Longridge claim derby day honours

Longridge batsman James Whitehead
Longridge batsman James Whitehead

Longridge extended their unbeaten run to eight games with two fine league and cup victories at the weekend.

Ian Simpson’s side emerged worthy nine-wicket winners in the derby-day clash against rivals Garstang on Saturday, knocking their opponents off top spot in the Moore and Smalley Place Shield Premier Division

The valuable win pushed Longridge up into fourth, 10 points off table toppers Great Eccleston.

The following day, a 49-run victory over Bolton Association outfit Atherton saw Longridge advance into the third round of the Lancashire Cricket Board Knockout Competition.

Longridge will now battle it out against Flixton, who also compete in the Bolton Assocation, on Sunday, July 5 for a place in the quarter-final.

In-form Jim Whitehead was Longridge’s star of the weekend. Whitehead scored an unbeaten 64 as Longridge chased Garstang’s paltry 117 for the loss of one wicket.

James Fairclough also scored an unbeaten 35.

Earlier on, Garstang had no answer to seamer Rory McDowell as he took 4-17.

Only Mark Walling and Allan Cook offered any resistance scoring 41 and 31 respectively.

On Sunday, Whitehead top-scored with 87 as Longridge posted 227-9 off 45 overs.

Wicketkeeper Kyle Helm also scored an unbeaten 43.

Alex Mason, Tom Howarth and McDowell each took a pair of wickets as Atherton were bowled out for 178.

Skipper Simpson and Matt Greenall also took a wicket a piece.

On Saturday, Garstang travel to Hoghton, while Longridge host Fylde and, on Sunday, Garstang and Longridge will lock horns again at the Newsham Memorial Cricket Ground as they battle it out for a place in the semi-final of the Meyler Cup.