Alex Diver

Thursday, 13 August 2020 15:33



Quarter Finals To be played Mon 31st August or sooner if both teams agree
Suggest 3pm start but can be different by agreement
Panel Umpires so please confirm arrangements

QF1 Winners C v Runners Up A
QF2 Winners B (St Annes) v Runners Up C
QF3 Winners A (Fulwood & Broughton)  v Runners Up D
QF4 Winners D v Runners Up B (Longridge)

Semi-Finals To be played Sun 6th September, again suggest 3pm start but please confirm
SF1 QF1 Winners v QF2 Winners
SF2 QF4 Winners v QF3 Winners

Final To be played Sun 13th September, 3pm suggested
SF2 Winners v SF1 Winners

The quarter finals must be played on or by the bank holiday Monday with bowl outs if necessary
Depending on how the Saturday fixtures pan out and the weather forecast, we may consider reserve dates for semis and finals
but will only decide after the quarter finals are complete.

Thursday, 13 August 2020 15:31


Please remind all your players about social distancing on and off the
pitch.  We have had a couple of reports through but it may be happening
more often than get reported.  If they want to get together at the fall
of a wicket they must remain 2m apart.  As a simple rule, someone should
be able to walk through the ‘huddle’ without touching anyone (not
suggesting anyone does).

Similarly, there are a lot of important games this weekend and the
weather had been good so any clubs with bars may find increased interest
and spectator numbers.  Please remember to ensure spectators follow the
appropriate rules in your area when inside and outside.  Some clubs in
the Bolton area were visited last weekend by the police and one was
asked to close.

Parts of our area are facing increased lockdowns so we need to ensure
that cricket is following the regulations.  If pictures appear in the
press or on social media showing groups of players or spectators failing
to follow the guidelines, some members of the public may feel aggrieved
if this is going on when they can't sit in their parent's garden - and
there could be a backlash.

This weekend actually represents the mid-point of our plans for the
season so we need to remain focussed so that we can conclude the
remaining fixtures.

PS  Don't forget to put the results on promptly!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:20


Stage 2 Format

At each level, the top 2 in each group will go into a Gold play-off.  The next 2 into a Silver Play-off and the others into a Bronze Play-off.  Where there are 8 teams, this will entail 2 groups of 4 playing 3 matches.  Then the top 2 in each will play semis, finals and ¾ play off.  The others can also play further games in the same pattern.  Smaller groups will have a different set -up.

Level 1 – Phase 1 Current Position         

St Annes will win Group 1 and go into the gold group.  Blackpool are second having completed their group games but could be caught by any of the other three teams.

Group 2 has Fulwood at the top but, if they lose to Longridge, any of the current top 4 could make up the Gold teams.  Preston and Kirkham will be in the bronze group.

Group 3 has Leyland in the lead but could be caught by Chorley or Eccleston.  Penwortham will be in the bronze group.

Morecambe and Netherfield will qualify for gold from Group 4 with their match next week deciding the group winners.  Lancaster and Kendal will both be in the silver group.

Phase 2 will be 8 Gold and Silver with 5 in Bronze playing 4 games in the group.

Level 2 – Phase 1 Current Position         

Group 1 is wide open with 4 potential group winners.  Lytham II will be in the bronze group.

Leyland II and Hoghton will qualify for the gold group from group 2 with the remaining 4 teams vying for the remaining places in silver.

In group 3, it is very close for the top spots between New Longton, Rufford and Mawdesley.  Tarleton will be in the bronze. 

Longridge II have qualified for gold from group 4 with the next 3 teams contesting the other spot.  Garstang II will be in the bronze.

Phase 2 will have 8 in each of the Gold, Silver and Bronze groupings.

Level 3 – Phase 1 Current Position         

In group 1, Whittingham will win the group and go into the gold group.  The next four teams could all come second and Ingol will be in the bronze.

In group 2, it is a 3-way fight at the top for the 2 gold places and a 3 way fight at the bottom to get the 4th spot for silver.  Preston II will be in the bronze.

In group 3, Walton-le-Dale will qualify for the gold with up to 4 teams potentially second.    White Coppice will finish in the bronze.

In group 4,four teams have the same points and could also be caught by 5th place.  Bretherton will be in the bronze.

