Morecambe CC defeat a St Annes side including Andrew Flintoff on the opening day
Morecambe CC’s return to the Northern Premier Cricket League saw them post a four-wicket win against St Annes at Woodhill Lane.
The club’s first match at NPCL level following relegation in 2018 saw Ryan Pearson’s players get the better of a visiting team who had named Andrew Flintoff in their XI.
The Lancashire and England great, who started his career at St Annes before turning out for them again seven years ago, teamed up with his 15-year-old son Corey, who also formed part of their line-up.
St Annes had won the toss and chose to bat first with Alex Bradley and skipper Tom Higson putting on 43 for the first wicket.
Bradley (8) fell victim to Liam Moffat, triggering a collapse which saw seven wickets fall for 31 runs.
Higson fell three runs later, again to Moffat, having struck seven boundaries in his 42-ball knock of 36.
Tommy Clough accounted for Luke Jardine (6) to leave St Annes 57-3 before Ashar Zaidi got in on the act.
He sent back Nathan Bolus (6) before accounting for both Flintoffs, Corey (2) and Andrew (3), while Clough dismissed Thomas Bradley (0) as St Annes slumped to 74-7.
Nathan Armstrong and Mitch Bolus stemmed the tide with a stand of 29, ended when the latter was run out for 16.
Armstrong (22) followed nine runs later, another victim for Zaidi to leave St Annes 112-9.
However, the last pair of Matthew Yeadon (19 not out) and Harry Birkman (25 not out) rallied as they put on an unbroken 42 in taking St Annes to 154-9 at the close.
Zaidi claimed 4-22 from 15 overs with Clough picking up 2-35 and Moffat 2-40.
In reply, Morecambe lost Luke Pearson (12) to Mitch Bolus early on before Gareth Pedder and Charlie Swarbrick carried on their progress.
That ended when Corey Flintoff dismissed Pedder (17) to leave Morecambe 49-2.
Swarbrick and Zaidi then seemingly broke the back of the run chase, adding 55 for the third wicket.
Much of the scoring was done by Swarbrick, who top-scored with 55 before falling victim to Birkman, who quickly sent back Zaidi (9).
He followed that up with the scalp of Jamie Heywood (1) as Morecambe lost three wickets for nine runs in slipping to 113-5.
Ryan Pearson and Kieran Moffat then steadied the ship, adding 33 for the sixth wicket and taking Morecambe to within sight of victory.
Higson accounted for Kieran Moffat (15) but the captain was 27 not out and Reuben Orr four not out as Morecambe claimed victory, reaching 157-6 with 11 balls left.
Morecambe’s seconds did the double with a 114-run victory in the reverse fixture at Vernon Road.
Morecambe batted first and were all out for 232, Ben Dobson leading the way with 62 from only 56 balls.
Another of Andrew Flintoff’s children, Rocky, claimed 4-49 for St Annes, who could only muster 118 all out in their reply.
Morecambe’s attack shared around the wickets, though Jack Bird claimed 3-21.
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