Batting shows little resistance as Leyland triumph at Fox Lane
Morecambe travelled to Leyland's Fox Lane ground on Saturday in search of 15 points to kickstart their stuttering title defence.
They were however met with some stern Leyland resistance as they ran through he Morecambe line up to claim the points themselves.
Arriving at Leyland it wasn’t clear which would be the afternoon’s pitch and a few eyebrows were raised when stand-in Leyland skipper Chris Parkinson opted to bat first.
His decision seemed even stranger when Eddy Read got the ball to shape beautifully to find the edge of Karl Cross’ bat.
Morecambe continued to probe through the returning Jono Gates who bowled wicket to wicket getting his just rewards removing the Leyland professional Richard Frenz with a ball that jagged back sharply through bat and pad.
Leyland continued to lose wickets at regular intervals as Morecambe skipper Josh Dixon changed his bowlers, bringing Jake Smith into the attack.
Alongside sub professional Daryn Smit, the former Lancashire CCC youngster bowled with control beating the outside edge on numerous occasions.
He was to get his reward when Nathan McDonnell’s patience ran out and he could only lob the ball to the skipper at cover.
With the Leyland line up running out of steam it was left to the powerful Andrew Makinson to change things.
Initially struggling with the leg spin of both Smit and Smith he lined up Jake Smith to strike three boundaries over the top, grasping hold of the game in the process.
Makinson wasn’t to survive to the close as Smit bowled him for a battling 31.
However, Dale Vardy (23) played a vital innings to get his side to a respectable total of 165-9 on a pitch which was now starting to show its true colours.
Morecambe’s response flew out of the blocks through Gareth Pedder, despite Dixon watching three out of the first six deliveries roll across the floor outside the off stump.
Pedder, the aggressor, tucked into the bowling of Steven Pallet early on and his quick scoring ability enabled Morecambe to accelerate onto 40 in just the eighth over.
With Leyland on the ropes and Pedder having smashed 11 from Karl Cross’ fourth over he went for one shot too many, only to find point’s hands.
From then on Leyland squeezed Morecambe with professional Daryn Smit (39) the only man to spend valuable time at the crease.
Wickets fell at regular intervals as Ross Bretherton and Henry Thompson worked their magic.
Morecambe reached 122 when playing for bonus points with the innings coming to a close when Tommy Clough played forward only to be struck on the pad and adjudged LBW to end the game.
Leyland took 15 points to Morecambe’s three.