Lancaster recover from early wobble to reach target and stay third in table

Lancaster's Ben Simm. Picture: Tony North.
Lancaster's Ben Simm. Picture: Tony North.

Lancaster kept the pressure up at the top of the Palace Shield Premier Division on Saturday with a four wicket victory over Fylde at Moorland Road.

Home captain Anthony Ellison decided to put his team into bat first but Flyde were only able to muster 102-8 from their 40 overs.

Openers Matthew Johnson (10) and Jack Davies (16) both fell to Charlie Swarbrick (3-27), the former was out LBW while the latter was bowled.

Swarbrick struck again when he got rid of Usama Abrar (0), which brought Benjamin Anderson to the crease.

The Fylde batsman managed a top scoring knock of 22 before being bowled by Lancaster captain Ben Simm (3-24), and the spinner took another wicket when he got rid of Samuel Davies (4).

Craig Outram reached 19 but he too fell, Liam Moffat (2-10) claiming the wicket, while Simm struck once more, this time removing captain Ellison.

Joseph Lund could only manage a single run before being bowled by Moffat, leaving Anthony Churchill (14no) and Daniel Smith (1no) to see the innings out with a below par score.

While he didn’t take a wicket, Rahul Gupta still contributed with the ball with figures of 0-41.

Despite being in a strong position, Lancaster got off to a very poor start.

Jack Bagness only managed a knock of two before being bowled by Ellison (2-21) while fellow opener Steven Fisher (4) was caught by Alec Davies off Churchill (2-40).

Charlie Swarbrick has been in inspirational form this season but he didn’t score a single run on Saturday, he was caught by Johnson off Churchill as Lancaster’s order looked in danger of collapsing.

Things got even worse when Jamie Heywood was dismissed for just one, Ellison bowling him, but from there the visitors started to get to grips with the Fylde bowling.

Thomas Newark (26) and Laurie Atkinson (32no) steadied the innings and put on a match winning partnership before Newark was caught by Davies off Usama Abrar (2-17).

Lee Sparks came and went without scoring, he was bowled by Abrar, but Lancaster weren’t to be denied as Atkinson and Simm (26no) saw their side over the line, finishing on 103-6 in 26.4 overs.

Lancaster picked up 11 points and sit in third in the table, just three points off the top.