So close to seventh wicket heaven

Paul Holden took five wickets for Longridge
Paul Holden took five wickets for Longridge

Fulwood & Broughton 1st XI 197 All Out

Longridge CC 1st XI 186-9

Longridge travelled to local rivals Fulwood & Broughton on a run of form that has taken them to the top 3 of the Palace Shield Premier Division.

Despite the warm temperatures and cloud cover the home side won the toss and decided to bat first.

Ian Simpson made an early breakthrough removing Ben Parkinson for a duck but from then on wickets proved hard to come by as F&B took advantage of the short boundary.

Josh Edwards made a fluent 68 and was well supported by Joel Stinson before the change in bowling produced the breakthrough.

Brothers Paul and Neil Holden once again took valuable middle order wickets.

Patel fired a breezy 34 but from being in a position of threatening to score well over 200 the Longridge attack did a fine job of restricting the F&B batsmen to 197 all out at tea.

Paul Holden the pick of the bowlers with 5-54 from 12 overs, Neil Holden picking up 3-51 from 7.2 overs.

Dan Wilkinson jnr and Oliver Pye opened the response but neither managed to make an impact as the visitors slumped to 20-2.

Josh McDowell started to build an innings, then perished to Chris Brookes for 19 and Longridge were staring down the barrel at 50-5. The dismissal of Paul Holden made it 60-6 and the F&B bowlers threatened to run riot.

Kyle Helm joined Andy Simpson at the crease and the pair of them started rebuild in an attempt to rescue some credibility and batting points.

However, as the partnership grew so did their confidence and it was only the introduction of Chris Gunn into the Fulwood bowling attack that prevented an unlikely victory.

Simpson was bowled for a gutsy 39 and Helm caught behind for 43 having put on 90 for the seventh wicket and given the visitors a sniff of glory.

Sadly, despite the best efforts of Neil Holden, Ian Simpson and Roger Kaye at the death the home side held their nerve and Longridge couldn’t score the 20 runs they needed from the final two overs.

A fantastic effort by the middle order will give the skipper plenty of positives to take from a painful local derby defeat as the first team travel to Fylde this weekend.