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Match Day 23rd July 2005


By Gerry Wolstenholme

St Annes cut it fine with their win three balls from the end last Sunday but they went two balls closer to the end of the game on Saturday at Stanley Park as they maintained their progress and won with just a single ball remaining. Netherfield also won to keep the pressure on the top side and Morecambe returned to third place with victory over Fleetwood.

At Blackpool the home side batted first and after an opening stand of 134 by Charles Boucher, 44, and Steven Croft, 101, the wickets tumbled, so much so that the innings came to an abrupt end off the last ball of the 52nd over. The final total was a disappointing 187 all out with Michael Baer taking 5-77 and Shane Harwood 4-74. St Annes lost early wickets in reply but Ian Austin, 81, and Stephen Twist, 62, put them back on track and the winning runs came with one ball to spare as St Annes reached 188-7 with Justin Kreusch taking 4-45.

Netherfield cruised home once again as they bowled Lancaster out for 178 and then replied with 182-1 to win by nine wickets. David Heywood top scored for Lancaster with 66, Yasim Bari made 22 and Ben Simm 20 but Netherfield's Grahame Clarke, 101 not out, and Pierre de Bruyn, 58 not out, saw the Cumbrians safely home. Nick White took 3-47 and Marc Hadwin 2-29 for Netherfield.

Fleetwood were bowled out for 111 at Woodhill Lane where Doug Watson once again made the top score, this time 30, as Wayne Clarke made 28, Rob Clark 18 and John Wright 14 but there were five batsmen who failed to score as Gareth Peddar, 5-15, and Mark Orchard, 5-28, shared the wickets. Morecambe replied with 112-5 to win by five wickets with Orchard completing a fine all-round day with 52 not out and Mali Maketa making 16 and Phil Dennison 14.

Leyland sprang a surprise at Darwen where they batted first and scored a modest 150-9 but this proved to be 13 runs too many for Darwen who were bowled out in turn for just 137. Brian Tennant took the bowling honours for Leyland with 5-37 after he had scored 28 not out to be behind top scorer Alex Mercer who made a steady 31 with Chris Parkinson making 24 and the returning Adam Parker 23. For Darwen, Andrew Mercer had taken 6-30 and then made a valiant 25 not out but his only main assistance came from Gareth Cordingley, 25, and Dominic Heys, 24 while Tennant's allies were Steve Pallett with 2-48 and James Wright with 2-43.

Chorley batted first at Windsor Park and scored 135 with Grav Dhar making 69 not out and Tom Smith 27 while Andrew Miller and Lukman Vahaluwala both took 3-17. And then, bowling out lack lustre Preston for 76, Chorley won by 59 runs as Preston's Richard Dixon made 17, Vahaluwala 14 and Ian McDonnell 12 while the third 3-17 return in the game came from Tom Smith as Javed Hussein had his best first team return to date with 4-21.

Kendal were the day's top scorers with 225-7 and then Barrow lost their top order for less than 50 but runs down the order at least made it look more like a contest as they took their side to 115. But this still spelt defeat by 110 runs. Terry Hunte made 70, Simon Little 49 and Ikram Ullah 45 for Kendal while Rawl Lewis replied with 62 and Kabir Khan took the bowling honours with a magnificent 7-15 for Kendal.

Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Kendal 225-7 (Hunte 70, Little 49, Ullah 45) Barrow 115 (Lewis 62, Khan 7-15)

Kendal 15 points, Barrow 2 points

Blackpool 187 (Croft 101, Boucher 44, Baer 5-77, Harwood 4-74),St Annes 188-7 (Austin 81, Harwood 62, Kreusch 4-45)

Blackpool 5 points, St Annes 12 points

Chorley 135 (Dhar 69*), Preston 76 (Hussein 4-21)

Chorley 15 points, Preston 3 points

Leyland 150-9 (Mercer 6-30), Darwen 137 (Tennant 5-37)

Leyland 15 points, Darwen 3 points

Fleetwood 111 (Peddar 5-15, Orchard 5-28), Morecambe 112-5 (Orchard 52*)

Fleetwood 1 point, Morecambe 12 points

Lancaster 178 (Heywood D 66), Netherfield 182-1 (Clarke 101*, de Bruyn 58*)

