Morecambe come up just short in bid for win at Leyland

Morecambe will again have Derbyshire's Tony Palladino as their sub professional this weekend.
Morecambe will again have Derbyshire's Tony Palladino as their sub professional this weekend.

Improving Morecambe came within a whisker of picking up a vital victory at Leyland on Saturday.

Having posted 143-7 batting first at the Stanning Memorial Ground, Ryan Pearson’s men were always on top with the ball against a side that had mixed it at the sharp end of the Northern Premier League Division One table this season.

Leyland’s ninth wicket fell with just three balls to go and as the rain poured down Morecambe just couldn’t get over the line, the hosts finishing on 129-9.

The visitors had to settle for nine points to Leyland’s six but a third game without defeat was enough to see the Woodhill Lane men move off the foot of the table.

They are replaced by Lancaster and also now sit above Barrow, the 2015 champions heading into Saturday’s home game against Chorley third from bottom.

Pearson won the toss and elected to bat first on Saturday and Viraj Bhatia and Lewis Smith, both 20, made a solid enough start for the visitors at the top of the order.

Both fell to Steven Pallett (3-23) leaving stand-in professional Tony Palladino to try and steer Morecambe towards a good total.

The Derbyshire County Cricket Club contracted player is the latest paid man to replace Ashan Priyanjan, the Sri Lankan unavailable for the rest of the summer having been recalled by his national side.

The former Essex man made 31, his 60-ball innings that included five fours brought to an end by the pick of the Leyland bowlers Ross Bretherton, who ended the afternoon with 4-39 from 14 overs.

Adam Derham provided good support to Palladino with 28.

Having posted a competitive score from their 50 overs, Morecambe raced out of the blocks with the ball.

Palladino, who has more than 350 first-class wickets to his name, Eddy Read and Tommy Clough did the early damage as the Leyland top order departed cheaply.

The game-changing stand came from Bretherton, 45, and Andrew Makinson, 23, the pair standing firm for the sixth wicket.

Bretherton was at the crease for an epic 127 balls while Makinson’s 65-ball knock included two fours and a six.

It was finally broken but in the bigger picture it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Read, Clough and Lloyd Smith took the wickets to fall down the order but Pearson’s side couldn’t force a positive result.

Palladino, who will be in the side again against Chorley at Woodhill Lane on Saturday, finished with 3-29, Read 3-27 and Clough 2-19.