Cup hopes crushed by remarkable Reece ton

Charlie Swarbrick.
Charlie Swarbrick.

A Luis Reece century sent Lancaster out of the Readers Cup at the semi-final stage at Leyland on Sunday.

The Lancashire left-hander’s 104 gave Lancaster too much to chase after losing earl wickets.

Liam Moffat continued his form with the ball from the previous day bowling a tidy spell with the new ball but Chris Parkinson and Reece found the going easy early on.

Parkinson survived a chance off Callum East as Leyland passed the 50 mark with no wickets down.

Ben Simm replaced East and brought the breakthrough as Parkinson slapped a full-toss straight to Jamie Heywood at mid-on for 41.

Leyland pro Richard Frenz continued where Parkinson left off, milking the bowling with the occasional boundary.

Meanwhile Reece moved closer to his hundred moving around the crease and picking off boundaries into the leg-side at will.

Kieran Moffat replaced Simm and was rewarded for some canny bowling when Frenz pulled a short ball straight to his brother Liam at mid-wicket.

Reece brought up his ton with 10 overs still remaining but it was the younger Moffat who took the prize wicket as the left-hander picked out East at long-off taking a smart catch above his head.

Late blows from Henry Thompson (19) and Nathan McDonnell (19) boosted the total beyond 230 but some smart outfield catching and good death bowling from Simm, Moffat and Raja restricted Leyland to 241 when a larger score looked more likely. Lancaster’s chase made a stuttering start as Jamie Heywood was adjudged leg before to a Reece in-swinger for just five and Danny Welbourne completed a quiet weekend, skewing Andrew Jacques to short third man for just one.

Raja briefly threatened, threading a couple of cover drives through the in-field but once again Reece got in on the act finding the Lancaster professional’s outside edge on 17 to leave the visitors three down.

Charlie Swarbrick kept his cup form going with some clean striking. Not afraid to go aerial, his 38 threatened to take Lancaster back into the game before a mistimed drive off Sam Oldham picked 
out Henry Thompson at long-off.

With the required run rate heading skyward Lancaster’s last hope lay with Sam Moorby who found his feet after a difficult start.

His 52 included six fours and some sharp running but after bringing up his half century with a maximum his luck deserted him as Karl Cross took a sharp catch off his own bowling.

Simm (12) and Alex Metcalfe (13) came and went in the pursuit of quick runs as Lancaster’s chase faded away. Lee Marshall (26 not out) and Liam Moffat (16) provided some late entertainment but the game was dead long before the final wicket of Callum East fell, Lancaster falling 47 runs short.