Morecambe go down to narrow Preston defeat

Morecambe batsman Lewis Smith dives to make his ground. Picture: Rob Lock.
Morecambe batsman Lewis Smith dives to make his ground. Picture: Rob Lock.

Morecambe suffered an agonising one-wicket defeat at Preston on Saturday.

Visiting skipper Ryan Pearson won his first toss of the season and saw his side collapse from 75-1 to 86-6 as they ultimately posted 122-9 batting first at West Cliff.

In reply the hosts just about got over the line despite the best efforts of Eddy Read, 5-40, who gave Morecambe hope of an unlikely victory.

At the start of the day the unorthodox Gert Maartens had opened the batting with Lewis Smith, the experiment not working as planned with the former being dropped four times before he was ultimately dismissed for 11.

Sub-professional Devon Conway (36) joined Smith (26) and the pair serenely took Morecambe along towards a good total.

A controversial dismissal for Conway, the South African adjudged to have nicked behind in the run-up to drinks, changed the course of the game though.

A clatter of middle order wickets then fell with Sabbir Patel, 5-20, doing the damage with his left arm spin.

In the end Morecambe were happy to just be able to post competitive total that they could bowl at, Tommy Clough, 10, the only other player to make double figures

In reply, Preston reached 30 without loss before Read came to the fore, the vice-captain bowling with skill, pace and aggression.

The visitors sniffed a great victory with Jake Smith (2-35), Adam Derham (2-12) and Clough (0-26) also playing their part with the ball.

Lukman Vahaluwala, 34, top scored for Preston with a wide ultimately seeing them to victory however, meaning the Woodhill Lane men are still looking for their first win of the new season.

Pearson’s side host early Northern League pace-setters Blackpool this Saturday with Sri Lankan professional Ashan Priyanjan set to be available for the first time after getting married.