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Report of Season 2009
Michael Latham


St Annes lifted the Division One title for the third time in five years after an exciting climax to the season. Andy Kellett's side went into their final game at Darwen leading second-placed Preston by 11 points. While Preston kept up the pressure to the end, earning maximum points with a victory over Morecambe at West Cliff by 113 runs, Kellett played a true captain's innings to keep St Annes's noses in front.

Kellett battled through 50 overs for a superb innings of 80 not out as St Annes reached 132 for 8 against Darwen. Left arm spinners Dinuka Hettiarachchi and Michael Baer then each took four wickets as Darwen were bowled out for 91.

Hettiarachchi, a vastly experienced cricketer who played one Test for his country, joined St Annes from North Lancashire League side Keswick and emerged as a match-winner on many occasions with his superb variations of spin, flight and pace. He captured 87 league wickets including six five wicket hauls. When Baer was freed of university commitments the Lancashire Second XI spinner captured 31 wickets and with Stephen Twist weighing in with 23 St Annes had two top class amateurs to supplement their professional.

Club coach Atiq Uz-Zaman again led the league run charts though fell short of the one thousand runs barrier he reached in 2008. Atiq hit 792 runs including two hundreds and five half centuries. Twist hit his maiden league hundred while making 594 runs while Kellett (370 runs) and wicket-keeper Duncan Whalley (326) provided invaluable support.

Whalley underlined his reputation as a top class keeper by claiming 37 victims to lift the Castle Award. His tally included 16 stumpings and he kept superbly to support his professional. Kellett, who led St Annes Second XI to the championship in 2008 completed an unusual captaincy double after taking over from Whalley during the close season.

Preston were the improvers of the season, rising from tenth to second and also lifting the Twenty20 Cup. Bilal Asad added the role of captaincy to his professional duties and responded superbly to the challenge, making 760 runs and taking 61 wickets. Adam Parker joined his hometown club after spells at Leyland, Blackpool and Fleetwood and again batted consistently to make 664 league runs with opener Sajid Patel (515 runs) and all rounder Lukman Vahaluwala (428 runs) enjoying fine seasons.

Darren Nelson returned to the league after a spell in the Westmorland League and the former Carnforth opening bowler captured 35 wickets. Vahaluwala recovered from a shoulder injury to take 34 wickets. David Fisher joined Preston from Vernon Carus and scored 249 runs, took 16 wickets and was top amateur fielder in the league with 14 catches. With a debut season behind him Preston will be hoping he continues to mature and have high hopes of university student Andrew Roberts who should be available on more regular occasions. Parker has taken over the captaincy in 2010.

Chorley opted for an unusual professional appointment by recruiting the Queensland wicket-keeper batsman Chris Hartley and put faith in their all amateur bowling attack. The move paid dividends as the left-handed Hartley hit 668 runs at 55.67 and kept superbly while impressing everyone at the club with his approach to the game. Josh Tolley suffered a broken wrist that hampered his progress after a superb 2008 season but still reached 397 runs and Michael Critchley, Will Moulton (who hit his maiden league hundred) and Ian Oakes also passed the 300 runs barrier for Jack Catterall's side.

Left arm opening bowler Billy Smith and Jim Lee shouldered much the bowling and responded manfully, taking 73 league wickets between them. Smith captured 39 at 19.64 and Lee 34 at 23.47. Rex Purnell was available for less than half Chorley's matches and if the veteran left arm spinner had played more often the team may have challenged even more for the title as he took 25 wickets at 8.84. Matthew Parry and leg-spinner Oakes were also valuable members of a varied bowling attack.

Last season's champions Netherfield suffered more abandonments than any other side, seven, and had to be content with fourth place and winning the Division One Cup and the 2008 Cumbria Cup carried over from last season. They also reached the last eight of the LCB Lancashire Knock-Out Cup before unluckily bowing out to Glossop on a bowl-out. With last season's record-breaking professional Callum Ferguson unable to resume his role after breaking into the Australia one day international side Queenslander Glen Batticciotto had the unenviable task of stepping into his shoes. The elegant left-hander hit 711 league runs at 50.79, including two hundreds, and captured 28 wickets.

Opener Craig Walmsley hit his first century away from Parkside Road when making 118 at Blackpool and recorded 555 runs. Teenagers John Huck (319 runs) and Alex Atkinson (248 runs) also served notice of their potential and Huck also kept impressively. Skipper Chris Parry made 302 league runs. Scott Clement, Stuart Nixon and spinner Chris Miller and Marc Hadwin all passed the 20 wickets mark.

