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Match Day 23rd April 2005


By Gerry Wolstenholme

St Annes won their second successive game at Vernon Road on Saturday and they did it with plenty of time to spare. New Australian professional Shane Harwood was far too quick for the Leyland batsmen who were bowled out for just 58. Harwood hit the stumps six times and had 8-24 with Stephen Twist taking the other two wickets while Martin Brown made a modest top score of 14 for Leyland. Adrian Darlington and Gareth Evans knocked off the necessary runs without being parted to give St Annes the perfect start.

At Stanley Park Blackpool's new recruit Charles Boucher made the top score of 41 in the home side's 151 while there were three wickets each for Keith Semple and Andrew Mercer. In Darwen's reply Semple made a sparkling 72 and Gareth Cordingley 39 not out as the east Lancashire side cruised home by seven wickets at 152-3.

It was almost a two-man batting show at Barrow where Rawl Lewis made 55 and Ian Allington 45 in Barrow's all out 150, indeed the 13 extras was the only other total in double figures. Tom Smith had 7-35 and then added 33 runs but even with Neil Bannister's 36 and Michael Critchley's 28 they could not force victory, finishing one run behind the Barrow total at 149-7. Daryl Wearing took 3-55 for Barrow.

Leyland Motors made only 142 at Kendal where substitute professional and former amateur for the club, Duncan Catterall made a top score of 51 and he was aided by 26 from Peter Cummings. Kevin Howarth took 6-27 for Kendal who then knocked off the runs for victory for the loss of two wickets. In their 148-2 Ikram Ullah made 69 and the evergreen Terry Hunte 58 not out.

Netherfield's Gareth White was in good form at Parkside Road where he scored 76 and with 65 from substitute professional Asif Musjaba the home side totalled 208-7. Rishi Girdhari was third top scorer with 20 and Morecambe's Mark Orchard took 4-36. But Morecambe lost by 61 runs for they were bowled out for 147 as Mark Woodhead made 50 but his only support came from Brendan Hetherington who made 19.

At Preston, visitors Fleetwood were obliged to play without a professional as all their efforts to secure a deputy for Doug Watson were in vain. But it did them no harm as they batted first, made 143 and then won by 82 runs as they bowled Preston out for just 61. Adam Shorrocks made 40 for Fleetwood and James Ellis 25 while Luxman Vahaluwala took 5-32 and professional Mario Ventura 4-27. It was the same pair who reached double figures for Preston, Venturo making 18 and Vahaluwala 13 in the disappointing 61 all out with David Fish continuing last seasons' sparkling form with 5-16.

Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Barrow 150 (Lewis 55, Allington 45, Smith T 7-25), Chorley 149-7

Barrow 7 points, Chorley 5 points

Blackpool 151 (Boucher 41), Darwen 152-3 (Semple 72)

Blackpool 1 point, Darwen 12 points

Leyland Motors 142(Catterall 51, Howarth 6-27), Kendal 148-2 (Ullah 69, Hunte 58*)

Leyland Motors 1 point, Kendal 12 points

Netherfield 208-7 (White G 76, Musjaba 65, Orchard 4-36), Morecambe 147

Netherfield 15 points, Morecambe 3 points

Fleetwood 143 (Sharrocks 40), Preston 61 (Fish 5-15)

Fleetwood 15 points, Preston 3 points

Leyland 58 (Harwood 8-24), St Annes 60-0

Leyland 0 points, St Annes 12 points

In the Second Division there were centuries for Blackpool's Robin Bracewell, 103 retired hurt in Blackpool defeat at Darwen, and a massive 135 for Mike Hughes in Barrow's draw with Chorley where the home side's Lee Cosgrove took the day's bowling honours with 5-38. Ian Izzatt very nearly joined the centurions but fell six runs short on 94 as Morecambe drew with Netherfield. Bracewell unfortunately top edged a ball into his eye socket and had to have hospital treatment.

Scores in brief (home sides in bold):

Barrow 294-7 dec (Hughes 135), Chorley 130-9 (Cosgrove 5-38)

Barrow 10 points, Chorley 3 points

Blackpool 206-6 (Bracewell 103 rh), Darwen 209-2 (Painter 85*, Heys 74)

Blackpool 3 points, Darwen 12 points

Preston 113 (Kaye 43, Clarke T 4-12), Fleetwood 58

Preston 15 points, Fleetwood 3 points

Leyland 95 (Booth 4-18), St Annes 97-5

Leyland 1 point, St Annes 12 points

Kendal 86, Leyland Motors 89-3

Kendal 0 points, Leyland Motors 12 points

Morecambe 243-3 (Izzat 94, Maje 50, Putton 40), Netherfield 145-8 (Goldstein 40)

Morecambe 9 points, Netherfield 2 points


Blackpool 151, Darwen 152-3

By Gerry Wolstenholme

The first unusual aspect of the game at Stanley Park on Saturday was that the sun was shining. There was a cool breeze but the clerk of the weather was kind to spectators and players alike in that it was fine and reasonably warm, indeed almost tropical after the cold of last week! Darwen won the toss and skipper Neil Cordingley put Blackpool in and they began well and reached a satisfactory 80-1 from 20 overs but then Darwen struck back. Blackpool struggled, lost wickets and were eventually bowled out for 151. Darwen, with Keith Semple in good form, replied with a quietly confident display and timed their response to perfection to win by seven wickets at 152-3 with three overs and five balls of their allocation remaining.

