Leyland still have high hopes despite rain

Leyland v Darwen at Fox Lane, Leyland Leyland batsman, Henry Thompson
Leyland v Darwen at Fox Lane, Leyland Leyland batsman, Henry Thompson
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Leyland Cricket Club were left frustrated after the weather was the only winner on Saturday.

Constant showers meant Leyland and visitors Darwen suffered a stop-start game which saw only a total of 24.1 overs bowled.

The eventual abandonment has left Leyland 27 points behind Northern |Premier League table-toppers Barrow, although the Fox Lane outfit have a vital game in hand against the Lancashire Colts this Sunday.

And with a potential 30 points on offer this weekend, two victories could see Leyland leapfrog over the current leaders.

This Saturday brings an away trip to Morecambe for Dave Makinson’s boys, and they will welcome back the services of club professional Luis Reece.

Reece has been on county duty for Lancashire so has missed three league games as well as a Twenty20 match.

The in-form batsmen has scored 409 runs at an average of 81.8 for Leyland this season yet has only played in seven matches.

Skipper Makinson is relishing the chance to have Reece back, and said: “It’s always good to have your own professional back.

“We’ve done okay with the sub pros we’ve had, but there isn’t that same respect with a sub compared to your own.”

The loss of Reece hasn’t all been negative on Leyland as it has seen two players blossom with the opportunities they have been given.

Nathan McDonell and Chris Parkinson have both been in and out of the Leyland 1st XI but with Reece being away and other players being unavailable, both have taken their chances by scoring big runs.

Makinson said: “We had plenty of cup games at the start of the season and people couldn’t always play.

“Both Nathan and Chris have done really well.

“They both have the ability it’s just doing it. Nathan has really matured and has shown what he can do.”

Makinson expressed his disappointment after Saturday’s abandoned tie but doesn’t think it will have a huge effect on how the league will be decided.

He said: “There is a long way to go yet we are only just coming up to half way point in the season.

“All it takes is for us to win our game in hand and Barrow to lose and we are right back in it.

“It’s not just between us and Barrow there are plenty more teams competing, look at Lancaster and Fleetwood.”