Morecambe end disappointing weekend with cup KO

Morecambe sub-pro Brett Pelser.
Morecambe sub-pro Brett Pelser.

Morecambe completed a disappointing weekend by bowing out of the Readers Northern League Cup at the first round stage on Sunday.

A young Lancashire Colts side chased down the hosts’ 127 for 7 for the loss of three wickets at Woodhill Lane after Ryan Smith had top scored with 30. Home skipper Lewis Edge promoted himself to open the innings alongside Mark Woodhead when asked to bat in a bid for quick early runs in the powerplay overs.

But the Colts’ opening bowlers and Richard Dempster in particular found significant movement and soon both Morecambe openers were back in the clubhouse for only single figures.

Josh Dixon (18) and South African sub-professional Brett Pelser (10), standing in for Vishal Tripathi who had been called into the Unicorns squad to play Middlesex, then looked to carefully rebuild the innings.

However Pelser was deceived by the flight of the excellent Matthew Parkinson and was bowled in uncharacteristic fashion.

Suddenly Morecambe were in deep trouble at 39-3 but Ryan Pearson (18) joined Dixon and the pair guided the score to 71 before Dixon was caught looking to find what would have been a rare Morecambe boundary.

Smith (30) and James Law (16) took to the Colts’ change bowlers and added quick runs at the end of the innings with some splendid strokes, taking Morecambe to a more than competitive total on a wicket which offered plenty for the bowlers. The Colts’ response started steadily and Haseeb Hameed was watchful in his defence as Yakub Bhamji and Pelser bowled tight lines, restricting scoring strokes from the Colts’ opening pair.

The introduction of Tommy Clough broke that opening stand and with Reg Cupit continuing his superb form with the ball the Colts were under real pressure when they lost their captain Mark Waddington leg before to Cupit for just a single. Clough also picked up the wicket of Josh Bohannon (eight) courtesy of a smart catch by Dixon at midwicket.

Callum Turner however had other ideas, the Lancashire second XI player turned on the style from ball one and in a run-a-ball 40 which contained seven boundaries he and Hameed upped the ante.

All Morecambe’s hard work was unravelling as the youngsters punished any poor offerings to ensure the Colts reached the second round at the home side’s expense.

On Saturday, Reg Cupit had continued his great run of form with six for 27 in the Northern League game against Kendal on Saturday.

After four wickets against Fleetwood the previous week, the seamer helped dismiss the hosts for 116 at Shap Road.

Nick Lewthwaite dug in for 35 from 73 balls supported by captain Chris Miller’s equally resilient 18.

Morecambe would have fancied their chances of bouncing back from the Fleetwood defeat but were left to hang on for a losing draw, finishing on 51-7 with only Ryan Smith reaching double figures, making 19.