Lancaster on the coat tails of league leaders

Brendan Hetherington
Brendan Hetherington

Lancaster maintained the pressure on leaders Longridge on Saturday in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.

Brendan Hetherington’s men retained their position in second spot in the table after crushing Thornton Cleveleys at Illawalla.

Lancaster posted a huge 293-8 after winning the toss and electing to bat and that proved to be a daunting target for the home side, who folded to 86-9 off 21 overs.

The visitors did not get off to the best of starts as both openers departed for low scores. Joseph Hills struck 10 before he was snaffled by Sam Robinson off the bowling of Jordan Beech, while the same bowler also accounted for Laurie Atkinson (9) – caught by Jack Northrop.

Ben Simm did not last long before he offered a catch to Joshua Sackfield off the bowling of Greg Tirrell for five.

However, Charlie Swarbrick then took charge as he took the game away from the home side with a superlative knock.

He struck a brilliant 80 off just 56 balls – a knock which included 12 boundaries and two sixes. He eventually perished edging Daniel Howard behind to Joshua Vincent.

Swarbrick enjoyed some excellent support from Thomas Newark, who struck 21 before being trapped in front for 21, while George Marshall hit 28 before being caught by Jordan Beech off the bowling of Cameron Chisholm.

Hetherington and Elliot Mason then gave the innings fresh impetus with a superb partnership down the order.

The skipper struck seven fours and two maximum hits in a 60-ball half-century before being run out by Vincent.

Mason’s unbeaten 40 came at almost a run a ball and also included seven boundaries.

Lee Sparks became the final victim of the innings when he was bowled by Beech for eight going for a big hit.

The writing was on the wall for Cleveleys as soon as Vincent was removed by Swarbrick for a duck at the top of the order. Fellow opener Jon Eade did not last long before he was back in the pavilion, caught by Lee Sparks off Swarbrick for six.

No batsman was able to feel comfortable in the middle as wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals. Joshua Sackfield hit 12 before being caught by Ben Simm off George Marshall and Chisholm was bowled by Swarbrick for nine.

Daniel Howard top scored with 22 before he saw his stumps shattered by Swarbrick, who then claimed his fifth wicket by trapping Northrop in front for a duck.

Richard Jenkinson was left stranded on 13 not out as Simm picked up two scalps and Swarbrick grabbed the final wicket of the match to finish with outstanding figures of 6-32.

This weekend, Lancaster are at home to Torrisholme