Final disappointment as Fleetwood take T20 title

Morecambe opener Josh Dixon.

Morecambe opener Josh Dixon.

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Morecambe fell at the final hurdle as they enjoyed their first Northern League finals day since 2010.

Josh Dixon’s men beat Netherfield by seven wickets in the semi-final but then lost out to Fleetwood as the hosts took their second T20 crown on home soil on Sunday.

Having seen Gareth Pedder (49) and Saeed Anwar Jnr (41) guide them to victory in the last four Morecambe went into the final in high spirits.

Dixon continued with the same team, leaving extra seamer Irfan Quayyum on the sidelines as he lost the toss and was asked to bowl.

Eddy Read tore out of the blocks showing his class ripping both Fleetwood professional Travis Dean and paid man Adam Parker from the crease thanks to two smart catches from Anwar Jnr and Dixon respectively.

Morecambe’s bowling was immaculate all afternoon, but Dean Bell and overseas amateur Patrick Ashton dug in for Fleetwood.

Morecambe continued to plug away, Bell was to fall as were a flurry of middle order wickets but Ashton stood strong – the Australian first grade cricketer enabling Fleetwood to tackle some tough challenges.

Jake Smith again bowled superbly to collect himself three wickets aided by some outstanding glove work from Steven Fisher behind the stumps.

The 16-year-old standing in for Lewis Edge showed his brilliance with a succession of stumpings and immaculate catching behind.

Fleetwood would eventually lose Ashton, however gritty skipper Mat Clarke ensured that on a wearing pitch his side made 93 which would be a challenge for this young Morecambe team.

A challenge it proved to be too, as sticking with the same order as the semi-final Pedder was soon back home as Parker set to work.

What he had lacked with the bat was replaced with the ball as he tore through the Morecambe top three.

Wickets tumbled in quick succession as both he and Dean found grip and extremely variable bounce on a pitch that was tired after a full day’s cricket.

Morecambe were in tatters when Ryan Pearson was trapped in front and when eventual man of the match James Amor took full advantage of the bounce to outfox Anwar the game was up for Morecambe.

They limped to just 40 all out as Fleetwood won in style extracting all they could from the conditions and bowling superbly to run out deserved winners on a fine day of Northern League cricket.