Morecambe finished in fifth place after threatening a title challenge at one stage. South African Mandla Mashimbyi proved a popular professional after fellow countryman Wayne Parnell was unable to take up his contract at Woodhill Lane after breaking into the international set-up. Mashimbyi took 53 wickets and hit 424 runs. Graham Lee (26 wickets) and Jono Gates (22) shouldered much of the amateur bowling attack.

Tommy Clough took over from Mark Lomas as captain early in the season with Lomas leaving to join East Lancashire CC. The former St Annes and Blackpool batsman Charles Boucher hit 444 runs after returning to the league and Ikram Ullah joined the club from Kendal during the season to hit 339. Opener Mark Woodhead (377 runs) and Phil Dennison (329) were again consistent with the bat while despite football commitments Lewis Edge was able to display his talents as a wicket-keeper more regularly than in previous seasons.

Barrow enjoyed their best finish since joining the league in 2004, overcoming a slow start to finish sixth. Professional Pasan Wanasinghe made up for his frustration at missing the start of the season and was retained for a fourth year at Ernest Pass after making 487 runs at 44.47 and taking 50 wickets at 12.64. Skipper Daryl Wearing led from the front, taking 41 wickets at 16.88 and contributing valuable runs when needed.

Left handed opener Jonathan Miles broke Ian Allington's club league batting record by making 545 runs at 32.06 while talented teenager Liam Livingstone, a member of the Lancashire Academy squad and an England U16s player, continued his development by making 320 runs and taking 14 wickets. After missing the entire 2008 season due to injury wicket-keeper Chris D'Leny bounced back superbly to finish second behind Whalley in the dismissals list and also hit his maiden league hundred (against St Annes) on his way to 386 runs.

Blackpool were hampered when their Sri Lankan professional Sajeewa Weerakoon had to return home early after being called up for an A tour and had to employ a succession of substitute professionals. Their two recruits from the Palace Shield both enjoyed fine debut seasons, opener John Mounsey making 490 runs at 24.50 and all rounder Andy Furniss contributing 409 runs and 19 wickets.

Richard Gleeson was Blackpool's outstanding performer, the young pace bowler taking 50 wickets at 14.10 and bowling with sustained hostility. But Paul Danson's side used 33 players during the season and the lack of continuity from the professional saw them slip from third to seventh.

Last season's runners-up Kendal fell to eighth and were hampered by the late arrival of captain and professional Ross McMillan. The popular South African hit 440 runs and took 44 wickets. Terry Hunte again led the club's run charts with 534 and Kevin Howarth (483) was not far behind. Stu Parkin captured 28 wickets and earned a late season call-up into the Cumberland county side with Howarth (25 wickets) and Ben Simm (25) also sharing much of the bowling duties.

Leyland fell from sixth to ninth with professional Ameer Khan suffering a loss of form following several productive seasons though he did top the batting table with 499 runs at 26.26. Lancashire Second XI regular Luis Reece joined the club from Blackpool and contributed 348 runs and 25 wickets while opener Karl Cross hit 346 runs. Skipper David Makinson was again a mainstay and topped the bowling averages alongside Peter Cummings with 29 wickets apiece.

Leyland did reach the last sixteen of the ECB National Club Championship before bowing out to Liverpool & District Competition side Ormskirk.

Fleetwood, last season's wooden-spoonists, enjoyed a revival and finished a respectable tenth. They unearthed a fine talent in the Anguillan born Chesney Hughes who went on to earn a two-year county contract with Derbyshire. The West Indies U19s player hit 709 league runs at 39.39 and captured 36 wickets at 17.81 in a fine debut season at Broadwater.

South African professional Hendrik (Rassie) van der Dussen made 419 runs at 32.23 with Mike Clinning (385 runs), Adam Sharrocks (310) and Nick Coultas (298) also providing valuable batting support for James Ellis's side while Adam Breakell captured 26 wickets.

Darwen slipped three places to eleventh despite engaging an exciting South African professional in David Wiese. The Titans all rounder hit 547 runs at 42.08, including making the season's highest score, 129 at Blackpool. He also collected four five-wicket hauls on his way to 40 wickets for Andrew Cook's side. Brothers John Cordingley (324 runs) and Gareth Cordingley (305) did most to provide Wiese with batting support and England U15s representative Alex Davies made his first team bow, hitting 231 runs at 21.

Carnforth, with Darren Moore replacing Adam Hornby as captain, had the season's top amateur bowler with Warren Quinn taking 53 league wickets at 13.40, including six five wicket hauls. The left arm spinner had joined Carnforth midway through the 2008 season from Morecambe. Former Morecambe all rounder Gareth Pedder hit 298 runs and took 31 wickets on his first professional engagement and earned a second season as paid man after also impressing with his senior and junior coaching duties.

