Lancaster’s biggest total of season not enough to beat St Annes

Kieran Moffat made 69 for Lancaster at St Annes. Picture: Neil Cross
Kieran Moffat made 69 for Lancaster at St Annes. Picture: Neil Cross

Despite an encouraging performance with their highest score of the season to date, Lancaster yet again fell to another league defeat.

Host skipper Andy Kellett chose to bowl expecting Lancaster’s flaky batting to submit but it was the returning Kieran Moffat who had other ideas.

There were more than a few eyebrows raised when a rejigged batting order saw the younger Moffat open with skipper Ben Simm, ultimately it was a decision that paid dividends.

Initially the change up wasn’t a rip-roaring success, as Simm departed guiding a Michael Harling delivery to first slip. Nevertheless Moffat was in no mood to hang around and initially found support from Jamie Heywood before Matthew Grindley strangled him down the leg-side for 14.

With a solid start established, pro Michael Barry set about laying his own platform for a big score.

Moffat brought up his 50 with a sweetly timed straight drive before with Lancaster looking to accelerate he played a tired stroke to a Matthew Taaffe full toss, holing out to mid-wicket for a fine 69.

Charlie Swarbrick took up where Moffat left off, catching up Barry in the blink of an eye with some blistering strokeplay.

Lukman Vahaluwala then returned to trap Barry leg before for 25 but Swarbrick kept up his relentless pace with his 50 coming up from just 38 balls. He finally departed for 51 however, bowled by a well-disguised Mitchell Bolus slower ball.

From then on Lancaster’s innings lost direction in the late charge for runs but 232 was an imposing total.

Iain Perrieman and Liam Moffat started well with the ball before a short ball from the former gave Kellett a nasty blow to the glove which was later revealed to be a broken hand.

The injury left the St Annes skipper hampered and meant he could only find mid-off off the bowling of Simm.

Drinks then proved kind to Lancaster as Vahaluwala lost his concentration to Simm who trapped him plumb in front of all three playing back.

Adam Holt marched on however, passing his 50 with support from Nathan Armstrong.

With the required rate climbing, Armstrong’s skewed cover drive off Perrieman found Alex Metcalfe to bring the visitors a vital lifeline.

Holt kept finding ways to score before his innings came to an end at 84, spooning Barry to Liam Moffat at point.

Nathan Bolus and Toby Bulcock had the cushion of wickets in hand to throw the bat however and they brought the target within touching distance.

With seven required from the final over, Taaffe hooked Perrieman for a huge six to register a home victory and render Lancaster’s game batting efforts in vain.