Morecambe and Netherfield can't be separated in Woodhill Lane classic
Morecambe and Netherfield played out a Northern League classic at Woodhill Lane on Saturday as 259 played 259 in a thrilling tie.
Eddy Read took five wickets as the Cumbrians posted a huge total batting first, thanks in the main to Ben Phillips’ unbeaten century.
It looked a daunting task for the hosts but the game went right down to wire, sub pro Daryn Smith hitting 125 while skipper Josh Dixon was run out off the final ball for 95.
Asked to have a bowl, Morecambe struggled early on as Nathan Dixon struck five boundaries in his breezy 25.
Dixon became Read’s first victim however with Tommy Clough soon removing Netherfield skipper Ben Barrow.
Phillips and professional Tom Bruce then combined to swing the game back in the visitors’ favour, taking the game to the Morecambe bowlers.
John Huck continued the aggressive mood combining with the elegance of Phillips until the returning Read had him caught at mid-off by Dixon.
Phillips carried on unperturbed however a plethora of boundaries enabling him to reach a well-deserved century to guide his team to 259-7. Read finishing with 5-102.
Gareth Pedder departed right at the start of Morecambe’s reply but South African Smit, Ramsbottom’s professional, soon settled in alongside Mark Woodhead.
When Woodhead departed for 14 however, bowled by Nathan Chambers, Morecambe were rocking and needed some stability.
They got it through their skipper, Dixon and Smit ensuring the hosts reached drinks with no real alarm.
The positive cricket then began to flow, Smit strong as ever through the leg side hitting several boundaries which began to increase the run rate.
Then when Dixon hit Bruce for three maximums it really was game on at Woodhill Lane.
Smit brought up his century with five overs to go with Morecambe in the box seat at 214-2.
Netherfield were firmly on the backfoot but got the lifeline they needed out of nothing with 20 needed from 10 balls.
Smit went big into the legside and for all the world the ball looked to be sailing for six only for Bradley Earl to pull off a spectacular catch at long on.
Lewis Edge entered the fray and played his part by striking a maximum to set up a grandstand final over.
Eight needed became a single from the final ball with Dixon on strike.
With the field up Daniel Ingham delivered an excellent full delivery which skipper Dixon could only hit straight to Bruce who in a foot race beat the captain to his ground removing the bails leaving the scores level and Dixon agonisingly run out for 95.