Lancaster 2 points, Netherfield 12 points


Division One
Club P W15 W12 D4 D1 L NR4 BP Pts
St Annes 17 3 9 3 1 0 1 14 184
Netherfield 17 2 5 5 1 2 2 31 148*
Morecambe 16 3 3 3 2 3 2 20 123
Blackpool 17 2 3 3 3 3 3 30 123
Fleetwood 17 3 3 2 1 5 3 20 122
Darwen 17 1 5 1 3 3 3 19 113
Kendal 16 3 1 1 2 6 3 30 105
Barrow 17 1 4 1 2 6 3 23 104
Chorley 17 3 0 2 4 5 3 28 95*
Leyland 16 1 3 1 3 5 3 17 87
Preston 17 1 1 3 2 7 3 31 80**
Leyland Motors 16 1 1 1 2 9 2 31 72
Lancaster 16 1 2 0 0 10 3 18 69

* 2 points deducted for Slow Over Rate

** 2 points deducted for a second time for Slow Over Rate

Second Division scores in brief (homes sides in bold):

Morecambe 229-5 (Errington 70*, Maje 54, Armstrong 40), Fleetwood 184-6 (Whalley 70*)

Morecambe 8 points, Fleetwood 5 points

Barrow 218-6 (Bandara 64*, Dugdale A 4-75), Kendal 168 (Cooper 46, Mullin 4-19)

Barrow 15 points, Kendal 3 points

Netherfield 209-7 (Girdhari 103, Boyd 58), Lancaster 169 (Coulton 46, Miller 5-36)

Netherfield 15 points, Lancaster 4 points

Darwen 177 (Cooper 47, Grant M 46, Busby 4-28), Leyland 181-3 (Slater 89, Farrington 56*)

Darwen 2 points, Leyland 12 points

Chorley 122, Preston 125-4 (Winter 41*)

Chorley 0 points, Preston 12 points

Blackpool 185-7 (Metcalf 71, Griffiths 53, Booth 4-55), St Annes 186-1 (Kellett 101*, Bickerdike 49)

Blackpool 3 points, St Annes 12 points

24th July rearranged match from 30th May

Preston 92, St Annes 92-0

Preston 0 points, St Annes 12 points

24th July rearranged match from 27th August

Kendal 136, Blackpool 137-3 (J Reddy 54*)

Kendal 0 points, Blackpool 12 points


Division Two
Club P W15 W12 D4 D1 L NR4 BP Pts
Netherfield 17 8 1 2 1 3 2 21 170
St Annes 17 2 9 1 2 0 3 11 167
Barrow 17 4 4 3 1 3 2 27 156
Fleetwood 17 3 6 0 2 4 2 21 148
Morecambe 16 1 6 3 0 4 2 24 131
Chorley 17 2 5 1 2 4 3 20 128
Darwen 16 1 5 2 2 4 1 25 114
Blackpool 17 2 1 3* 0 8 3 36 103
Preston 17 3 2 0 1 8 3 9 91
Leyland 16 2 2 1* 1 7 3 15 87
Leyland Motors 16 0 4 2 2 7 1 25 87
Kendal 16 3 0 0 1 11 1 20 70
Lancaster 15 0 0 0 1 11 2 16 25

* Includes 5 points for a Tie



Blackpool 187, St Annes 188-7

By Gerry Wolstenholme

In a splendid game of cricket that went down to the wire, League leaders St Annes came out on top - but only just. Blackpool gave them a hard fight, and a scare, as they were put in to bat and posted a modest 187 all out, modest considering that the opening pair had put on 134. St Annes then lost three early wickets and looked to be in trouble but some superb batting by Ian Austin and Stephen Twist took them out of danger until there was a late clatter of wickets that left all the spectators on the edge of their seats. In the end Joe Davies and Duncan Whalley saw their side home by three wickets at 188-7 but not until there had been one or two heart-fluttering moments in the St Annes' dressing room.

Winning the toss Ian Austin invited Blackpool to bat and then saw the openers, Steven Croft and Charles Boucher look in little danger against the bowling of Shane Harwood, Twist and himself. Indeed Croft feasted off Harwood's opening spell when the Australian repeatedly pitched short and the Lancashire man pulled him to the boundary on numerous occasions. The pair had put on 86 by the halfway stage and were looking to accelerate but some superb spin bowling by Michael Baer prevented them from doing so. It was Baer who very nearly had the first breakthrough when Croft drove loosely to short extra cover where the usually safe hands of Twist failed to hold onto the ball. It was the first error that either of the batsmen had made.

