Morecambe seal Northern Premier League title with big win at Preston

Morecambe celebrate winning the Northern Premier League title at Preston.
Morecambe celebrate winning the Northern Premier League title at Preston.

Morecambe sealed the Northern Premier League title on Saturday thanks to a comprehensive demolition of lowly Preston at West Cliff Park.

Needing just eleven points from their final two league games Josh Dixon’s men collected a well-deserved 15-point victory to lift the club’s first championship since 2006.

Morecambe's Suraj Randiv on his way to a fine 82 against Preston.

Morecambe's Suraj Randiv on his way to a fine 82 against Preston.

Being asked to bat first Morecambe got underway through Gareth Pedder and Mark Woodhead who looked to repel good opening spells from Shabnan Ali and Afsal Kapadia.

Pedder was the aggressor, striking a succession of boundaries punishing any loose offerings before he attempted one too many with Ali finding a leading edge that looped to cover.

Woodhead was joined by professional Suraj Randiv and the pair instantly hit it off, punishing any poor Preston bowling.

After a chance was spurned off Preston skipper Andrew Starkie Randiv went through the gears, stroking his way to an excellent half century.

Mark Woodhead in action against Preston.

Mark Woodhead in action against Preston.

The Sri Lankan and Woodhead took Morecambe past the 100 mark with an imposing total looking on the cards.

Randiv continued to accelerate but was to go for a fine 82 before Woodhead was forced to retire due his persistent Achilles problem.

Ryan Pearson (27) and Lewis Edge (17) added some late fireworks before Dixon called his troops in after 45 overs with the score 220-2.

Morecambe knew they wouldn’t have a better chance of lifting the Northern Premier League crown and Eddy Read and Jamie Cassidy tore out of the blocks the latter taking the first wicket with a delightful in-swinging yorker.

Read wasn’t to be denied, having Shabnan Ali (10) well caught at third slip by his skipper.

He was to follow that wicket with another the very next ball as Miya Ahmed Lunat was trapped plumb in front by a fast, straight delivery.

With Cassidy keeping it very tight at one end Read removed Gurman Baines (13) and Afsal Kapadia (1).

Randiv was brought into the attack with instant success as Usman Alam could only find Dixon tracking backwards.

The end was nigh and the introduction of Tommy Clough sealed the deal claiming the final two wickets in his first over as Preston were dismissed for just 58.

Scenes of celebration then filled Preston’s West Cliff home as Morecambe secured the title with a game to spare.

Dixon and his men will receive the trophy at home to Blackpool next Saturday with their presentation evening following the game.

All senior players and supporters after invited from 8pm with a supper and disco until late.