Morecambe beaten in cup final after dramatic last ball finish

Eddy Read.
Eddy Read.

Morecambe and Chorley played out a final ball thriller on Saturday with the winning runs being struck from the final delivery seeing Morecambe go down to a narrow defeat.

After a plethora of washed out games and an ill-timed week off, Morecambe’s first eleven returned to action and after losing the toss were instantly inserted to bat.

The early going for skipper Josh Dixon and professional Saeed Anwar Jnr was tough as the pair repelled the excellent Edwin Moulton, who showed real ability and was able to move the ball both ways off the seam.

Anwar Jnr soon got into his stride however as he struck Kieran Mcullagh for two well timed boundaries, the latter a glorious cover drive which brought a ripple of applause from the Chorley faithful.

The pair had added 35 when the bowling change came, and Chorley professional Nikone Paris was brought into the attack.

The West indian off spinner started slowly as Dixon was able to use his crease to great effect, swinging away a short delivery for a maximum.

Dixon’s progress was to be short lived as he was caught in two minds and was bowled with the score on 49.

Lewis Smith (11) showed real glimpses of his ability at this level as the 17-year-old struck two boundaries in his innings before being out in the cruellest of manners when backing up. Lewis Edge came and went, the wicketkeeper batsman will be hoping to come back next season full of runs.

His demise brought Ryan Pearson to the crease, his form during the second half of the season has been excellent and he went onto make and excellent 46.

The former Heysham man showed his strength, striking five fours and a six in his innings which included an array of sweeps to the spinners, showing real quality.

Pearson’s innings was supplemented by the returning Eddy Read (15*) and Adam Derham (10*) who ensured Morecambe reached 183.

With the sun beating down it was inevitable that the wicket would dry out and more importantly, flatten out.

With Eddy Read back in the Morecambe ranks after injury his team were bolstered in the bowling department and instantly he showed his quality snaring Ian Dickinson, well caught by Pearson.

Stuart Naden (18) battled hard alongside Edwin Moulton but the pressure told as Read was looking to be rampant, removing both Naden and professional Paris in quick succession.

However, the Moulton brothers, Edwin and Will, looked to manage the game and with several lusty blows early on it put the pressure back onto Morecambe.

Dixon looked to his professional Anwar Jnr who bowled with control but struggled to threaten the batsmen as the pitch flattened out and spin was at a minimum.

Izair Ullah bowled his usual tight line but with short boundaries straight down the ground he received the treatment on several occasions.

When he needs a wicket so often Dixon turns to Read and again his star bowler produced as Will Moulton was brilliantly caught in the deep by Ullah.

When Anwar Jnr then snared Edwin Moulton for an excellent 36 it was very much game on.

Andrew Holdsworth, however, was excellent – the experienced former skipper played a wonderful array of sweeps and scoops alongside conventional strokes to put his side within touching distance.

Dixon continued to tinker with the field to cut off his scorning strokes as the game entered the final over. With seven needed the game continued to be in the balance.

With the first delivery Ullah clean bowled Jack Bentham (17) and the pendulum started to swing, a single brought Holdsworth onto strike with devastating effect as he drove wonderfully through the covers to tie the scores at 183.

Two balls remained as the field came up, a dot was then followed by a wonderful ramp shot over the top to win the game a wonderful game of cricket to end a season.