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Kellett's men overhaul long-time leaders Chorley

Vernon Road was scene to a drama-filled afternoon

St Annes clinched the Second Division championship in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season. We are indebted to St Annes captain Andy Kellett for his report on the final day's action:
St Annes claimed their third 2nd X1 championship in the last six seasons in dramatic fashion on the last day of the season. With long term leaders Chorley seven points ahead going into the last round of games St Annes' best hope of taking the title seemed to rest with the hope of a rained-off game in Chorley and playing on the coast at St Annes.

However, with Chorley starting on time against Blackpool, it meant St Annes needed to bat first, go for 15 points and hope that Chorley slipped up. Luckily St Annes won the toss and elected to bat against bottom club Carnforth. Blackpool batted first at Chorley. With usual Blackpool number 11 Andy Armstrong opening the batting for Blackpool, St Annes definately feared the worst.

St Annes made 191 for 3 before declaring with 11 overs to spare. Carnforth, playing the game in the correct spirit, never had intentions of playing for a draw and played their shots to try and get past the St Annes total. However, excellent bowling meant that Carnforth were bowled out for 79 and St Annes collected their 15 points.

This meant that Chorley had to get the 12 points to take the title. Andy Armstrong justified his opening slot with 30 and returning skipper Andy Griffiths also made a useful contribution in a total of 145 for Blackpool. As St Annes were finishing off their game, all different scores were coming out of Chorley and it was only when the St Annes and Chorley chairmen spoke to one another that St Annes could be sure the correct scores were coming through. 50 for 4 was the Chorley score as St Annes left the field.
An anxious wait was ahead. Eventually Chorley got to 90 for 9 and St Annes thought that they could get the champagne ready.
However, there was another twist as the Chorley numbers 10 and 11 began to score some runs. With the score at 130 for 9 the tension grew at St Annes.
I'm sure it was even more tense at Chorley. Chris Taylor took the final wicket which saw the celebrations begin at St Annes. Credit must given to Blackpool and Carnforth for the playing their last games in a good spirit.

Credit also to Chorley who have had a magnificent season. They have been on top of the table all season and Saturday's defeat was their first defeat of the season. St Annes deserve their championship however, young players such as Paul Wilks, Luke O'Dea, Ben Willis, Ashley Ward and Seve Hurst have all had excellent seasons and hopefully these players will go on to be first team cricketers in the future. Saturday's events were a great advert for the Northern League and for second team cricket.

St Annes won 10, lost one, drew nine, tied one and had had three games abandoned. With 50 bonus points they reached 229 points.
Chorley's tally of 224 featured 13 wins, one defeat, six draws and four abandonments with 25 bonus points.

St Annes captain Andy Kellett led his side to the title

St Annes captain Andy Kellett was the only batsman to score 500 runs in second team cricket in 2008. Kellett, who will take over the first team captaincy from Duncan Whalley in 2009 scored 724 runs at average of 40.22.

Darwen's Christian Davies set a new club bowling record with 58 wickets while Blackpool's Andy Armstrong also went past the half-century mark.

Leyland wicket-keeper Stuart Parker made 34 dismissals and Chorley captain John Hotham was top fielder with 16 catches.

Barrow's Neil Lauderdale made the season's highest score, an unbeaten 141 against Carnforth.

St Annes' Richard Thomas took 8 for 41 against Lancaster- the season's best bowling performance.




724 Andy Kellett (St Annes)
499 David Newton (Blackpool)
474 Danny Welbourne (Lancaster)
471 Gulam Maje (Morecambe)
463 Alan Richardson (Leyland)


58 Christian Davies (Darwen)
51 Andy Armstrong (Blackpool)
48 Andrew Starkie (Preston)
48 Nick Milner (Morecambe)
45 David Bartholomew (St Annes)


34 Stuart Parker (Leyland)


16 John Hotham (Chorley)


141 not out, Neil Lauderdale (Barrow)


8 for 41, Richard Thomas (St Annes)

Blackpool's Andy Armstrong topped 50 wickets for the season

Leyland's Stuart Parker topped the wicket-keeping charts

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