David Makinson didn’t know whether to laugh or cry on Saturday.
Leaders St Annes lost a dramatic game against Blackpool, which allowed Leyland to cut the lead at the top of the Northern League by nine points, after their winning draw against Netherfield.
However, their haul of 10 points would have been 15 if they’d shifted Netherfield’s last pair of John Mason and Marcus Hill, who batted for a total of 75 balls at Fox Lane.
Makinson had generously declared his side’s innings after 39 overs to set up the run chase, but Netherfield appeared to change their mind at the eleventh hour.
It means that, with three games remaining, St Annes have 219 points and Leyland have 210 points.
Earlier Leyland opener Luis Reece broke David Wareing’s amateur club batting record in making 82 off 110 balls in his side’s 227-5 declared.
Reece, who had made an unbeaten hundred for the MCC Universities at Fenner’s the day before against Northants 2nds, has now made 954 runs in 18 innings as he tries to get a professional contract.
Wareing made 953 runs at an average of 56 in the 1973 season.
Pro Brett Pelser hit 75 off 71 balls, sharing a third wicket stand of 133 with Reece after Adam Coates made 44 at almost a run-a-ball.
Pelser has hit 896 runs and has his eyes on Gordon Greenidge’s club record of 976 runs set in 1993.
Stuart Nixon took 3-54 for Netherfield including last week’s century-maker Henry Thompson for a first ball duck, trapped lbw.
In a rain-reduced game, Netherfield had 49 overs to bat, and vice-captain Ben Haddrick hit a fine 70 off 112 balls. Peter Cummings took 4-25 off 13 overs, and Andrew Makinson and Tayyab Afsar each took two wickets; but the last pair held firm.