Phase 2 will have 8 in each of the Gold, Silver and Bronze groupings.

Level 4 – Phase 1 Current Position         

In group 1, Wyre, Norcross and South Shore II are in contention for the top two places. 

In group 2, Wrea Green II and Kirkham II will go into the gold with Ingol II and Wyre II going into the silver.

In group 3, Hoghton II, Whittle-le-Woods II and Walton-le-Dale II could all finish in the top 2.  Longridge IV and BAC/EE II will be in the silver.

In group 4, Darwen III, Withnell Fold II and Tarleton III are level on points with Charnock St James in the silver.

Phase 2 will have 8 in the Gold group and 2 groups of 5 for silver playing 4 games and no play-off.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:17
I have attached a couple of documents. The plan shows the progress on phase 1 and the phase2 document shows how it is panning out for phase 2. This will all be decided at the weekend and we can only really do any fixtures etc once all the results are in. Therefore, it is imperative that no results are late. If any are, we will need to look at fines because delays will affect everyone.

The plan is that the group winners will get 2 home games. This may alter lower down as if, say Leyland and Leyland II finish top of their groups, both teams cannot have 2 home games at the next stage. Hopefully, it will all be simple but it is likely to be Monday before we can confirm fixtures starting the following Saturday.

We have acquired 5 refurbished trophies and these will be given to the winners of the 4 gold finals and the 20/20 competition. Three of these trophies have been named after people who have contributed a great deal to cricket in the local area and who sadly passed away earlier this year. These will be given as follows:

Level 1 Charles W Walsh

Level 2 Len Hackett

Level 3 Graham Lee

The final two trophies have been named after people who have contributed a great deal to cricket in the area and are happily still with us. These are:

Level 4 Colin Dawber

20/20 Tommy Wilson

For the second phase of games, we will be looking more closely at player eligibility for the second, third and fourth teams and, in general, someone who had played more than 50% higher up, should only play in a lower team if permission is given. This enables us to cater for players being dropped, out of form or not being used but also to stop teams over strengthening the lower teams. If in doubt, please ask.

If you have any questions about the second phase of games, please let me know and we'll try to find you an answer. If we think it might apply across the board, we will let everyonr know.
Monday, 10 August 2020 18:43

Morecambe, Lancashire

Morecambe’s 100 per cent start to the cricket season ended on Saturday when they suffered a three-wicket loss against Lancaster.

Seven days after winning the reverse fixture, a disappointing display with the bat was to prove costly despite their bowlers’ best efforts.

Having chosen to bat first at Lune Road, Morecambe found themselves all out for 110 with four overs remaining.

Their openers provided a solid enough platform before Jamie Heywood was run out for 19 and Luke Pearson fell for an innings-high 32.

However, the remainder of the top order fell away with Charlie Swarbrick (4), Ryan Pearson (11) and Gareth Pedder (1) all dismissed by Abdul Rehman Shah.


For his part, Luke Pearson fell victim to Ben Simm who ran through the remainder of the Morecambe innings.

He got the better of Alex Briggs (10), Kieran Moffat (4), Andrew Creech (10), Graeme Cassidy (0) and Tommy Clough (1) to end the Morecambe innings.

That gave him bowling figures of 6-19 from eight overs, while Shah claimed 3-26.

In reply, Morecambe’s bowlers did their best to regain the initiative.


Clough got rid of Lewis McGinley (14) and Craig Heywood (7), Gareth Pedder accounted for Steven Fisher (6) and Danny Welbourne (0), while Kieran Moffat sent back Laurie Atkinson (13).

Though Lancaster benefited from 22 extras during their reply, the key innings came from Surath Bastola.

He made 29 from only 32 balls to take Lancaster nearer their target before being dismissed by Swarbrick.

There was still time for Shah (8) to be out, LBW to Liam Moffat, but Simm and Lee Marshall were both six not out as Lancaster took victory on 111-7 with three balls remaining.


Clough led the Morecambe bowling with 2-7, while Pedder chipped in with 2-26.

Swarbrick claimed 1-12, Liam Moffat 1-19 and Kieran Moffat 1-23.

It means Morecambe and Netherfield can’t be caught at the top of Group D in the round-robin stages of the competition replacing the Northern League and Palace Shield for this year.

