St Annes were crowned as champions of the Northern Premier League from the comfort of the pavilion after the entire Saturday programme was washed out.

They did manage an hour of play against Kendal at Vernon Road before the rain closed in with the visitors wobbling on 62-3, while defending champions Leyland never got going against Blackpool at Fox Lane as the rain arrived just as Blackpool, who had Lancashire star Steven Croft in their team, were about to start their innings 45 minutes late.

Both games were called of at 3pm with St Annes then having an unassailable 18 point lead over Leyland.

Third-placed Chorley’s game at Netherfield was washed out as was Darwen’s Birch Hall clash with Preston.

Barrow’s scheduled home game against Fleetwood was an early morning call-off and Morecambe managed three overs at home to Carnforth, reaching 8-0 before rain stopped play.

In Division Two leaders and defending champions Leyland had an anxious wait to confirm their retention of the title after their game against third-placed Blackpool was washed out.

Blackpool had made 38-3 at Stanley Park before the rain came and sensing an opening second placed Chorley tried desperately to get their game against Netherfield going after play was interrupted with visitors Netherfield 27-1.

But they finally admitted defeat just after 3.30pm. That meant that Leyland were champions of the Second Division for a second successive season with a 16 point lead over Chorley.