Wicket-keeper and opening batsman Ryan Nelson returned after one season at Lancaster to provide the mainstay of the batting with 545 runs at 36.33, including an unbeaten 126 against Morecambe, the highest score of the season by an amateur batsman and earned selection for Cumberland.

Lancaster captain Tim Barry enjoyed a fine season with the bat, hitting 645 runs at 49.62 with good support from opener Michael Stevens (482 runs) but his side were hampered by the late arrival and early departure of South African professional Mario Olivier. Spinner BV Rhagavendra, a mature student at the city's university, had a fine season taking 31 wickets at 17.19.

Morecambe made the highest total of the season, 271 for 7 declared at Carnforth while Carnforth reached 265 for 6 on the season's opening day against Fleetwood, also at Lodge Quarry. Netherfield topped 250 on three occasions.

New regulations governing the employment of overseas professionals and delays caused by extra administration processes meant that many contracted professionals arrived late. Of the 13 professionals in the league only two, Carnforth's Gareth Pedder and Preston's Bilal Asad were available on the opening day of the season.

The lowest total of the season was also at Lodge Quarry when Carnforth were skittled by St Annes for 40 in a game that was completed in ten minutes less than two hours. Chorley were bowled out for 43 at Blackpool while Lancaster (45 all out against Preston) and Blackpool (48 all out against Morecambe) were also dismissed for under 50.

Morecambe's opener Mark Woodhead carried his bat for an undefeated 68 in his side's total of 154 against Chorley at Woodhill Lane while three players performed the hat-trick' during the season Morecambe pro Mandla Mashimbyi, Barrow pro Pasan Wanasinghe and Kendal's Ben Simm.

The highest partnership of the season was recorded by the Kendal pair of Terry Hunte and Ross McMillan, who added an unbeaten 239 for the third wicket against Barrow at Shap Road. The Netherfield pair of Craig Walmsley and professional Glen Batticciotto added 190 for the second wicket at Blackpool while the highest opening stand was 166 posted by the Carnforth pair of Ryan Nelson and Robert Parker on the opening day against Fleetwood.

There was a remarkable last wicket stand of 100 between Leyland captain David Makinson and James Rounding in the game against Kendal at Fox Lane before Makinson was dismissed for 89 with his side 19 runs short of an unlikely victory. In the same match the Kendal wicket-keeper Donovan Du Plessis collected six catches.

The highest margins of victory were recorded by Morecambe and St Annes respectively. After batting first Morecambe defeated Darwen by 124 runs at Birch Hall while St Annes won by ten wickets at Carnforth.

Meanwhile amongst the tight finishes, Barrow defeated Leyland by one run at Ernest Pass while Blackpool defeated Barrow by four runs at Stanley Park. There were one-wicket wins for Kendal at Darwen, Morecambe at Kendal and St Annes at Chorley.

The Dream Team for 2009

In a new initiative the Dream Team for the Furness Building Society Northern Premier Cricket League (in association with 3D Sports) will be selected annually.
Qualification procedure centres upon: The captain of the championship winning side
The best all-round professional
The best amateur wicket-keeper (most runs made if level on dismissals)
The four top amateur batsmen; The four top amateur bowlers.
Champions St Annes supply three players and runners-up Preston another two. Fleetwood, Blackpool, Barrow, Chorley, Carnforth and Lancaster are also represented.

The 2009 Dream Team is as follows:
Andy Kellett (St Annes) captain
Atiq Uz-Zaman (St Annes)
Chesney Hughes (Fleetwood)
Tim Barry (Lancaster)
Adam Parker (Preston)
Bilal Asad (Preston ) professional
Duncan Whalley (St Annes) wicket-keeper
Daryl Wearing (Barrow)
Richard Gleeson (Blackpool)
Billy Smith (Chorley)
Warren Quinn (Carnforth

Based upon the same criteria the 2008 Dream Team would have been as follows:
Josh Tolley (Chorley)
Atiq Uz-Zaman (St Annes)
Callum Ferguson (Netherfield) professional
Chris Parry Captain
Terry Hunte (Kendal)
Adam Parker (Fleetwood)
Duncan Whalley (St Annes) wicket-keeper
Richard Gleeson (Blackpool)
Scott Clement (Netherfield)
Ben Simm (Kendal)
Graham Lee (Morecambe)

Atiq Uz-Zaman and his St Annes colleague Duncan Whalley, Blackpool's Richard Gleeson and Preston's Adam Parker qualified for both selections.


