Palace Shield: Vernons too strong for Longridge

First published in Sport

LONGRIDGE crashed to their first defeat of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield season as Premier Division title favourites Vernon Carus flexed their muscles at the George Newsham Memorial Ground.

Longridge have been in good form with both bat and ball so far this season but Vernons arrived in the mood to maintain their own 100 per cent record with Ian Dunn (22) and Wes Royle (21) getting them off to a solid start before Tom Howarth removed them both.

James McDonagh carried on the good work with 33 before Christian Ash took control of the innings with a fine 74 not out and with Craig Cameron also looking good with an unbeaten 35, Vernons closed their innings on 208-4. Howarth was the pick of the bowlers with 3-50 but Longridge knew they were in a battle.

John Simpson, Josh McDowell and Robbie Lambert all fell cheaply as the locals were forced onto the back foot and despite 32 from Luke Platt and handy lower order contributions from Howarth, Kyle Helm, Ian Simpson and Rory McDowell they were never at the races and closed on 153-9.

Withnell Fold were also beaten as Thornton Cleveleys cantered to a six-wicket win.

Fold posted 151-9 from their 45 overs with Josh Cunliffe (34) and Alan Grogan (31) the top contributers and despite two early successes for both Nick Fowler and Cunliffe, Thornton were soon on the way to victory with Tom Higson making 80 and Jon Eade an unbeaten 48.

Hoghton also suffered a bad day in Division One as they also lost their 100 per cent record with a defeat at New Longton.

Paul Haydock made 94 as the hosts piled up 209-5 despite the best efforts of Will Monks, who claimed three wickets, caught one catch and performed a run out.

In reply, Hoghton never got their momentum going and they were eventually 38 runs short despite late runs from Neil Eccles (30 not out) and number 10 batsman Rob Bolton (34 not out).

It was also a bad day for White Coppice as they lost to Torrisholme. Wayne Dixon made 51 not out as Torrisholme posted 131-7 from 45 overs but the seasiders eased to a five-wicket win with Karl Hansson making an unbeaten 67.

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