It did not look so clear-cut as the opening salvos were exchanged. The Blackpool start was circumspect rather than explosive with Steven Croft and new signing Charles Boucher gathering runs comfortably and the Darwen bowling looking a tad off key. Then a piece of crazy cricket gave Darwen the breakthrough they needed. Croft played a ball towards deep extra cover, took a comfortable one and then both batsmen decided that there was a second run to be had. Chris Clarke thought otherwise and his throw to Chris Lowe defeated Croft's attempt to make his ground and he was run out for 16 and Blackpool were 28-1.

One imagined that the wicket would give Darwen the spur they needed but it was not to be as some wayward bowling was punished by Boucher and Tim Barry and they rattled along at four runs an over. Neil Cordingley came into the attack but initially he suffered as had Andrew Mercer and Semple.Then Boucher went across his stumps in an attempt to play on the leg-side was defeated and found himself leg before wicket for 41, with seven fours from 65 balls, and that was 80-2. Darwen, whose body language had been less than good as Blackpool had been racing along, suddenly sensed that they were back in the game and raised the standard of their play, so much so that Blackpool scored just 36 runs in 20 overs - and they lost wickets too.

Deputy professional Grant Rowley seemed to have just one shot and he tried to put every ball through extra cover. He did succeed once but after a few repeated tries that failed he connected once again only to find the safe hands of Gareth Cordingley at deep extra cover off the bowling of brother Neil. Rowley had gone for six and it was 89-3. Without a run added Barry, 23, drove Gareth Cordingley to Semple at wide mid-on and Martin Pickles, after starting with a well driven three, found himself bogged down and did not add to his total before he edged Mercer through to Lowe and that was 96-5.

Steve Mercer made only a single before an injured Jeff Hacking took an excellent catch at slip to dismiss him off Semple and the wheels were falling off the Blackpool innings as the total stood at 113-6. Prash Aga and skipper Paul Danson showed some resistance and they advanced the total by 20 before Aga was dismissed. He had just had a lucky escape when he drove Semple gently to mid-off where a Blackpool substitute fielder, on for the injured Stuart Grant, seemed to lose his bearings and, seeming to lose the ball in flight, was able only to parry the ball to the ground. But Aga did not escape when he played the same shot in the following over from Mercer and Neil Cordingley showed how it should be done by running backwards and taking a smart catch over his shoulder and Aga's good 27 had come to an end. The batsmen crossed so Danson, nine, was on strike but Mercer beat and bowled him from the next ball to find himself on a hat-trick.

Mike Taylor kept him out and he and David Baker took the total to 145 before Semple forced Taylor, six, to sky a catch to Hacking at mid-on. Semple then ended the innings with four balls remaining when he bowled Baker for six and this left Chris Taylor not out one and Blackpool all out for 151, having lost their last nine wickets for 71. Mercer and Semple took three wickets each, the former for 44, the latter for 40, Neil Cordingley had 2-33 and Gareth Cordingley 1-19.

When Darwen replied Blackpool began well and Chris Taylor in particular bowled very well. He was rewarded with the wicket of John Cordingley whom he bowled for one when the total was seven. There followed a partnership of 52 between Gary Jackson and Semple as Blackpool tried a variety of bowlers in an attempt to separate the pair. It did not happen until the total was 59 when Barry bowled Jackson, 20, but this only brought in the dangerous Gareth Cordingley and with Semple getting into his imperious stride it did not look good for the home side.

And so it proved as Semple played with consummate ease all round the wicket until, on 72 made from 100 balls with nine fours, he played somewhat lazily at the returning Chris Taylor and was bowled off his pads. But by then, with the total on 137-3, Darwen were almost home. Gareth Cordingley, 39 not out from 63 balls with three fours and one gloriously pulled six, and Lowe, five not out, saw them to victory by seven wickets with no further alarms at 152-3. Of Blackpool's seven bowlers, Chris Taylor was head and shoulders above the rest with 2-15 from 8.1 overs, while Barry, who also bowled tidily for 13 overs, had the other wicket at a cost of 21 runs.

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