Lamb’s heroic effort is not enough to claim final glory

Wicket: Leyland celebrate dismissing Blackpool's John Mounsey in the Readers Cup final but they were beaten
Wicket: Leyland celebrate dismissing Blackpool's John Mounsey in the Readers Cup final but they were beaten
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Leyland suffered Readers Cup final heartbreak despite a brilliant unbeaten 95 from Danny Lamb.

Blackpool won the toss and decided to bat with the services of Lancashire cricketers Steven Croft and Liam Livingstone at their disposal.

The latter was hired as their sub-professional while Croft was eligible to play due to his amateur connections to the club.

Leyland meanwhile called on the services of South African Devon Conway as normal pro Luis Reece was on county duty in Worcestershire.

Croft and John Mounsey opened the batting and instantly took a liking to the Leyland bowling – Andrew Makinson struggled with his lines and his five overs went for 29 runs.

Dale Jones claimed the first wicket by removing Mounsey for 11, but the loss of Mounsey only brought Livingstone to the crease.

Livingstone and Croft batted well, hitting shots to all ends of the ground as they both passed 50.

The breakthrough finally came when Blackpool were on 181 as sub pro Conway removed Croft for 75 after a smart catch by Jones.

Livingstone fell soon after as Conway claimed his second wicket thanks to a smart stumping from the soon-to-retire Adam Coates.

Tayyab Afsar then claimed his first wicket, removing Alex Smith, before Conway grabbed his third removing the dangerous Stephen Twist for 11.

Afsar then removed Paul Danson but Blackpool had still posted an excellent 238-6 off 40 overs.

In reply, Leyland posted 34 for the first wicket before Chris Parkinson was run out for 10.

Coates fell soon after but Lamb and Conway batted superbly to build a partnership of 95.

Both played shots all around the ground, manoeuvring the ball and milking the bowlers for easy singles.

Conway (45) then fell to the bowling of Croft but Lamb batted excellently throughout showing his quality and hitting the Blackpool bowlers all over.

Lamb passed 50 but failed to keep hold of partners as Henry Thompson was caught by Mounsey off Livingstone for 10, and Andrew Makinson for nine.

Lamb then took care of medium pacer Steven Mercer, and Leyland still had hope that they could chase down the mammoth target with the way Lamb was playing.

But the run chase proved to be too difficult as Lamb ended the innings unbeaten on 95 and Leyland suffered heartache in the cup losing by 36 runs.