Morecambe slip from top spot after losing draw with Netherfield
Morecambe lost top spot in the Northern Premier League as they battled to a losing draw in a high-scoring game at home to Netherfield on Saturday.
The visitors posted 211-9 batting first with professional Suraj Randiv taking 4-56.
The Sri Lankan then starred with bat, his 76 helping Josh Dixon’s side to 191-7 meaning they took seven points as Darwen stormed to the top of the table with a thumping win over Chorley.
Visiting skipper Marc Brown had no hesitation in batting first and Netherfield made an excellent start through Richard Potter (13) and Ben Barrow (28).
Australian Potter was to fall to the excellent Jamie Cassidy (1-25) but on a flat pitch Brown settled in alongside Barrow.
Eddy Read toiled away, Brown suriviving a close leg before shout before the former Settle seamer struck him on the shoulder as he showed real pace.
Read finally got his man as Brown pushed away from his body and was caught smartly in the gully by Tommy Clough.
The Morecambe pace man now had his tail up and the very next ball removed professional Dieter Klein and suddenly the game looked to have changed.
John Huck (18) and Bradley Earl (40) were unfazed by the situation however and threw caution to the wind.
It took Randiv to remove both Huck and Earl in quick succession but despite wickets continuing to fall Joe Atkinson (48 not out) got Netherfield’s score beyond 200 with several lusty blows.
With their tails up Netherfield came at Morecambe early in the reply as the hosts looked to chase down 212.
Skipper Dixon was to succumb as he looked to drive Mark Clarkson only to be caught smartly at first slip by Huck.
At the other end youngster Lewis Smith confidently hit Klein for successive boundaries before the South African bowled a barrage of short bowling which accounted for the teenager.
With Smith gone Ryan Pearson soon followed run out looking for a quick single and Lewis Edge was to go bowled by Ryan Wilson for nine.
Read however showed his character as he battled alongside Randiv and Morecambe will hope this was the day the professional kick-started his season with the bat.
The pair took Morecambe forward cautiously after what was an indifferent start and looked to bring them back into the game.
The boundaries then began to flow but Read was to go for 35 trapped in front by Clarkson.
Randiv then combined with Gareth Pedder who looked to be ultra-aggressive striking Clarkson for a huge six over long on.
Netherfield went on the defensive but Morecambe looked to be closing in on victory until with three overs remaining Pedder and Randiv went in quick succession to end their hopes of winning as Clough and Gert Maartens batted out the draw.
Morecambe next host Penrith at Woodhill Lane this Saturday. 1pm start.