When the total had reached 134, and a final total of over 200 was looking likely, Baer beat Boucher in the air and Whalley smartly stumped him and he was gone for 44 made from 103 balls with only one boundary. The second wicket did not fall until the total had reached 151 but then all the remaining nine wickets were lost for the addition of just 36 runs.

It was an out-of-sorts Justin Kreusch who was the second man to go when, swinging at Harwood, who had returned at the north end of the ground, he lost his leg stump for nine. Harwood repeated the dose by bowling Tim Barry for four and it was 159-3. Robin Bracewell came in and did what his captain ordered by making a very quick 19, including one straight driven six off Baer, who then had his revenge when Bracewell advanced down the track going for another big six, missed and was summarily stumped by Whalley. That was 182-4 and Bracewell's wicket was the first of five wickets to fall on that total.

Steve Mercer was dismissed first ball when he played the ball just out of the block hole and Whalley nipped round smartly to stump him. Danson avoided the hat-trick as a lifter from Baer flew through to Whalley. But the sixth wicket to fall was the crucial one of Croft who, from the first ball of the following over, drove Harwood down the ground only for Dave Taylor to take the catch at long-off. Croft had gone for an excellent 101 made from 152 balls with 12 fours with his first 50 coming in 65 balls and containing nine fours.

The batsmen had crossed and in the same over Harwood yorked Danson for nought and with Whalley making his fourth stumping when Michael Taylor advanced somewhat casually down the track, Blackpool were rocking at 182-8. Chris Taylor at least advanced the total by four, struck off Baer, but once again the bowler took his revenge when Whalley took an edge and Blackpool were 186-9. Fittingly Whalley, the fielder of the afternoon in a somewhat sloppy St Annes performance, completed the Blackpool downfall by running out Martin Pickles for one from the final ball of the innings and with David Baker not out without scoring Blackpool's collapse was complete at 187 all out. Baer finished with 5-77 and Harwood, not at his quickest and most exciting best, still finished with four wickets for 73 runs.

The tea-time talk was that Blackpool's total was some 50 or 60 runs too few but after the early overs when St Annes had lost three wickets for just 11 runs, a total of 187 looked a long way off. The prolific Gareth Evans, three, edged Kreusch to Baker and it was 7-1, Darlington, three, was superbly caught one-handed by Kreusch at slip off Barry and when Harwood offered no stroke to Kreusch only to see his off stump knocked back, it was a dismal 11-3.

But there is no more espouser of seemingly lost causes than Austin and he and Twist knuckled down to get the innings back on track. And they did so in fine style and without looking in any difficulty. Danson rotated his bowlers but to no avail, although early in the partnership runs were not easy to come by and at the halfway stage it was 76-3. But it was to be another 94 runs before Blackpool made a breakthrough but when they did, they did it in style and it put the wind up St Annes.

Twist was the first to go when he had made an untroubled 62 from 113 balls with six fours and it was one final throw of the dice that earned Blackpool the wicket. Boucher had been kept out of the attack but in desperation Danson turned to him and with his second ball Twist drove a ball back to him that he caught as he dived forward and St Annes were 160-4, the partnership realising 149 in 129 minutes.

That was the start of a mini-collapse that saw St Annes lose three further wickets while 21 runs were added. Russ Bradley made one and was then caught by Baker off a fired-up Kreusch at 161-5 and then Blackpool really got their tails up when Austin was dismissed. He got a ball from Kreusch that appeared to stop on him and he could only loop a return catch to the bowler after he had made a scintillating 81 from 108 balls with 11 fours and that was 170-6.

The adrenalin was pumping for both sides but Joe Davies calmed St Annes' nerves when he struck Boucher for a huge straight six in the penultimate over. Thereafter in the heat of the battle tempers became a little frayed before Adam Cotton holed out to the safe hands of Pickles at backward square leg off Boucher and he had gone for eight at 181-7. Finally St Annes required four runs from the final over from Kreusch.

Whalley took a single from the first ball then Davies failed to score from two deliveries before he too managed a single. Whalley made sure there was no slip up with a couple off the next to last ball and with himself three not out and Davies 11 not out, St Annes had won a tremendously entertaining game by three wickets with 188-7. Kreusch, whose last spell was an all-action attempt to win the game for his side, finished with 4-45 while Boucher took 2-14 from four tidy overs.

Steven Croft Blackpool) leaves the field after making 101

Michael Baer (St Annes) takes 5-77

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