Lancaster got their first win of the 2014 season under their belts with a convincing victory against Preston on Saturday.
Charlie Swarbrick’s 43 paved the way for the hosts before Ben Simm did the damage with the ball as the Lune Road side ran out 77-run winners.
The hosts got off to shaky start when Jamie Heywood was caught behind off the wily medium pacers of Andrew Starkie for just two.
Swarbrick joined the promoted Michael Barry to steady the ship as the Lune Road surface offered up fewer demons than in past weeks.
Barry look poised for his second half century of the season before Saeed Bariwala intervened trapping him leg before for 33.
Swarbrick kept the scoreboard moving with Danny Welbourne as Lancaster approached three figures for the loss of just two batsmen.
Swarbrick was back to his powerful best forcing Preston skipper Bariwala to introduce six bowlers into the attack. The sixth did the trick for the visitors however, as Soyeb Kapadia removed the danger man for an impressive 43.
Lancaster City football star Billy Akrigg didn’t have the best of comebacks at number five, departing for just one run. But it proved a good day for the both the Swarbrick brothers as the younger Billy Swarbrick, shared his sibling’s composure at the crease with an important 20.
With Welbourne and Iain Burstow departing, it was left to the younger Swarbrick and the lower order to push Lancaster on to their full quota of batting points.
The returning Iain Perrieman and number 11 Liam Moffat made game contributions to boost the hosts to a formidable total of 183.
Despite Preston boasting a batting line-up that has put a number of league attacks to the sword, the four pronged attack of Moffat, Perrieman, Simm and Burstow proved to be no match for the visitors.
Only Jibran Khan offered a stern resistance for the Preston men, as he carried his bat for a hard-fought 57.
Perrieman initiated Preston’s slide trapping skipper Bariwala and Navaz Patel, before Moffat got in the act as Kapadia could only find the hands of Swarbrick.
Stand-in skipper Heywood timed his bowling changes well as the hosts continued to pick up wickets at regular intervals. The introduction of Simm was particularly damaging as he scythed through the visiting middle order.
Burstow, meanwhile, extolled the virtues of bowling straight by picking up a brace of leg befores and breaking any chances of a Preston victory.
Khan and Momredrafik Patel were to be Lancaster’s only obstacles to 15 points, but they were merely delaying the inevitable.
Simm broke the stand trapping Patel for yet another leg before, and, following an athletic Liam Moffat run out, both Lancaster off-spinners combined to dismiss Preston for 106, Simm finishing with an impressive 4-25.
Lancaster’s Lancashire Cup venture proved to be a brief one as they fell at the first hurdle away to Little Lever of the Bolton Cricket League on Sunday.
Despite a Liam Moffat five-for restricting the hosts to 153, two batting collapses meant Lancaster fell agonisingly short, losing by just five runs.