Morecambe are top with 12 points from four games, ahead of Netherfield on runs/wickets differential.


Kendal are third on four points, ahead of bottom-placed Lancaster on the same method.

The final opening stage matches take place this Saturday with the top two meeting at Netherfield, while Lancaster take the trip to Kendal.

Monday, 10 August 2020 18:40

Garstang, Lancashire

Garstang CC captain Mark Walling led by example as they took a six-wicket win at Preston on Saturday.

Chasing the home team’s 187-8, Garstang secured victory as they posted 191-4 and took the spoils.

Preston had chosen to bat first with openers Imran Jethva and Imran Patel giving them a solid platform.

Jethva top-scored with 49 before he was dismissed by Ian Walling (1-35), while Patel’s innings of 44 ended when he was bowled by Mohammed Yusuf (1-30).

In comparison to the opener pair’s performances, the rest of the Preston batting fell away rather.


Suhel Patel (20 not out), Suhel Patel Jnr (20) and Mohammed Harish (23) all made starts but Garstang took wickets at regular intervals.

Mark Walling and Toby Lush ran out Nizam Patel (0) and Husein Yusuf (3) respectively, while Ben Woodruff (1-37) picked up the wicket of Mohsin Patel (1).

It was Thomas Speake who checked Preston’s progress with three late wickets, sending back Patel Jnr, Harish and Amjad Malik (0) to take 3-27.

Garstang’s reply saw them lose both openers cheaply with Fayaz Ughradar (3) and Michael Wellings (7) falling victim to Imran Patel and Siva Sai respectively.


However, Mohammed Yusuf and Mark Walling took the impetus away from Preston before the former was out for 33, dismissed by Nizam Patel.

Dan Curwen (2) fell cheaply to Husein Yusuf but Mark Walling and Ian Walling teamed up to take Garstang home.

The skipper belied an indifferent run of scores this season to finish 85 not out while Ian Walling followed last week’s half-century with 45 not out.


Longridge CC's batsmen set up comfortable victory

Longridge CC bounced back from defeat to Garstang seven days earlier with a 42-run defeat of Great Eccleston.

Their batsmen laid the platform for a third victory in four games as they posted 228-5 after being asked to bat first at Newsham.

Despite losing opener John Simpson (4) early on in their innings, the rest of the Longridge top order made good contributions.

Fellow opener Luke Platt was joined by Josh Holden and both recorded half-centuries.

Platt made 52 and Holden top-scored with 54, while Daniel Wilkinson Jnr made 36 and James Whitehead was undefeated on 42 at the close.


In reply, Great Eccleston’s top order performed solidly but Longridge managed to keep them at arm’s length.

Will Thistlethwaite (22) and Matthew Moat (29) got starts before being dismissed by Dan Wilson and Rory McDowell respectively.

Joe Davies top-scored with 54 but he was one of two victims for Ian Simpson (2-43), who also dismissed Michael Rigby.

There was still time for Wilson (2-33) to send back Phil Booth as Great Eccleston ended on 186-7.

Monday, 10 August 2020 18:38


Fulwood and Broughton made it four wins out of four in the amalgamated Northern League and Palace Shield competition after beating Kirkham and Wesham.

Their 106-run victory at the Woodlands was not without incident, play held up at one point by a member of the public coming on to the field of play and sitting on the wicket.


It took the arrival of a police officer for the man to end his one-man protest.

F&B batted first and put a commanding 231-6 on the scoreboard.

Opening pair Mark Smith and Matthew Rosbottom laid the foundations with strong performances.


Rosbottom hit eight fours and a six on his way to a knock of 68, while Smith struck 41.

Simon Kerrigan added 42 and Matthew Smith an unbeaten 26.

Kirkham and Wesham were 125 all out in reply, their last wicket falling in the 36th over. Andrew Hogarth hit 27 and Sean Bovington 21.

There were three wickets for Matthew Smith, while Kerrigan, Dominic Jackson and Jon Fenton took two apiece.


Behind F&B in Group B 
are Longridge and Garstang who both recorded victories at the weekend.

Longridge were 42-run winners over Great Eccleston at the Newsham Memorial Ground.

After being asked to bat first, Longridge were 228-5 in their 40 overs.

