Longridge hold nerve to beat South Shore

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With one or two enforced changes, Nick Wilkinson took his in-form 2nd XI to South Shore to take on their first team, and on a bright and breezy Blackpool afternoon he won the toss and elected to bat.

Openers Jamieson and Howarth got off to a confident start, reaching 40 in no time, before Howarth edged a wide one to slip for 20.

Young Andrew Simpson and Matt Joyce both then fell in quick succession, to leave Longridge facing a minor collapse.

Jamieson continued to take the attack to South Shore, however, and at one stage looked like he was going to set a total on his own.

He raced to 48 before being bowled by Rowley ,and another couple of quick wickets left the Longridge innings in tatters.

Maxwell Nelson was joined by Alec Hough, and with only 20 overs gone, time in the middle was the only thought.

Both batsmen started to build patiently, and as the scoreboard ticked slowly at first, the innings began to be rebuilt.

Nelson’s timing was immaculate as he accelerated the scoring, and Hough then also started to clear the ropes with some fine hitting.

Hough reached his 50 in the penultimate over, and when Nelson was bowled for an excellent 47 in the last over, the pair had put on a century stand and given the visitors an unexpected 229-8 at tea.

In reply, Will Baines removed Jardine for just four, and Longridge were in confident mood.

Rowley, however, had other ideas, and scored freely, showing some real quality.

A couple of wickets fell which kept Longridge in the game, but when Penney and Rowley started scoring sixes for fun, the game had turned completely in favour of South Shore, and a large vocal home crowd started to enjoy the runfest.

Wilkinson had to do something, and brought Baines back into the attack and gave Hough the nod from the other end.

Rowley was cleaned up with the first ball from Baines’ second spell for a magnificent 91. You could feel the tension all around the ground, and when Wilkinson led by example to take two huge catches in the deep, the game swung once more to favour Longridge.

Hough displayed a real calmness under pressure and ripped the heart out of the home side with three wickets in four balls to wrap up a hard-fought victory.