Morecambe and Lancaster to meet in league cup semi-finals

Lewis Edge. Picture: Tony North
Lewis Edge. Picture: Tony North

Morecambe and Lancaster will meet in the semi-finals of the Readers Cup after both came through tough last eight clashes.

Josh Dixon’s men will host their Lune Road rivals at Woodhill Lane on Sunday, July 31 after Lewis Edge’s century helped them overcome Fleetwood by 58 runs on Sunday.

The wicketkeeper-batsman’s 97-ball 102 included 11 fours and five sixes as the visitors posted 190-7 batting first.

After the early departure of professional Saeed Anwar Jnr, Edge came to the crease and soon went to work.

Morecambe were wobbling at the other end though as Gareth Pedder, Ryan Pearson and Laurence Read departed in quick succession leaving the visitors reeling on 53-4.

Skipper Dixon arrived and played a supporting role to Edge however, the former starting cautiously while the latter was soon into his stride.

Both went through the gears though as both Travis Dean and Patrick Ashton were bowled out, Dixon dispatching Jack Wilkinson for a maximum as Edge tucked into the bowling of James Amor.

When Dixon fell for 27 to Amor the score read 156-5 and the pair had added over 100 and Edge still had five overs to go on the attack.

That he did, striking a succession of boundaries down the ground to bring up a fine 100, his third for the club, with a few more lusty blows from Izair Ullah and Luke Pearson helping the visitors to 190-6.

In reply, after the early departures of Dean and Dean Bell, Adam Sharrocks (32) and Wayne Clarke (28) battled hard to rescue Fleetwood’s plight but young Lloyd Smith broke the partnership.

Forming a fine pairing with fellow debutant, Mohammed Patel, the 15-year-old found the top edge of Clarke’s bat for his skipper to take the catch.

The Morecambe youngsters bowled well in tandem as the run rate climbed, Smith in the action again taking a skier to remove Sharrocks off the bowling of Irfan Qayyum before Anwar Jnr removed home skipper Mat Clarke and Gareth Pedder mopped up the tail.

As for Lancaster, a strong performance with bat and ball saw them see off St Annes by six wickets.

Fifties from professional Abhimanyu Khod and Charlie Swarbrick steadied the Lancaster chase after a tight bowling effort by captain Ben Simm and the seamers.

After the hosts had elected to bat at Vernon Road, Liam Moffat made inroads castling Gurman Bains and Richard Baines at 20-2.

Khod found form with the ball to remove his opposite number Shadley Van Schalkwyk before also trapping Luke Wilks in front for 23.

The hosts recovered through Henry Higson (20) and his brother Tom (35) but scoreboard pressure took its toll when an Iain Perrieman fumble triggered a mix up with Henry Higson short of his ground at 96 for 5.

St Annes’ final 10 overs didn’t bring a big acceleration and a total of 145 looked 40 runs light.

When Jamie Heywood and Alex Metcalfe fell to Van Schalkwyk the pendulum swung back in favour of the hosts however and the in-form Swarbrick and an increasingly confident Khod were needed to silence the hosts.

The Mumbai-man showed his best form of the season in his 54 while Swarbrick was at his tenacious best and pounced on any loose balls.

Khod’s departure skewing a full toss to mid-wicket briefly sent shockwaves through the Lancaster dressing room with Kieran Moffat departing soon after.

With 30 required from eight overs Rajat Agarwal (17*) settled any nerves before Swarbrick fittingly hit the winning runs with a savage pull over mid wicket to finish 60 not out.