There were half-centuries from Luke Platt (52) and Joshua Holden (54), with James Whitehead hitting 42.


Great Ecc fell short in their reply, closing on 186-7, Joe Davies top-scoring with 54.

Garstang’s visit to Preston saw them record a six-wicket victory.

It was an entertaining clash at West Cliff, the game going to the final three balls.

Preston went into bat first after winning the toss and put a decent 187-8 on the board.


Openers Imran Jethva and Imran Patel hit 49 and 44 respectively , with Mohammed Harish adding 23 lower down the order.

Garstang bowler Thomas Speake returned tidy figures of 3-27.

The visitors replied with 191-4 to claim victory in 39.3 overs.

They lost both openers quickly but Mohammed Yusuf scored 33 batting at three.


Mark Walling hit a game changing 85 not out, with him joined at the crease by his brother Ian Walling who scored an unbeaten 45

Elsewhere, Leyland are in pole position to progress from Group C in the Northern League/Palace Shield competition after a comprehensive victory over Penwortham.

Wins for Chorley and Eccleston kept them on the tails of Leyland though, ahead of the final round of this group’s games this weekend.

Following an opening-day wash-out, Leyland have won three games on the bounce.


They were far too strong for Penwortham – prevailing by 10 wickets in a one-sided contest at Middleforth Green.

A superb all-round bowling performance set Leyland – who were skippered by Andrew Makinson in the absence of his dad David – on their way as the hosts were skittled for just 67 inside 28 of the allotted 40 overs.

Iain Critchley was the pick of the bowlers taking 3-4, while there were two wickets apiece for Karl Cross, Nathan McDonnell and Joe Shackleton.

Only opening batsman Nipun Madaan got to grips with the conditions as he top scored with 21.


Martyn Brierley and Maji Rajdeep scored 10 and 13 respectively.

In reply, the visitors cruised to victory,with the openers Kurtis Watson and Jacob Wright taking just 12.4 overs to hit the winning runs.

Watson was the aggressor, smashing two sixes and eight boundaries in his 41-ball knock of 44.

Wright was slightly more circumspect, providing the support for his partner but still managed to hit three fours in his score of 17.


Chorley remain in the hunt to finish on top after a thrilling victory over valiant Euxton at Windsor Park.

Jack Shovelton (25) and  James Bone (22) gave the visitors innings a solid foundation, but it was a superb 49 by Stuart Cooper which allowed Euxton to post a total of 139 all out.

In reply, the home side lost wickets at regular intervals but a fine unbeaten partnership from Harry Barclay steadied the nerves as Andrew Holdsworth’s men edged to victory with four balls and three wickets to spare.

Eccleston beat Vernon Carus by one wicket at Factory Lane, courtesy of a fine run chase.

Hosts Vernons elected to bat first after winning the toss and posted 197-8. Ian Dunn struck 79 at the top of the order, Matthew Stevenson hitting 45 and Wes Royle 29.

It was a challenging chase for Eccleston but they achieved victory with two balls to spare.

Jamie Maitland hit 48, with Matthew Ashcrodt and David Hewson both scoring 32.

In Group A, St Annes beat Lytham by three runs, with Thornton Cleveleys winning against Blackpool. 

Further north, Lancaster beat Morecambe by three wickets in Group D, with Netherfield beating Kendal.

Monday, 10 August 2020 18:35


Having been asked to bat first by their hosts, St Annes were all out for 154 with more than six-and-a-half of their 40 overs remaining.

However, they managed to hold on for victory after restricting Lytham to 151-6 in reply.

After a steady start, St Annes lost three wickets for nine runs in falling from 22-0 to 31-3.

First to go was Tom Higson (17), followed by Nathan Armstrong (0), both dismissed by Thomas Hessey, before Richard Openshaw accounted for Nathan Bolus (11).

Mohammed Nadeem (27) and Ryan Ayres (26) steadied the ship, adding 65 for the fourth wicket before both were out with the score on 96.

That pattern continued as, after a stand of 17 took them to 113-5, St Annes lost two further wickets without scoring as Chris Cartmell sent back Ben Reader (11) and Matt Yeadon (0).

Richard Staines (18) fell to Openshaw, who also accounted for Mitch Bolus (0), while Hessey ended the innings by dismissing Thomas Bradley (21).

