who made modest contributions but which were magnificent in the light of the rest of the innings.

Hadwin got off the mark with an edge through the slips for four from his first ball and he had the distinction of making the total equal to the number of overs, as both were 23. He went on to make nine before he struck a full toss from Michael Baer rather lamely to Harwood at short mid-wicket and Netherfield were 32-9. Wilson hit one boundary through extra cover then skied a return catch to bowler Baer who did not accept the chance. Wilson took advantage with another cover drive to the boundary and he had advanced to 11 before Austin bowled him to end the innings at 49 with Nick White three not out. Harwood finished with figures of 9-3-10-7 while Austin had 2-12 and Baer 1-13.

The League's leading amateur runscorer with 337 runs to his name began the St Annes reply but when he had made two he tamely pushed a ball from Wilson to Prime at point and St Annes had lost their first wicket, still 47 runs behind. Austin then survived a confident appeal for leg before wicket from Wilson and as if to celebrate he struck the following ball straight down the ground for six. To add insult to injury as far as Netherfield were concerned he proceeded to pull the next ball for four, straight drive the next to the boundary and completed the over by cutting a third successive four. He continued the mayhem the following over as the struck the first two balls to the boundary, blocked the third and hit a four from the fourth by which time the game was almost over.

Gareth Evans played his part with 11 not out but a dab through point for a singe gave Austin his 35th run made from 22 balls with one six and six fours as St Annes cruised to an easy victory by nine wickets at 50-1. Wilson was the only wicket-taker with 1-37 from his five overs and it was left to Netherfield financial director Mike Rigg to add the coup de grace when, at tea, he congratulated St Annes' president Brian Standing on his side winning the championship and announced that his side intended to take second place. But there's many a slip between cup and lip as they say, but maybe not this season!

Shane Harwood takes a deserved drink after his devastating spell of bowling.

Shane Harwood applauded off the field

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