Lancaster lifted the Division Two championship in style, finishing 31 points clear of runners-up Leyland. Captained by Craig Atkinson, Lancaster won 15 games, eleven of them batting second and lost only three times.

Leyland edged above Blackpool on the season's final day and also lifted the Division Two Cup to complete a fine campaign for Chris Dovey's men. Last season's champions St Annes finished fourth.

Adam Taylor emerged as the highest runs scorer in Division Two in 2009. The St Annes opening batsman hit 56 in his side's last day win over Darwen at Vernon Road to become the only batsman in the Second XI to pass the 500-runs mark in 2009. Taylor made 514 runs at an impressive average of 51.40. Eight other batsmen also passed four hundred runs during the season with Chorley's David Catterall (494), Leyland's Wes Royle (493) and Lancaster's Danny Welbourne (487) just falling short of the coveted 500-runs milestone.

Fleetwood's Mark Emsley (457), Morecambe's last day centurian Gulam Maje (450) and team-mate Michael Fisher (423), Chorley captain John Hotham (420) and Lancaster's Iain Parkinson (401) were also in the runs.

In the bowling stakes Leyland's Stephen Cartwright was the top wicket-taker with 59 at an average of only 8.97.Cartwright took eight for 17 as eventual runners-up Leyland defeated champions Lancaster at Fox Lane, including the second division's only hat-trick of the season.
St Annes's Richard Thomas was second in the list with 53 wickets. Thomas also recorded the season's best bowling analysis when he took nine for 25 against Kendal. Morecambe chairman Nick Milner (44) and Lancaster's Tim Lambert (43) were next in the list.
Darwen's Greg Lawrenson (37) and Christian Davies (35), the Fleetwood pair of Alex Laird (35) and Neil Gregson (30) and Blackpool's Andy Armstrong (31) also enjoyed good seasons with the ball.

St Annes stand-in captain David Watson was top wicket-keeper with 26 victims, including 15 catches and 11 stumpings. Watson took over the captaincy when Neil Bradley saw out the season with the First XI.
Leyland's Stuart Parker made 25 dismissals while his Fox Lane captain Chris Dovey was top fielder with 14 catches. Netherfield's Nathan Chambers took 11 catches.

Kieran McCullagh hit the highest of ten centuries made during the Second XI season when he made 119 for Chorley against Kendal. McCullagh, who will spend the winter playing grade cricket in Perth also recorded figures of 7 for 38 in the same match to complete an outstanding individual performance. Leyland's James Rounding, who headed off to play grade cricket in Perth for the winter, hit an undefeated 50 and then took 8 for 56 in his side's game at Preston but the home side held out for a draw with nine wickets down.

Kendal's Andrew Dugdale and Carnforth's John Denwood also recorded fine bowling figures, each taking eight wickets in an innings during the campaign. Chorley made the highest total of the second division season, 264 for 4 declared at Morecambe while Preston were bowled out for 43 at Blackpool for the season's lowest total.

The highest margins of victory were Chorley's 137 runs win at Barrow, Leyland's 10 wickets win against Carnforth and Netherfield's victory by 10 wickets against Preston.
Morecambe defeated Fleetwood by one run at Broadwater while Lancaster twice recorded victories by one wicket with Fleetwood, Blackpool, Darwen and Netherfield also edging homer by the slenderest of margins batting second.

The Second Division Dream Team for 2009.

In a new initiative the Dream Team for the Furness Building Society Northern Premier Cricket League (in association with 3D Sports) Division Two will be selected annually.

Qualification procedure centres upon
The captain of the championship winning side
The best wicket-keeper (most runs made if level on dismissal)
The top all-rounder The four top batsmen (top five if the captain is included above
The four top bowlers

Champions Lancaster supply three players and runners-up Leyland provide another two. St Annes (three), Chorley (two) and Morecambe are also represented.

The 2009 Second Division Dream Team is as follows:

Adam Taylor (St Annes)
Wes Royle (Leyland)
Danny Welbourne (Lancaster)
David Catterall (Chorley)
Craig Atkinson (Lancaster) captain
Kieran McCullagh (Chorley) allrounder
Nick Milner (Morecambe)
David Watson (St Annes) wicket-keeper
Stephen Cartwright (Leyland)
Tim Lambert (Lancaster)
Richard Thomas (St Annes)

Based upon the same criteria the 2008 Dream Team would have been as follows:

Andy Kellett (St Annes) captain
David Newton (Blackpool)
Danny Welbourne (Lancaster)
Gulam Maje (Morecambe)
Andy Richardson (Leyland)
Stuart Parker (Leyland) wicket-keeper
Steven Mercer (Blackpool) all-rounder
Nick Milner (Morecambe)
Andrew Starkie (Preston)
Christian Davies (Darwen)
Andy Armstrong (Blackpool)

Danny Welbourne and Nick Milner qualified for both selections .