Hessey led the Lytham attack with figures of 4-31, while Openshaw took 3-38 and Chris Cartmell 3-30 

Lytham’s reply began at a scoring rate that was steady rather than spectacular.

Matthew Cartmell (23) and Myles Child (24) added 45 for the first wicket but faced 44 and 64 deliveries respectively.

Toby Lester (16) and Guy Roberts (9) were next to go before Tom Jefferson (2) and Ben Saunders (14) were dismissed to leave Lytham 98-6.

Skipper Matt Taaffe and Hessey added an unbroken 53 at a brisk pace but they were unable to get their side over the line.

Curtis Fletcher (2-19), Yeadon (2-25) and Nadeem (1-23) took the wickets.


Thornton Cleveleys were also victorious as their bowlers routed Blackpool.

Thornton had only made 95-9 in their 40 overs but their attack decimated the Blackpool batting and saw them all out for 34 in reply, Blackpool's lowest batting score since the 1950's.

After asking Thornton to bat first, Blackpool saw Josh Boyne take 3-21 and Tomas King 2-21 in restricting their batsmen.

Richard Jenkinson (15) and Rick Blampied (13) were the only players into double figures, though 25 wides helped ‘extras’ to top score in the innings with 30.

The Blackpool reply, however, was one long story of woe as six batsmen were out without scoring and Boyne top-scored with 16.

Jake Apperley was the chief destroyer, finishing with figures of 7-14 while Daniel Howard (2-19) and Greg Tirrell (1-0) took the other wickets to fall.

Friday, 31 July 2020 12:41

Fulwood and Broughton will look to continue their strong start to the delayed season when they host Preston at Highfield on Saturday.


F&B opener Mark Smith is pleased to be back at the crease after the three-month delay to the start of the season.

However some of the safety protocol has taken some getting used to.

Smith said: “It is different but it’s not too bad – at least we are playing again.


“Once you start playing it all seems normal and then you get a reminder every six overs when there is the hygiene break to wash your hands and disinfect the cricket ball.

“We aren’t using dressing rooms, instead it is a tent or gazebo.

“There are no teas, which is a big blow for me being a connoisseur of cricket teas – that is normally my favourite meal of the week!

“This is an amalgamation of the Northern League and the Palace Shield, it has been localised so you are playing some teams who you might not have met for a while.


“The other week we played Great Eccleston who we used to be in the Palace Shield with, so it was nice to catch up with friends there.

“Last week we played Garstang who went up with us to the Northern League, then it’s Preston on Saturday.

“They were a Northern League side when we were in the Palace Shield.

“The cricket still has a competitive feel, that hasn’t changed.”

F&B beat Garstang by 103 runs last week.

Strong knocks from Matthew Smith (69) and skipper Simon Kerrigan (67) played a big part in the win.

Mark Smith said: “In the last few years Garstang have had the edge on us and tended to beat us, so it was nice to get the win this time.

“We have got Simon Kerrigan playing, who would have been our pro had we played league cricket.


“He’s not playing as a pro in the circumstances but it’s a chance to play some cricket half a mile from his home.

“Kegs would normally have been playing a lot of cricket in the summer – for us on a Saturday and for Shropshire in Minor Counties during the week. I think Minor Counties is starting up again in a similar way to what we’ve been doing.”


Group A: Blackpool v Lytham, St Annnes v Fleetwood.

Group B: Fulwood and Broughton v Preston, Garstang v Longridge, Great Eccleston v Kirkham and Wesham.

Group C: Eccleston v Chorley, Euxton v Penwortham, Leyland v Vernon Carus.

Group D: Kendal v Netherfield, Morecambe v Lancaster.

All games start at 1pm.

Friday, 31 July 2020 09:39


Matt Taaffe is delighted with his winning start as Lytham Cricket Club captain and is relishing tomorrow’s test at Stanley Park.
Lytham have joined forces with their Northern Premier League and Palace Shield neighbours for this shortened season and played their opening match in the 40-over competition on Saturday.

Having defeated Thornton Cleveleys by 43 runs at Church Road, Lytham can now look forward to facing the Fylde coast’s NPL trio: Fleetwood, St Annes and, first, Blackpool this weekend.

Former St Annes player Taaffe, now in his fifth season with Lytham and his first as skipper, is delighted to be up and running.

