Lancaster CC well beaten by defending champions

Lancaster CC lost again in their bid to try and close the gap to safety in the Northern Premier Cricket League.

They were beaten for the 10th time in 15 matches when going down by seven wickets at Blackpool in a battle of last season’s top two.

With last Saturday’s wet weather affecting matches up and down the region, Blackpool asked Lancaster to bat first at Stanley Park and bowled them out for 114 from 31 overs.

It was an innings of two halves as, although Lancaster lost Eddie Steinson (5) to Matt Grindley early on, they had progressed to 54-1.

Irfan Khan top-scored in Lancaster CC's defeat against Blackpool Picture: Tony North

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From there, however, the hosts took over and picked up the last nine wickets for a further 60 runs.

Blackpool professional Naushad Shaikh dismissed Laurie Atkinson (22) and Jamie Heywood (0) within three balls before Grindley removed Ben Simm (2) to make the score 61-4.

Irfan Khan had reached 34 before he fell to Shaikh with Kieran Moffat (7) run out without further addition to the total.

Shaikh then sent back Luke Phillips (7) and Liam Moffat (1) before Steven Fisher (17) was trapped by Jamie Thomson.

That made the score 102-9 before the end came when Chris Beales (1) was run out, leaving Lee Sparks 12 not out.

Shaikh collected 5-31, Grindley 2-32 and Thomson 1-31 for a Blackpool team who had a revised target of 117 from 31 overs.

Liam Moffat (2-52) dismissed Tomas King (4) and Josh Boyne (7) to leave Blackpool 19-2 but Shaikh and Kasim Munir took the game away from Lancaster.

They added 97 before Shaikh was out to Beales (1-7) for 56 and one run needed for victory, leaving Munir 48 not out.

Defeat leaves Lancaster occupying the second relegation place with 74 points to their name, 27 behind third-bottom Leyland with seven games remaining.

The first of those comes this Saturday when they make the trip to Kendal (12.30pm).

Saturday’s wet weather also meant the second XI’s Moore and Smalley Palace Shield division three match with New Longton was abandoned.

Both teams took two points, leaving Lancaster occupying sixth position in the table.