Atiq Uz-Zaman won the Castle Award for batting for the second season in a row as St Annes lifted the league title.
The former Pakistan Test player hit 792 runs during the league season at an average of 46.59, including five half centuries and two hundreds.
Fleetwood's new recruit Chesney Hughes was second in the list, marking his first season at Broadwater with 709 runs at 39.39 including six fifties.
The consistent Adam Parker enjoyed another excellent season with the bat, making 664 runs at 33.20 in his first year at Preston while Lancaster captain Tim Barry made 645 runs at 49.62.

Stephen Twist, the St Annes all rounder, hit 594 runs at 42.43 and took 23 wickets at 21.22. Netherfield opener Craig Walmsley hit 555 runs at 37.00. Ryan Nelson (Carnforth), Jonathan Miles (Barrow), Terry Hunte (Kendal) and Sajid Patel (Preston) also topped 500 league runs. Since making his league debut with Kendal in 1987 Hunte has hit 17,806 runs at an average of 44.40 and has made 42 centuries.
Atiq was also the highest runs scorer during the season, surpassing the four professionals to pass the 500 runs mark in 2009.

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Carnforth's Warren Quinn edged out a strong challenge from Blackpool's Richard Gleeson to lift the Castle Award for bowling in Division One. The left arm spinner enjoyed an outstanding season and captured 53 wickets at an average of 13.40, including six five wicket hauls.
Quinn's form earned him a call-up to the Cumberland Minor Counties side towards the end of the season.
But Blackpool's opening bowler Gleeson would have won the award in many other seasons after taking 50 wickets at an average of 14.10. Gleeson took four five wicket hauls for the club.

The pair went head to head in the final game of the season when Carnforth skipper Darren Moore was able to compare their contrasting styles. "Warren was absolutely superb throughout the season and really deserved the award," Moore said. "He joined the club from Morecambe in 2008 and might have won the award last year had he been able to play more regularly. He bowled consistently well throughout the season and his attitude and approach to the game was spot-on. "Richard was also highly impressive and of all the bowlers I faced in the league during the season he was the quickest by a good yard. He bowled really fast against us in the last match and I'm sure he will go from strength to strength."

Gleeson will spend the winter playing grade cricket in Australia after Blackpool skipper Paul Danson used his contacts to make the arrangements. "The experience of playing cricket in Australia will make Richard an even better bowler and he can build on his fine season this year," Danson said. "Richard can consider himself extremely unlucky not to be picked by a county for trials after his performances last year and this but time is still on his side if he wants to progress further in the game."

Barrow skipper Daryl Wearing enjoyed a fine season with the ball taking 41 wickets at 16.88 and earning a county call-up for Cumberland. Chorley's left arm opening bowler Billy Smith took 39 wickets at 19.64.
Fleetwood's Chesney Hughes captured 36 wickets in his first season at Broadwater and Preston's Darren Nelson took 35 in his first season at West Cliff.

Among the professionals St Annes' Sri Lankan left arm spinner Dinuka Hettiarachchi was way out in front taking 87 wickets during the season at 10.48 to spearhead his side's title winning campaign.
Bilal Asad captured 61 wickets at 9.48 for Preston and had the season's best analysis, eight for 29 against Leyland at Fox Lane.
Morecambe pro Mandla Mashimbyi and Barrow pro Pasan Wanasinghe also reached the 50-wickets mark during the season.
Netherfield's Scott Clement recorded the best analysis by an amateur in Division One, seven for 52 against Leyland at Fox Lane.

In the wicket-keeping stakes St Annes Duncan Whalley was the Castle Award winner with 37 victims, including 21 catches and 16 stumpings. Whalley tied with Blackpool's James Smith for the award in 2008.
Barrow's county 'keeper Chris D'Leny bounced back superbly after missing the entire 2008 season through a knee injury to make 33 dismissals, including 26 catches and seven stumpings.
Preston's Charlie Williams (27 dismissals) and Leyland's Player of the Year Matthew Watkinson (23) were next in the list.

Preston's David Fisher won the Castle Award for fielding with 14 catches, two ahead of Chorley vice captain Andy Holdsworth (12). Leyland's Luis Reece and Fleetwood's Adam Sharrocks each took 11 catches.
Fleetwood pro Hendrik van der Dussen was top fielder overall with 16 catches.

The Fair Play Award was won jointly by Darwen and Kendal in division one while Kendal recorded a 'double' by lifting the second division award.

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