Morecambe CC forced to settle for second spot after narrow Netherfield defeat
Morecambe CC suffered their second defeat of the season when they went down by four runs to Netherfield on Saturday.
It had been a battle of the top two in Group D of the one-off competition replacing the Northern League and Palace Shield for this year.
The match went Netherfield’s way as their bowlers held their nerve despite a 26-run last-wicket stand between Graeme Cassidy and Tommy Clough, which almost saw Morecambe home.
Netherfield batted first and posted 177-6 with Ben Barrow (28) dominating their opening stand of 29 before he was out to Liam Moffat (1-45).
Josh Dixon (0) was sent back by Cassidy (1-31) and Kieran Moffat picked (1-38) picked up the wicket of Thomas Anderton (8) as Netherfield were reduced to 55-3.
Their middle order rallied, however, with Bradley Earl and Finlay Richardson adding 51 for the fourth wicket.
Clough earned his first wicket with the dismissal of Earl (40), only for Richardson and Oli Wileman to post another half-century partnership.
They added 52 before Clough saw off Wileman (23) before picking up the late wicket of Richardson (43) to end with figures of 3-35.
Morecambe’s reply began solidly as openers Jamie Heywood and Luke Pearson put on 50 for the first wicket.
Heywood (17) was first to go, followed by Ryan Pearson (4) and Luke Pearson (34) as three wickets fell for only 16 runs to see Morecambe slip from 50-0 to 66-3.
Charlie Swarbrick led a recovery, adding 35 with Gareth Pedder (7) and another 24 with Alex Briggs before he was out for an innings-high 48.
Both Pedder and Swarbrick were dismissed by Theo Gallagher, who worked his way through the Morecambe middle and lower order.
He also accounted for Briggs (17), Andrew Creech (3) and Kieran Moffat (4) on his way to figures of 5-35.
Liam Moffat (3) departed to leave Morecambe 147-9 but Cassidy and Clough wouldn’t be separated.
However, despite Cassidy hitting 22 not out from only 13 balls and Clough seven not out from four deliveries, Morecambe finished on 173-9.
It meant Netherfield topped the group with four wins from five, four points ahead of Morecambe going into the next group stage.
The other match in the group saw Lancaster finish bottom after their fourth defeat in five, losing by 42 runs at Kendal.
The hosts batted first and were all out for 183, Ben Simm taking 4-43 as Darren Nightingale top-scored with 55.
Lancaster’s reply saw them finish on 141-8 as six batsmen made it into double figures but Faizan Khan top-scored with only 23.
Both Morecambe and Lancaster now go into a second group stage based on their respective Group D positions.
Morecambe’s second place sees them in a new group along with St Annes, Garstang and Leyland.
For their part, Lancaster come up against Fleetwood, Great Eccleston and Eccleston with the season due to be finished on Saturday, September 19.
Morecambe were back in action 24 hours later in their second T20 group game, which brought a 61-run loss to Garstang at Woodhill Lane.
The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first, eventually closing their 20 overs on 152-7.
Cassidy took 2-15 and Freddie Deeks 2-35 but Michael Walling’s 44 from 26 balls gave the visitors a fine platform on which to build.
In reply, Morecambe laboured to 91-7 as Cassidy top-scored with 18 not out, Danny Gilbert claiming 3-15 and Mohammed Yusuf 2-9.