Shambolic Chorley slipped to an embarassing defeat against Blackpool at Windsor Park on Saturday.
In a game that was a 50/50 on paper, Chorley simply didn’t turn up and handed Blackpool a comfortable 12 point victory in the Northern Premier League.
Pool ripped through the Chorley innings for just 39 to keep their title defence on track.
The South African all-rounder Kelly Smuts, substituting for the second time for Blackpool’s suspended professional Christi Viljoen, again made a big impact for Paul Danson’s side but was overshadowed by strike bowler Richard Gleeson as fellow title contenders Chorley were brushed aside by eight wickets.
Chorley chose to bat but were dispatched to the pavilion in 19.5 overs as only Brenton McDonald (11) reached double figures.
Gleeson moved past 50 league wickets for the season with 6-27 from 10 overs, his third five-wicket haul of the campaign. Smuts bowled unchanged at the other end, taking the other four wickets for 11 runs off 9.5 overs.
Gleeson and Smuts then eased Blackpool to victory in 11.4 overs after both openers had fallen cheaply.
Keiran McCullagh claimed both wickets but could not remove Smuts, who struck three fours in an unbeaten 17, or Gleeson, whose 12 not out was made up of three boundaries.
The second team were well beaten in the reverse fixture at Stanley Park.
Joe Tiffin top scored with 75 as Chorley closed on 185-9.
Skipper Alex Howarth batted well for 35 before foolishly giving his wicket away.
Andy Flear hit 30 lower down the order.
Chris Baines was the pick of the Pool bowlers taking 4-34 off 10 overs.
Openers Adrian Darlington and Dan Dixon put on a century opening stand as Chorley dropped several chances. Darlington, who has more than 10,000 Northern Premier League runs scored 80 before being bowled by Adam McCullagh (1-30).
Dixon (53) sucummbed to the bowling of Howarth (2-31) as did Alex Smith (34).
Despite the loss of the pair, Blackpool cruised to their total with seven wickets remaining.
Chorley suffered their second defeat of the weekend losing by 14-runs against Lancaster in the Readers Cup.
For a time on Sunday at Lune Road, it looked as though Andy Holdsworth’s side had got Saturday’s traumas out of their system as they had the hosts reeling at 32 for 5, Ed Moulton claiming four of those as the youngster continued his fine form.
But Lancaster dug in and in the later overs exploited an understrength bowling attack to recover to 191 for 9.
Charlie Swarbrick (58) and Iain Perrieman (56 not out) were the main scorers in the innings.
Lancaster only had 10 men until Danny Welbourne turned up.
Despite submitting a team sheet with just the 10 names, the umpires allowed Welbourne to bat.
And it was his innings that proved to be key, Welbourne (17 not out), who batted at number 11, added 20 for the final wicket alongside Perrieman.
Will Moulton and Dave Fisher’s half-century opening partnership briefly put Chorley in the box seat, but once they fell for 34 and 57 respectively, the visitors started to struggle.
Chorley were dealt a further blow when skipper Holdsworth was given out stumped despite not leaving his crease.
Jack Bentham (30) ensured the game would go the end as he rotated the strike with Alex Howarth and Andy Flear.
But wickets continued to tumble and Chorley fell 14-runs short of their target.
On Saturday, Chorley will be looking to bounce back as they make the trip to Morecambe.