Leyland snatch defeat from jaws of victory in cup final

Leyland skipper Dave Makinson
Leyland skipper Dave Makinson

Leyland were left red faced in the Readers Cup final as a spectacular batting collapse handed Darwen a tight victory.

David Makinson’s side were cruising to victory as they were 100 without loss chasing Darwen’s 197-4 off 40 overs.

But as Leyland lost wickets at the top of the order, several batsmen felt the pressure and the Fox Lane side were skittled out for 190 in front of a strong home crowd.

For Darwen, it was their first Readers Cup final win since 2010.

Sub-pro Daryn Smit was the star of Darwen’s innings afterAmmer Mirza fell to the bowling of Luis Reece.

South African Smith, who is averaging more than 100 for current club Ramsbottom, made 80 from 88 balls to push the total up towards 200.

Chris Clarke scored an unbeaten 46, his knock including five fours and one six.

A highlight of the innings was Clarke’s unbelievable switch hit off Reece for six.

Seven bowlers were used in the Darwen innings, Reece taking 2-48 whilst Karl Cross and Makinson took a wicket a piece.

Leyland got off to a flyer in their run chase.

Reece and Chris Parkinson took the score past 100 in just 18 overs.

But no sooner than reaching 50, Parkinson fell to the bowling of David Bowden.

Leyland were still well on top at 127-1, but the loss of wickets sparked a collapse.

John Cordingley turned the game taking a superb one handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Reece to leave Leyland at 143-5.

The hosts recovered to 175-5 but when Andrew Makinson was out for 23, Darwen were back in the game.

Leyland needed 12 off the final two overs, but Darwen’s Burke removed Cross and Dave Makinson to seal a seven run victory.

On Saturday, Leyland got a winning draw away at reigning champions Blackpool.

Leyland compiled 264-2 thanks to a second-wicket stand of 196 between Reece and overseas amateur Richardt Frenz, who both hit centuries.

Coming together at 16-1, Reece scored 106 from 130 balls and Frenz 117 from 131.

Christi Viljoen hit 143 in the Blackpool reply but as he departed Blackpool had to settle for a draw.

Chorley were without a game due to a bye.

On Saturday, Chorley travel to Barrow and Leyland host Morecambe.