Lancaster’s Twenty20 cup dream ends at semi-final stage

Stand-in Lancaster captain Liam Moffat looks for early wickets against Netherfield in the semi-finals of the TWP Wealth Twenty20 Cup.
Stand-in Lancaster captain Liam Moffat looks for early wickets against Netherfield in the semi-finals of the TWP Wealth Twenty20 Cup.

Lancaster’s dream of ending their more than 20-year wait for silverware ended at the hands of Netherfield in the semi-finals of the TWP Wealth Twenty20 Cup.

Stand-in captain Liam Moffat led a side confident of victory on finals day at Darwen Cricket Club on Sunday but they came up 13 runs short against the eventual winners who went on to beat Blackpool in the final.

Having won the toss, the skipper would have been content to see his side restrict Netherfield to 129-7.

Opener Ben Phillips (37) and Ben Barrow (42) both threatened to pile on the runs but wickets at regular intervals saw Lancaster peg the innings back at vital points.

In a good all-round display from the Lune Road side’s bowling unit, Michael Barry and Matthew Liver were the pick of the bowlers, both taking 2-19 from their four overs.

Moffat also removed professional Saliya Saman for just six early on with spinners Scott Sparks and Alex Metcalfe also picking up a wicket apiece.

In reply, Lancaster got off to a decent start with Jamie Heywood (12) the first man to fall, skying a catch to Stuart Dixon at short third man off the bowling of Nathan Chambers with the score at 33-1 in the fifth over.

However that was about as good as it got for Lancaster as Charlie Swarbrick (3) departing trying to attack the impressive Dixon before Luke Phillips (4) ran himself out after being becalmed by Bradley Earl.

At 57-3 in the 12th Moffat’s side were behind the rate and never in truth looked like clawing it back.

Professional Michael Barry was the key and he soon went caught in the deep by Saman off the bowling of Tom Williamson for 28 with Iain Burstow (10) departing bowled the very next ball having earlier hit a six out of the ground that broke his bat.

Those two quick wickets all but ended Lancaster’s hopes. 
Sam Moorby came and went run out for five attempting a second run, with Moffat (3) also falling bowled by Chambers in search of quick runs.

Dylan Conroy batted well for his unbeaten 28 from 22 balls but it was in vain as Lancaster’s chase came up short, finishing on 116-7.