Lancashire star Reece too strong for Morecambe

Morecambe's Lewis Edge in action against Leyland.
Morecambe's Lewis Edge in action against Leyland.
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Morecambe crashed to a nine-wicket defeat on Saturday as Lancashire opening batsman Luis Reece smashed an undefeated 75 to ensure Leyland left Woodhill Lane with 12 valuable points.

The home side posted 160-5 with Lewis Edge making 47 not out after relinquishing the captaincy in the run up to the game due to a dip in form.

Late runs meant Morecambe took the field with some momentum but Reece was to be the match-winner with an innings that included eight fours and a six. Skipper until the end of the season, professional Vishal Tripathi, won the toss and elected to bat and Mark Woodhead and Josh Dixon started cautiously in the face of some excellent Leyland bowling from Andrew Makinson and Karl Cross.

Both were soon in the wickets as the openers departed, soon to be followed by Ryan Smith, leaving Morecambe in deep trouble at 13-3.

Tripathi (21) set about the rebuilding work alongside Ryan Pearson however the professional was to fall strangled down the legside off the bowling of Dale Jones just as he was looking to go through the gears.

Pearson went looking to go over the top but his patient stroke play had given Morecambe a chance of making a competitive total.

The last 10 overs needed to be fast and furious and that they were as Edge and Tom Barnfield (37) made batting look easy finding the boundary almost at will.

Their short sharp partnership included a combined total of 10 boundaries, three of those being huge maximums.

Buoyed by their late flurry of runs Morecambe flew out of the blocks with the ball but Reece and Lancashire second XI batsman Henry Thompson were equal to everything Morecambe threw at them and found the boundary with a flurry of beautiful strokes.

The home side had their chances. Edge was unlucky to drop Reece when he had just single figures and Thompson was also dropped by Tripathi despite a wonderful diving attempt.

Gareth Pedder bowled Thompson for a well-made 42 but Reece ensured Leyland weren’t to be denied and alongside Nathan McDonell, whose innings of 35 not out included four sixes, brought Leyland home inside 38 overs to seal a comprehensive victory.

*Morecambe captain Lewis Edge stepped down as skipper ahead of the Leyland game.

The wicket-keeper batsman cited a dip in form with the bat and the gloves as the reason for relinquishing the role.

Professional Vishal Tripathi will take on the captaincy until the end of the season.