Top spot still in tact as Barrow are dealt with

Morecambe captain Josh Dixon.
Morecambe captain Josh Dixon.

Morecambe negotiated what looked a tricky fixture away at Barrow on Saturday and walked away from the Earnest Pass Memorial Ground with a vital 15-point victory to stretch their lead at the top of the Northern Premier League table to 12 points.

Winning his first toss in what had been seven weeks Morecambe skipper Josh Dixon batted first on a pitch which looked as if it would get worse as the day went on.

Dixon opened the batting alongside Lewis Smith (12) and the youngster started well clipping Paul Riley off his pads for a deserved boundary.

The pair mixed well, rotating the strike before Smith was trapped on the crease by the enthusiastic Riley.

Dixon was joined by professional Suraj Randiv who looked at ease on the Earnest Pass pitch before stand in skipper Greg Reynolds (3-11) trapped him with a ball that jagged back sharply off the seam.

Dixon however continued on his way alongside Ryan Pearson (26) and the pair added 56 rotating the strike as Barrow skipper Reynolds turned to spin in search of a wicket.

He got it however thanks to an unusual source as Pearson was brilliantly run out attempting a second run by Adam Hunter.

The Barrow youngster fired in a flat throw from the boundary which went on to directly hit the stumps catching the Morecambe man inches short of his ground.

Dixon went on to make a patient 42, he was to fall however when looking to accelerate the scoring, agonisingly short of his third half century of the season.

The in-form Lewis Edge struggled for a consistent partner as wickets tumbled from one end in the latter stages of the innings.

With time running out Edge showed his class, thumping the impressive Ryan Gilmour for three successive sixes taking 24 from the young spinner’s final over.

Tommy Clough was the final man out for Morecambe from the final delivery as Edge’s late brilliance ensured Morecambe reached a more than competitive 151-9.

Morecambe started strongly with the ball as Eddy Read trapped Dean Williams in front of all three with the fifth ball of the innings.
Read was to strike again as he exploited the variable bounce on offer and removed Gilmour for just a single. It was still however very much game on as Cumberland batsman Sam Dutton was joined by Sri Lankan international Thranga Paranavitana.

Both went straight to work and looked to be aggressive, Dixon turning to Randiv for a breakthrough.

It came almost immediately as Dutton looked to drive only to be brilliantly caught by Tommy Clough diving to his right.

The dangerous Michael Wellings came and went, smartly run out by skipper Dixon, and so the procession started. Randiv and Read at it again the lethal pair building dot ball after dot ball piling on the pressure.

Batters six to 10 only made single figures and Paranavitana (81) took it upon himself to make the runs and brilliantly went past his 50 striking a succession of maximums.

However, no sooner had he taken Barrow past the 120 mark Randiv varied his pace and flight to bowl Paranavitana as Dixon’s men took the vital 15 points.