He told The Gazette: “It’s nice to get off the mark. We got runs on the board after we were put in (208-5), then bowled and fielded well.

“Thornton Cleveleys competed well but I couldn’t have asked for much more as captain. Our batters all scored runs, then we bowled in good areas and took 10 wickets.

“It’s different to what we are used to – we play ‘time’ cricket, not limited overs in the Liverpool Comp – but everyone adapted well.


“I really like the competition. Having grown up playing for St Annes, there are a lot of familiar faces and local derbies. It’s friendly cricket but with a competitive edge and it’s good for us because we’ve eliminated the travel.”

Nobody adapted better than wicketkeeper Myles Child, who topped the scoring with 89 and then took three catches behind the stumps.

Taaffe, an experienced wicketkeeper himself, said: “Myles is a Lytham lad who has come through the junior and senior ranks. He’s floated between the first and second teams but he really took his chance. He has all the shots.”

Child can expect to keep his place and Taaffe doesn’t anticipate too many changes from week to week, though don’t rule out the occasional ‘special guest’ appearance by Lytham’s familiar faces from Old Trafford.

“It is possible that Steven Croft and Toby Lester could play,” added Taaffe. “Toby is perhaps the more likely this weekend as he comes back from injury.

“But we aren’t planning for having either of them and this competition is really about getting the balance right for next year. For instance, we gave a debut to Tim Woodman on Saturday and he’s only 15.

“We’ll have players unavailable because of holidays but I think the team will probably stay much the same.”

Unlike all their opponents in the round-robin, Lytham are not involved in T20 this season and so are fully focused on playing a Saturday competition in the most unusual circumstances.

“We’ve been well briefed on all the rules for this season and most of it is common sense,” adds Taaffe.

“We have a break every six overs for hand-sanitising and the captains have to sanitise the ball. But at the end of the day we’re playing cricket, so no complaints.”

Tomorrow’s other game in group A sees St Annes face Fleetwood. Like Blackpool and Lytham, both teams have four points from one win to date. Thornton Cleveleys sit out tomorrow.


Level 1 Group A: Blackpool v Lytham, St Annes v Fleetwood

Group B: Fulwood & Broughton v Preston, Garstang v Longridge, Great Eccleston v Kirkham & Wesham

Group C: Eccleston v Chorley, Euxton v Penwortham, Leyland v Vernon Carus

Group D: Kendal v Netherfield, Morecambe v Lancaster

Level 2 Group A: Fleetwood 2 v St Annes 2, Fylde v South Shore, Lytham 2 v Great Eccleston 2

Level 3 Group A: Blackpool 3 v Ingol, Thornton Cleveleys 2 v Grimsargh, Wrea Green v Whittingham and Goosnargh

Level 4 Group A: Norcross v Blackpool 4, South Shore 2 v Fylde 2

Group B: Kirkham and Wesham 2 v Wrea Green 2, Wyre 2 v Ingol 2

Blackpool tasted defeat for the first time in this season’s Twenty20 competition, while Thornton Cleveleys won a thriller against Great Eccleston.

Fulwood and Broughton left Stanley Park with a 26-run victory after setting Blackpool a total of 138-7 on Wednesday.

Mike Sambell top-scored with 31 from 17 balls (five boundaries), putting on 54 for the fifth wicket with Swapnil Singh Bist (22). Tomas King claimed 4-38 from four overs.

Blackpool, who had won the previous Group A game against Thornton Cleveleys, could only reach 112-7 in reply, captain Stuart Ashton leading the way with 22 from 26 balls.

Seven players bowled for F&B, six of them taking at least one wicket.

TC became the third team to register a win in the group, sealing a three-wicket success over Great Ecc thanks largely to Joshua Rolinson.

Rolinson’s 3-16 from four overs helped restrict the visitors to 118-7 (Richard Booth 35 from 40 balls) before his dominant batting display sealed victory with two balls to spare.

After Thornton’s top five had totalled just 21, Rolinson struck an unbeaten 59 from 35 balls. Phil Booth and Alexander Rhodes both took three wickets but couldn’t remove the matchwinner, who fired three fours and five sixes.

Group A resumes on Wednesday, when Blackpool visit Great Eccleston.


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