Morecambe see off champions Leyland for first win of season

Ashan Priyanjan hit his first Morecambe half century in the win over Leyland. Picture: Tony North
Ashan Priyanjan hit his first Morecambe half century in the win over Leyland. Picture: Tony North

Morecambe picked up their first win of the Northern Premier League season by knocking off 2016 champions Leyland at Woodhill Lane on Saturday.

After a delayed start the visitors were restricted to 150-7 batting first after home skipper Ryan Pearson had won the toss.

Vice-captain Eddy Read led the front with 4-72, professional Ashan Priyanjan also taking 3-48.

It was a good day for the Sri Lankan with his first half century for Morecambe helping them to a welcome five-wicket win with five balls to spare.

Read had started as he meant to go on, removing Leyland’s paid man Pabasara Waduge (10) as he took the first four wickets to fall with the visitors slumping to 30-4.

The wicketless Tommy Clough bowled an important, economical spell at the other end to keep the pressure on.

Ross Bretherton (56) and Tom Reece (45) battled hard to lead the Leyland recovery, frustrating Morecambe as they looked to dismiss the visitors cheaply.

Pearson’s men were always in control though and once Priyanjan warmed up he got in on the act to help restrict the defending champions.

In reply Morecambe lost Viraj Bhatia (0) to a third ball duck but Priyanjan (50) was soon into his stride.

He mixed fine strokes with some risky play as Lewis Smith (25) batted sensibly at the other end.

The young all-rounder ultimately misjudged a straight one from Henry Thompson which brought Pearson (20) to the wicket at 65-2, the next partnership always going to be crucial.

Priyanjan brought up his first half century for the club before falling the very next ball caught at mid-wicket trying to sweep a ball that was fractionally too full. Read (36 not out) picked up from where he left off with the ball however and with his captain took Morecambe into a winning position at 100-3.

Pearson departed controversially, walking when caught at slip only to be later told he shouldn’t have.

Luke Pearson (16) batted with maturity to support Read before missing a straight one, leaving Tommy Clough to find the boundary and secure victory with a sweetly-timed flick off his pads.