The start of the new season was greeted with some well needed warm weather at Fox Lane as the new Northern Premier Cricket League got underway.
Morecambe travelled along the M6 to Leyland for a tough first fixture of the season knowing that after the weather there has been over previous weeks that it was going to be a tough game against a strong unit.
Unfortunately for Morecambe the season got underway in familiar fashion with a disappointing result.
Morecambe skipper Ryan Pearson lost the toss, a toss that was always going to be vital due to the nature of the pitch in front of the captains.
Leyland captain Ian Farrington decided to bat first on what was a very wet wicket which could have done with a further weeks work on it due to the weather recently.
Leyland made an excellent score of 143-9 off their 50 overs which in part was due to some poor bowling and fielding from the Morecambe side.
Morecambe continuously took wickets throughout the innings but Leyland continued building partnerships worth around the 20 run mark.
The one bright note in the bowling attack was debutant Zak Buchanan, signed by Pearson from Westgate over the winter, as he took 4-28 off his 17 overs in the middle.
All three of the other bowlers used bowled well in spells with Jamie Cassidy (3-50), Danny Edwards (1-37) and newly arrived professional Luke Jongwe (1-16) being slowly bedded into the team.
Leyland’s main contributors with the bat were Ross Bretherton (24), striking some lusty blows, Tom Reece (17), who was watchful at the start, and Karl Cross (33) playing in his own destructive style, began to take the innings away from Morecambe at number seven. Morecambe knew that they had to start well and not lose wickets in bunches if they were going to stand any chance of reaching the total against a Leyland team who are very much designed to bowl stump to stump on wickets that are difficult to bat on.
This is something that they did better than the Morecambe attack but was also no excuse for the way that Morecambe went about their batting innings.
Unlike Leyland, the Morecambe batsmen gave their wickets away too easily with the only batsman to reach double figures being Mark Woodhead (12).
Although the Morecambe batting left a lot gto be desired, Leyland bowled with great accuracy and didn’t give away many easy run scoring opportunities with Bretherton (4-15) the star man with the ball whilst Makinson (2-4), Cross (2-11) and Jaques (2-17) also contributing to the win for Leyland.
Morecambe will have to come back fighting when newly promoted Garstang arrive at Woodhill Lane in the NPCL to get their season up and going before travelling to Furness in the NKO on Sunday in a rearranged fixture from the Sunday just gone.