Eddy Read-ily steadies ship to help team to competitive total

Eddy Read hit 32 runs.
Eddy Read hit 32 runs.

Morecambe bounced back brilliantly at home to Leyland on Saturday brightening up what had previously been disappointing week in 20/20 action.

The Woodhill Lane side consolidated their spot at the top of the Northern League Division One table as they comprehensively swept aside Leyland, winning by 67 runs.

Upon winning the toss Morecambe skipper Josh Dixon had no hesitation in batting first on a used Woodhill Lane pitch which looked as if it would worsen as the day went on.

With the wind howling conditions were tough for both batsmen and bowlers and with Mark Woodhead still out with an achilles injury sixteen year old Lewis Smith was given the opportunity to open the batting alongside his skipper.

Smith wasted no time in settling in, striking the first boundary through backward point but the pair were to find scoring tough against the excellent Karl Cross (0-20) and Will Jacques (1-44).

Ten overs in and scoring suddenly became easier, Smith beautifully driving Jacques down the ground to put Morecambe on the front foot as they reached 45 for no loss.

Leyland skipper David Makinson looked for a change and in Sam Oldham he found a bowler willing to change the game. Oldham accounted for Dixon, Pearson and Edge in quick succession and when Smith ran himself out Morecambe were suddenly in deep trouble. Jacques removed professional Suraj Randiv and 45-0 had become 55-5.

Cue Phil Dennison (37) and Gareth Pedder (11) who steadied the Morecambe ship taking them forward cautiously the latter would fall only to be replaced by Eddy Read (32) who combined beautifully with Dennison and the lower order striking several powerful boundaries to ensure Morecambe reached a competitive total of 150-9.

In response Leyland started calmly in the face of some ferocious Eddy Read bowling. Chris Parkinson (23) and Tom Reece (14) looked to be positive as Leyland reached 30 without any alarms.

Read however wasn’t going to be denied, constantly attacking the stumps with every delivery. He brilliantly bowled Reece before collecting his eighth professional wicket of the season as he dismissed Richardt Frenz for a duck.

Parkinson was soon to follow as Read rearranged both his and Nathan McDonnell’s stumps and 30-0 had become 37-4.

With Morecambe well on top professional Suraj Randiv continued to apply pressure on Leyland’s middle order.

That pressure eventually told when Andrew Makinson found Gazz Pedder diving to his left at midwicket 40-5.

Henry Thompson was then judged caught behind off Read and Morecambe had their foot on the gas with Leyland crumbling. The crumble continued when Karl Cross was run out excellently by Gazz Pedder and the following over skipper Dixon took a screamer of a catch at first slip to dismiss Sam Oldham.

Despite a couple of lusty blows from David Makinson (20) he was eventually to fall to Randiv (3-21) thanks to another sharp catch from Pedder.