There were runs galore in the weekend's programmes and a couple of batting records were broken but last week's top four clubs could only manage draws and this allowed Morecambe and Blackpool, both of whom won along with Barrow, to move into the top five.
At Parkside Road Netherfield opened with a partnership that was one short of the League record as Craig 'The Worm' Walmsley and Pierre de Bruyn blasted the Fleetwood attack that was short of Dave Fish, away on holiday. When Walmsley was out for a new League amateur batting record of 171 the pair had put on 258. Walmsley's 171 included 21 fours and seven sixes and de Bruyn went on to make 112 not out including 11 fours and one six. Netherfield declared when Chris Parry was dismissed for 23 at 319-2 after 49.5 overs. Fleetwood's reply began well and John Wright, 70 with 10 fours, and Doug Watson, 49 with six fours and one six, put on 120 but they always had an impossible task and did well to finish with a creditable 214-5 as James Ellis made 26, Rob Clark 25 not out and Adam Sharrocks 18.
Leaders St Annes also topped 300 with 303-4 from their 52 overs as the League's leading amateur run-maker, Ian Austin, struck 17 fours and two sixes in his 126. He was chiefly aided by Adrian Darlington, 40, and Gareth Evans, 76, while Shane Harwood made 20 and Steve Twist 18 not out. But the St Annes bowlers could not capitalise and Keith Semple's 84 was the backbone to Darwen's reply of 226-6. Skipper Neil Cordingley made 46 not out, Stuart Grant made 27 before being run out, John Cordingley 20 and Mark Emery 17 not out as Harwood took 2-58, ending the game bowling off-spin, and Michael Baer had 2-96.
The other drawn game was between Preston and Leyland Motors at West Cliff as Preston scored 200-8 with Mario Ventura top scoring with 70, Ian McDonnell making 46 and Rhys Williams 21 not out. Motors replied with 164-9 to which Alan Richardson contributed a top score of 38 and James Aspinwall made 24 and Andrew Makinson 22 while Andrew Miller took 4-38 and Lukman Vahaluwala 3-28.
Barrow allowed Lancaster to total 205-9 but then knocked off the runs to win by four wickets at 206-6. Ian Parkinson made 75 not out and Yasim Bari was the best of the rest with 27 for Lancaster as Daryl Wearing took 3-66 and Rawl Lewis 3-43. Lewis then anchored the Barrow innings with a superb 121 not out as Ian Allington made 24 and Robin Adams 19 with Ben Simm taking 3-85.
Blackpool defeated Chorley by six wickets at Stanley Park thanks to a good all-round performance and aided by a run out for Tom Smith who was in fine form and looked set for a century until he failed to make his ground on 88 out of Chorley's 178-7. Jack Catterall's 21 was the next best effort as Steven Croft took 3-38. Justin Kreusch kept up his good form with the bat and made 63 out of Blackpool's comfortable 180-4 and there were two wickets for Tom Smith at a cost of 49 runs.
And in the lowest scoring game of the day came the most exciting finish as Morecambe defeated Kendal by nine runs, 150 to 141. Mali Maketa's 39 was Morecambe's top score and Tommy Clough made 36 as Kabir Khan and Kevin Howarth shared nine of the wickets, Khan 4-69 and Howarth 5-54. The top order got Kendal off to a good start, Terry Hunte 37, Khan 31 and Ikram Ullah 23 but then from 132-5 Kendal subsided to their 141 all out as Mark Orchard took 6-52 and Gareth Peddar 2-3.
Scores in brief (home sides in bold):
Lancaster 205-9 (Parkinson 75*), Barrow 206-6 (Lewis 121*)
Lancaster 4 points, Barrow 12 points
Chorley 178-7 (Smith T 88), Blackpool 180-4 (Kreusch 63)
Chorley 2 points, Blackpool 12 points
Morecambe 150 (Howarth 5-51, Khan 4-69), Kendal 141 (Orchard 6-52)
Morecambe15 points, Kendal 4 points
Netherfield 319-2 dec (Walmsley 171, de Bruyn 112*), Fleetwood 214-5 (Wright 70, Watson 49)
Netherfield 8 points, Fleetwood 4 points
Preston 200-8 (Ventura 70, McDonnell 46), Leyland Motors 164-9 (Miller 4-38)
Preston 10 points, Leyland Motors 5 points
St Annes 303-4 (Austin 126*, Evans 76, Darlington 40), Darwen 226-6 (Semple 84, Cordingley N 46*)
St Annes 8 points, Darwen 4 points