Joy for Chorley as they survive relegation on final day of Northern League

Chorley retained their proud  Northern League status by the skin of their teeth after a dramatic last day of the season.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 8:00 am
Chorley skipper Andrew Holdsworth

Andrew Holdsworth’s men went into the final weekend, second from bottom, 10 points adrift of safety.

They needed to gain maximum points away at Fleetwood and hope either St Annes or Morecambe lose their respective games convincingly.

Chorley kept to their side of the bargain after sweeping aside already relegated Fleetwood by nine wickets at Broadwater .

They then had a nervous wait for the other results. While St Annes lost to Leyland, they were still able to gain six bonus points which was enough to secure their safety.

However, Morecambe could only muster two bonus points as they were narrowly beaten by two wickets by Garstang at Woodhill Lane and so it is they who will be playing in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield next year.

Samuel Steeple and Will Moulton set up Chorley’s victory as they shared all 10 wickets as Fleetwood were dimissed for a paltry 105 off 35.2 overs.

Wickets tumbled at regular intervals with only some late order hitting by Declan Clerkin (20) and Alex Ryder (19) sparing the home side’s blushes.

Steeple returned figures of 5-42 while Moulton’s statistics of 5-38 were marginally more impressive.

In reply, the visitors cantered to victory with Indian professional Siddhesh Lad hitting 65 not out, including 10 boundaries.

Ben Simpkins was the only man to be dismissed. He made 28 before he was caught by Dyllan Matthews off Jack Wilkinson.

Leyland brought the curtain down on an inauspicious season with a narrow win over St Annes at Fox Lane. James Rounding’s men are usually one of the teams to beat but their final place of seventh spot illustrates the difficulties they endured this summer without a regular professional.

They still finished comfortably above the drop zone and just had enough to earn a tight four run win on Saturday.

It was the hosts who batted first and they were able to post 143 all out thanks in the main to sub-pro Saliya Saman fine half-century.

Thomas Bradley and Tom Higson were the pick of the bowlers, each taking four wickets each.

St Annes looked well on course for victory after their top order batsman gave them a solid start.

Higson struck 47 and Nathan Armstrong contributed 25. However, Leyland were able to take wickets at regular intervals .

The visitors last four batsmen contributed just six runs between them as Leyland eked out the victory.

Nathan McDonnell proved to be the different, taking four wickets for just eight runs. Michael Birchall and Iain Critchley each took two wickets apiece.