Darwen loss ends weekend to forget for Lancaster

Professional Michael Barry in action.
Professional Michael Barry in action.

Lancaster’s up and down weekend ended with a second straight Northern League defeat at Darwen on Sunday.

After a hammering at Penrith 24 hours earlier the following day’s journey to Birch Hall offered little in the way of respite.

Darwen professional George Linde cashed in on Lancaster’s loose fielding to take the hosts to 140-1 after just 25 overs.

Off-spinner Tom Whitehouse performed admirably with professional Michael Barry to stem Darwen’s progress, with Whitehouse finding Linde’s edge to deprive the South African of a century after Barry had trapped John Cordingley leg before for 35.

Whitehouse continued to impress working through the Darwen line-up as Lancaster clawed their way back into the game.

Darwen’s innings lost momentum but the damage had already been done as the hosts finished on a sizeable 214-8 from 50 overs, with Whitehouse claiming a richly deserved maiden five-wicket haul.

A drastic change was required after the previous day’s efforts with the bat but, alas, it didn’t come for Lancaster.

Heywood’s struggles to the full and straight delivery continued as he was bowled playing to leg for 8 before Charlie Swarbrick chipped to short cover to leave Lancaster in trouble early on.

Danny Welbourne looked comfortable playing the short ball with confidence until he played an ill-advised sweep to Cordingley and was trapped in front of all three.

Once again it was left to Barry but when Lancaster lost Dylan Conroy and Whitehouse in consecutive balls the pressure was piled on.

Linde got the last laugh as Barry tried to cut a ball too close for comfort and edged to first slip for a lone hand of 42.

Alex Metcalfe turned to the dead bat to try and save at least a point for the visitors, but had to walk caught down the leg-side to give Linde his fourth.

The end followed quickly as Dakshina de Silva, an injured Jordan Sparks and finally Matthew Liver were rolled over by Kamran Anwar, giving the Darwen seamer a five-wicket haul of his own.

Lancaster claiming just two league points from a weekend to forget.

Lancaster’s 2nd XI had better fortunes claiming a maximum 30 points from the weekend with a pair of scratch sides.

Nathan Baxter was the star with the ball in both fixtures, taking 5-11 on the Sunday, while Scott and Jordan Sparks made fifties respectively in Saturday’s victory over Penrith.