Double defeat for Morecambe as Lancaster eye spot in finals day

Lancaster's Jamie Heywood. Picture: Tony North
Lancaster's Jamie Heywood. Picture: Tony North

Morecambe’s hopes of Twenty20 success were extinguished with a double defeat on home soil on Sunday.

Ryan Pearson’s side first lost by 25 runs against Netherfield at Woodhill Lane before a 50-run derby defeat to Lancaster later in the afternoon.

Morecambe head into the final round of Division One North Two group fixtures at Netherfield with no points from their three games leaving the other two sides, both on four points although Lancaster have a superior run rate, to battle it out to seal a spot in the last four on finals day.

First up, the game against Netherfield saw a return for former captain Josh Dixon and Lewis Edge, the pair having departed Woodhill Lane shortly before the start of the season.

Edge got his new side off to a good start, hitting some lusty blows in his 30 before being trapped in front by Eddy Read (2-22).

The standout innings was that of Netherfield professional Obus Pienaar however.

The South African proved to ultimately be the match-winner with a chanceless half century before he was bowled by Read in the final over of the innings for 54.

Lloyd Smith also took 3-16 for the hosts as the Cumbrians finished on a very competitive 133-7 batting first.

Morecambe made a good start in reply and were 30-0 after three overs.

But while Viraj Bhatia made 43 at the top of the order there was little support elsewhere.

Professional Ashan Priyanjan (14) and captain Ryan Pearson (15) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures as Morecambe came up short, finishing on 108-7.

Former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil Tom Williamson was the pick of the Netherfield bowlers with 3-18 as part of good display of tight bowling from their three spinners.

The result meant the derby with Lancaster was ultimately a dead rubber for the home side and it showed in a lacklustre performance.

The usually intensity of the meetings between the two local rivals was missing, Lancaster winning the toss and making 149-6 as Morecambe toiled in the field.

Pearson rotated his bowlers but the Lune Road side were always in control with Charlie Swarbrick top scoring with exactly 50, a fine half century, before being caught and bowled by the captain himself.

Jamie Heywood also made 34 at the top of the order.

Jamie Cassidy impressed with the ball for Morecambe with 3-25 while Pearson picked up 2-3 in his one over.

The home side’s chase never got going as they lost three wickets in the opening two overs.

Lancaster’s professional Kasun Madushanka (3-15) removed Sri Lankan compatriot Priyanjan for a duck caught and bowled before also sending back Bhatia without troubling the scorers.

Lune Road skipper Ben Simm’s off spin also took 3-14, importantly seeing the back of Morecambe’s two main contributors Tommy Clough (34) and Eddy Read (23).

Clough added some respectability to the total with some impressive hitting but it was never going to be enough as wickets fell at regular intervals.

Only Jake Smith (11) of the other batsmen spent any time at the crease before he became one of Kieran Moffat’s two victims.

Morecambe were ultimately dismissed for 99 in just 17 overs.

Lancaster for their part will now look to seal their spot in finals day and deny hosts Netherfield at Parkside Road, Simm’s side being no strangers to the last four in recent years.