Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Daws open for North Lancs return

GRAHAM Dawson joins Millom team-mate Simon Bickerstaffe in the North Lancs League XI bidding for a place in the final of the Kookaburra Reader Inter-League competition.

The former Barrow CC all-rounder will line up against the Ribblesdale League in the semi-final at Furness Park on Sunday.

Dawson replaces Workington’s Matt Gorley, who is unavailable as the only change from the team that defeated the Manchester Association in the first round last month.

Gorley smashed an unbeaten half-century and then took 3-31 as the visitors won by 41 runs at Wythenshawe CC in that game, but in Dawson, the 2010 champions have a more than capable replacement.

Furness trio Mark Daly, Pete Lawson and Tom Smith will have the advantage of playing on their home turf, while Haverigg’s Jordan Postlethwaite is rewarded for his wicket-taking debut by retaining his place.

He is not the only Postlethwaite from Haverigg on representative duty, with younger brother Lee a member of the under-18s team travelling to Darcy Lever to take on the Bolton Cricket Association.

It is beginning to look like a three-horse race for the North Lancs Premier Division title, with Furness and Millom right in the thick of it as the season passes the midway point.

Cockermouth still lead the way, with defending champions Furness in second place and Millom – the only undefeated team in the division – in third.

The gap between the top three is just 12 points and there is a lot at stake between now and the end of July, as they play each other in successive weeks.

Furness entertain Millom next week and seven days later head to Cockermouth, with the current leaders then travelling to St George’s Road, Millom, the week after that.

These games will no doubt have a big bearing on the destination of the title.

Both Mike Gadsden’s Furness and Simon Bickerstaffe’s Millom will be hoping Lindal can do them a favour tomorrow as they head to Cockermouth.

Moor have a relegation battle on their hands so will be giving it their best shot and they have no shortage of quality among their ranks. They hung on for a losing draw against Millom last time out, and who is to say they can not do the same or better in north Cumbria?

What Furness and Millom will be looking to do is make sure they keep the pressure on at the top. Fresh from a surprisingly comfortable victory at Workington, Furness face mid-table Carlisle, and Millom will be hoping they can follow in Furness’s footsteps and inflict defeat on Workington.

Haverigg’s league campaign has been a stop-start affair, with West Indian professional Brenton Parchment so far saving his best form for the South Cumbria Twenty20 Cup –– where he has smashed an incredible 222 runs in two innings without being dismissed, facing only 85 balls and hitting 24 sixes.

The Poolsiders host Keswick tomorrow, while Kirkby’s search for that elusive first league will not get any easier as they hit the road to fourth-placed Penrith.

Gareth Benson’s Vickerstown have really hit a purple patch in Division One and are now just one point behind leaders Appleby Eden on the eve of a long trip north to Lanercost.

Lindal Moor await the winners of Sunday’s second Vigodny Cup semi-final between Cockermouth A and Hawcoat Park, following their 32-run victory over neighbours Dalton last weekend.

North Lancs League Senior XI (to play the Ribblesdale League at Furness Park 1.30pm start): S Beare (Workington, captain), S Bickerstaffe (Millom) M Daly (Furness) G Dawson (Millom) C Hodgson (Cockermouth) P Lawson (Furness) C Moffat (Workington wicketkeeper) K Moffat (Workington) J Postlethwaite (Haverigg) C Quin (Cleator) T Smith (Furness).

Under-18s (to play Bolton Cricket Association at Darcy Lever): A Carruthers (Cockermouth, captain) M Clark (Penrith) J Cumberbatch (Lindal Moor) J Daniel (Workington) A Grainger (Cockermouth) G Hall (Penrith) L Hazzard (Workington, wicketkeeper) M Lowden (Workington) L Postlethwaite (Haverigg) B Sharp (Keswick) S Sharp (Keswick) G Thompson (Furness).

l In the half-term averages published last week, the North Lancs League accidentally omitted Cockermouth’s Steven Chambers who tops the Division Two bowling averages and is also top wicket-taker (29 wickets at 4.69).

The league apologises to Chambers and team-mate Ravinder Seggham, who has the highest Division Two score to date (120) and who was also omitted from the averages.

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