Lancaster 107-5, Blackpool 106ao, Furness Northern Premier League Division One
THE in-form side of the league, Lancaster, pulled off another impressive victory at home to Paul Danson’s Blackpool.
Frequent showers meant another reduced overs game but didn’t bring much life to the dry and low Lune Road wicket.
In pursuit of 12 points, Ben Simm elected to bowl first, a decision which looked a wise one as John Mounsey fell for a duck, flicking to the sticky hands of Lee Sparks at short leg in the third over.
Wickets fell at regular intervals for the visitors as they lost Dale Deeb and Alex Smith after they made good starts, Deeb claimed by the incessant Liam Moffat.
Simm introduced young Matthew Liver (2-19) who impressed, gaining enough movement to force errors from the visiting batsmen.
Only Andy Furniss really got going for Blackpool, holding the innings together with an impressive unbeaten half century, but he eventually ran out of partners as Timycen Maruma shook off his early stiffness to claim four scalps late in the piece, flummoxing the lower order with his well disguised wrong ’uns.
The score of 106 was not to be sniffed at however, and Lancaster needed a solid start on the slow deck.
That was exactly what they got in the form of Jamie Heywood and Alex Metcalfe’s dogged opening stand of 32, before Metcalfe holed out to cover following bouts of cramp.
Blackpool main strike bowler Richard Gleeson found the going tough on the low bouncing pitch so it wasn’t a surprise that left-arm spinner and pro Dale Deeb bowled 14 overs.
Maruma and Heywood put together a gritty partnership ensuring there were wickets in hand should the run rate climb.
Heywood picked up the occasional boundary to prevent pressure from mounting, before he eventually fell to an astonishing one handed catch at slip by Furniss off Deeb.
With the run rate now creeping towards five an over, Lee Sparks cameo of 10 from as many balls deflated the visitors.
Despite the late losses of Kieran Moffat and Sam Moorby, Maruma shepherded the innings home with Joe Atkinson who drove Gleeson through the covers for two in the final over to seal the convincing five wicket win.
Lancaster 2nd came home from Blackpool with a losing draw. Blackpool made 155-4 off their 42 overs with Lancaster finishing short on 114-8, Danny Welbourne making 38 and Tom Williamson 36.
TWP Wealth Twenty20 finals
AFTER an excellent start to the day, Lancaster fell agonisingly short of a cup title in the Twenty20 finals day at Fleetwood.
It was, however, a day that started with a big upset for the Bombers facing a powerful Netherfield line-up.
Ben Simm, as he had done throughout the competition, elected to bowl first at the strong Netherfield batting line-up.
From the word go, Netherfield were on the back foot as pro Cobus Piennar fell to a Liam Moffat special, which swung in, cut away and snicked to a grateful Sam Moorby behind the stumps.
And when all-rounder Chris Williams slapped a Scott Sparks full toss straight to mid-off, Netherfield were firmly on the back foot.
Despite a rebuilding partnership from Marc Brown and John Huck, Ben Simm’s introduction to the attack was pivotal.
Aided by sharp fielding and clinical catching in the outfield, he proceeded to take an astonishing 5-14 in his four overs rounded off by an acrobatic run out in the covers.
Netherfield limped to 83-8 off their 20 overs.
A solid start from Jamie Heywood and the experienced Luke Phillips ensured there were no dramas in the run chase, as each of the top five contributed healthy scores to breeze past Netherfield’s 83 with more than six overs to spare.
Attempting to repeat the same formula, Simm and Fleetwood skipper Mat Clarke agreed that Fleetwood should bat first.
Openers Adam Parker and Naveed Yousuf showed they were tougher nuts to crack than the Netherfield line-up, each helping themselves to some loose bowling in the first six powerplay overs.
With 60 on the board after seven overs, it looked like the Bombers would be chasing down a mammoth target, but once again Liam Moffat and Ben Simm offered control with the leg spin of Maruma, as regular wickets fell to run outs or straight bowling.
Maruma picked up three late wickets to stunt the Fleetwood innings to 130 all out with the hosts not using up five of their allotted deliveries.
The Lancaster innings never really got going in its early stages as Jamie Heywood and Luke Phillips fell early and the run rate barely crept above four an over.
Sam Bell’s medium pace was impressive and difficult to force away and his figures of 2-5 from his four overs are testament to that.
While Timycen was still at the crease though the Bombers still had a good chance, as the Zimbabwean picked up boundaries to keep Lancaster hopes alive.
Kieran Moffat (22) was equally enterprising at the other end, cover driving his first ball from Fleetwood pro Liebisch for four.
Man of the match Adam Parker, however, foiled the Bombers’ best laid plans, removing Maruma with an off cutter and varying his pace to ensure the required rate kept on creeping upwards.
By the time Scott Sparks and Sam Moorby were at the crease, Lancaster needed in excess of 10 an over.
Despite this, both ran hard twos to the outfield with the occasional shot reaching the fence to keep the total within the realms of possibility, with Liebisch coming in for some harsh treatment late in the innings.
Fleetwood’s field placing and accurate bowling nevertheless rendered the chase out of reach as the Bombers fell 25 short despite their best efforts.
It was a well deserved victory for the hosts who played enterprising cricket throughout the day, such performances bode well for them in the next round as the competition goes regional.
Lancaster CC wishes to thank kit sponsor: G Robertson Limited.