Thirds’ cup victory sugars bitter pill for Longridge

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Moore and Smalley Palace Shield League Premier Division

Vernon Carus 133/6

Longridge 108

Vernon Carus came out on top of their battle with title rivals Longridge in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield.

The sides were first and second going into the Factory Lane clash, with the hosts 25-run winners.

Ian Dunn’s knock of 33 and an unbeaten 27 from Craig Cameron were the highlights of Vernons’ tally of 133-6.

Tom Howarth and Rory McDowell took two wickets apiece for Longridge.

In reply, the visitors were dismissed for 108, Kyle Helm top-scoring with 30 and Daniel Wilkinson hitting 25.

Paul Hayton reeled in 5-44 and Richard McCutcheon took 3-38.

Palace Shield Division One

Croston 1st 142/7

Longridge 2nd 41/7

Despite both opening bowlers for Longridge Dan Wilkinson and Oliver Lewis taking an early wicket each , the visitors middle order showed determined resistance. Childs played aggressively for his 32 runs but it was the brothers Sam Marsh with 51 and Jack Marsh with 31 who enabled to the visitors to set a competitive target of 142

Pick of the Longridge bowlers were the very promising juniors Alex Mason with 3 for 22 and Oliver Lewis 3 for 24.

In reply, Longridge got off to a steady if unspectacular start against some tight swing bowling

Lambert was dismissed for 23, and Barton for 16.

Fairclough and Mullin looked to play their shots and keep the hosts in the game , both batted well for 26 and 34 respectfully but after Mullin fell the match looked beyond them with 40 wanted off the last five overs.

Oli Pye and Oli Lewis took Longridge within grasp of victory with only three runs required off the final three deliveries to win.

However, Keith Marsh showed his experience, keeping his nerve to bowl Lewis with the final delivery and clinch victory for Croston by one run.

Palace Shield Division 2

Wrea Green 1st 129 /6

Longridge 3rd 112/9

The third team were looking to keep their winning run going and even though the weather initially had other idea the match was eventually set as a 24 over a side game.

Wrea Green batted first and Rob Child got off to a flying start. He batted aggressively throughout the innings and helped toward their final total of 129.

Longridge felt that if they batted well then a victory was well within their compass but three wickets fell in short succession for very few runs. Wood and Douglas mounted a recovery before Wood miscued a pull shot and was caught. Another flurry of wickets put the game beyond them. A rally at the end from Baines and Richmond brought a couple of points but in the end they were well beaten.

Palace Shield Crabtree Cup

Longridge 3rd 177

Fleetwood 3rd 143/8

Longridge travelled to Fleetwood eager to reach their first Crabtree Cup final since 1999.

As was the case on Saturday the top order failed and they were soon in deep trouble at 50 for 5. This brought together Mike Wood and Alan Simpson. With a combination of Wood’s power hitting and Simpson’s grittier approach the game was turned back in Longridge’s favour.

Simpson was first to his 50 but fell soon and Wood was eventually caught on the boundary for an entertaining 62 . Longridge finished on a competitive 177.

Danny Wilkinson dismissed Davis in the first over in the opening for Fleetwood.

Further wickets proved hard to come by initially but the bowlers kept the score down and the pressure finally told when they attempted a quick single to Andrew Simpson in the covers who made no mistake with the pick up and throw. Danger man Jack Wilkinson was eventually dismissed caught behind to Douglas and from that point on the scoreboard pressure was too much for the batsmen Longridge eventually winning by 34 runs.

Longridge meet Vernon Carus in the final on August 3 at Freckleton CC.