Marked as the game of the day in the Northern League on Saturday, the 2nd versus 3rd tie lived up to its top billing as Lancaster were pipped at the post in the final over of the game at Fox Lane.
Ben Simm returned to captain the side and let Leyland field first in the strong sunshine. Lancaster didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts, as Jamie Heywood was trapped LBW for nought attempting a big drive off an Andrew Makinson in-swinger.
Charlie Swarbrick showed some of his form clipping a Karl Cross half volley to the mid-wicket boundary with ease, but when he fell cutting for 13, Lancaster were on the back foot early at 16 for 2.
Professional Jannisar Khan entered to weather the storm but lost Alex Metcalfe and Danny Welbourne after both had played laboured innings at the other end.
The going was slow at 40 for 4 after 20 overs, with Kieran Moffat offering stodgy resistance to Jannisar. After surviving a shout for caught behind, the younger Moffat slowly found his feet, peppering the mid-on area.
Jannisar, meanwhile, kept the scoreboard ticking by rotating the strike and striking the odd shot over the top. Both batted for 25 overs to bring Lancaster back into the game with Jannisar finally falling for a well made 61 after finding David Makinson’s left-hand at mid-wicket.
The elder Makinson then picked up a wicket of his own, yorking Lee Sparks with a quicker ball.
Simm entered with seven overs remaining and set about the Leyland attack with an increasingly confident Moffat.
Dale Jones came in for some particularly harsh treatment going for 61 in his 11 overs. Moffat brought up his maiden 1st XI 50 before falling trying to push on, while Simm cut loose making an unbeaten 32 from just 21 balls.
Billy Swarbrick and Liam Moffat sacrificed their wickets in pursuit of late runs as Lancaster finished on a competitive 170 for 9.
The game swung firmly in favour of the visitors when Liam Moffat found the edge of a distraught Henry Thompson without scoring before Jannisar claimed the prize scalp of Luis Reece for 18 following a huge maximum over mid-wicket.
When Nathan McDonnell gave Jannisar his second wicket of the afternoon Leyland were in trouble at 30 for 3.
Salvation came in the shape of Chris Parkinson who looked in good touch from the moment he came to the crease. His counter-attack, aided by wicket keeper Adam Coates, helped take the score past 100 and put Leyland back in charge.
Simm gambled and brought Liam Moffat back early in need of a wicket, and it paid off when Coates cut to Charlie Swarbrick who completed a fine diving catch.
The nerves began to show in the home side’s batting as the run rate slowed in the face of tight bowling from Simm and Moffat.
The pressure finally told when Parkinson played across a Simm arm ball and was castled for an impressive 61.
Moffat continued to work away with the older ball as Andrew Makinson, Karl Cross and Dale Jones all succumbed to Moffat’s use of cutters and old fashioned wicket-to-wicket bowling.
Unfortunately, his hard earned five-for would prove to be in vain.
At 149-8 with five overs remaining Leyland veteran David Makinson joined youngster Jake Peake.
Makinson used all his experience by picking up regular singles while Peake played his shots, hitting Moffat through mid-wicket and crucially edging a ball to third-man for four.
With five required from the final over, Makinson swept the winning runs off Simm to send the home crowd into raptures and leave Lancaster going home with just four points.