Bruce blitz hands Netherfield win over Morecambe

Josh Dixon.
Josh Dixon.

Morecambe travelled across the border into Cumbria on Saturday only to be on the end of a batting masterclass.

Netherfield professional Tom Bruce hit 118 from just 89 balls to help the hosts to a massive 288-5 batting first.

Bottom of the table Morecambe battled hard in reply, captain Josh Dixon top scoring with 63, but ultimately fell exactly 100 runs short.

Winning the toss Netherfield skipper Ben Barrow (21) had no hesitation in batting first, punishing any loose offerings early on as he opened the innings.

Eddy Read removed Barrow’s opening partner James Johnson (8) with a delivery which jagged back sharply but it was hard work with the new ball.

Dixon soon made his first change, introducing Uzair Shah who removed Barrow well caught at point by Steven Fisher.

Bradley Earl (37) and professional Bruce however soon got into their stride, the paid man looking in imperious form as he hit a succession of boundaries.

Irfan Qayyum (1-37) returned to give an element of control claiming the wicket of Earl but he was only replaced by John Huck (63) whose intent was clear from the outset.

Both Huck and Bruce looked to go through the gears, the New Zealander hitting a series of maximums off the bowling of opposite number Saeed Anwar Jnr.

Huck soon reached his 50 while in the meantime Bruce brought up his century, a brutal innings ultimately ending on 118, caught at cover by Dixon off Read having struck nine fours and six sixes.

Huck was to depart soon after again well caught by Ryan Pearson as Anwar Jnr picked up his solitary wicket.

The damage had been done however and Morecambe started steadily in reply through Dixon and Gareth Pedder.

The pair added 39 before a change of bowling brought about the demise of Pedder, the opener driving hard but straight to Dylan Hoyle off the bowling of Lewis Richardson (1-14).

Morecambe were soon in trouble as Anwar Jnr’s troubles continued as he drove straight back to Marc Hadwin looking to go over the top, departing for just 2.

With the professional back in the tent it was very much down to Dixon and Lewis Edge (17) to stick in and graft for their team.

Edge, always aggressive, swept Marc Hadwin hard into the legside on a couple of occasions as his skipper came down the pitch to loft the spinner back over his head for successive boundaries.

But when Hadwin brilliantly bowled Edge around his legs Netherfield sensed with a couple more wickets would put them on the way to victory.

Pearson batted well with his skipper however taking advantage of the attacking field, Dixon bringing up his half century with a boundary into the legside as his fight continued.

Pearson (40) also seemed up for the battle, competing well as the runs began to flow.

Dixon then struck Bruce for 14 from his first over of the afternoon but when the captain fell for 63 it all but signalled the end of the game.

The score was only 135-4 but Pearson and Read (22) aside, the innings collapsed to 188 all out.