Teamwork lifts cup

Ian Farrington picks up the trophy. Pics by Mike Latham
Ian Farrington picks up the trophy. Pics by Mike Latham

Leyland 2nds completed a memorable weekend by lifting the Readers Division Two Cup on Sunday.

After retaining their league title on Saturday, Ian Farrington’s side defeated Fleetwood by 78 runs to secure only their third success in the competition.

Leyland are the first team to secure a league and cup double in Division Two since St Annes achieved the feat in 2005.

Fleetwood officials worked miracles to get the game on as heavy rain had left the ground under water on Saturday.

The ground looked a picture and a large crowd of several hundred spectators, including a large contingent of players and supporters from Leyland made for the perfect back drop to a game of this importance.

Batting first, Leyland reached 164-9 in their 40 overs with none of their top-line batsman able to play with their usual fluency on a slow-paced pitch.

Wickets fell regularly with Leyland, 66-1 at the halfway point, unable to dominate a tight Fleetwood attack.

Openers Wes Royle and Ian Dickinson put on 46 in 15 overs before Royle was caught by Joe Bell off Neil Gregson for 25, what proved to be the game’s highest individual score.

Dickinson made 23, Nathan McDonnell 17 and Farrington 19.

Liam Hurt gave the innings vital late impetus with a quickly compiled 20, including two huge sixes.

In reply, Fleetwood faced an uphill battle after losing skipper Wayne Clarke and Andy Singleton early in their reply; Steve Pallett claiming both wickets, the latter to a superb catch at midwicket by Dickinson.

Danny Lamb bowled Zac Coultas and Hurt then wrecked the middle order with a spell of 3-21, capturing the wickets of Joe Bell, Chris Stanhope and Neil Jackson all to catches behind the wicket by Matthew Watkinson.

Fleetwood’s innings ended with the home side all out for 86, Stephen Cartwright taking 2-19 and Alex Williams claiming 1-6.

Liam Hurt was man-of-the-match and received an engraved glass trophy from League President Brian Standing.

League chairman Norman Poole and Leyland CC President Terry Wilson made the presentation of the championship trophy to Captain Ian Farrington.

Farrington said: “It was an anti-climax to win the title this way but we won the title through our efforts over the season as a whole.

“If you look at the league aggregates we haven’t got the top batsman or bowler but we had a lot of players who contributed to the team at vital times.

“It was a great team effort and if I had to pick my player of the season I could easily choose any one from eight players.

“I’d like to thank the experienced players like Steven Pallett and Stephen Cartwright who put in a lot of selfless effort and didn’t just concentrate on their own performances.

“We had two outstanding youngsters in Alex Williams and Danny Lamb, two good all-rounders in Nathan McDonnell and Liam Hurt and two brilliant openers in Ian Dickinson and Wes Royle.

“Wes scored three hundreds during the season including a club record score of 132.

“Last season’s captain Chris Dovey instilled a winning mentality into the team and I tried to carry that on; it was stressful at times but very enjoyable and especially pleasing to me was our tremendous team spirit.

“Chorley and Blackpool were definitely the next best two teams, both try to play the game positively and they pushed us all the way.”