Blackpool cricket captain Paul Danson wary of St Annes ‘dark horses’
Opener Tom Higson slammed 65 from 52 (10 fours and two sixes) to propel St Annes to a nine-wicket home victory over bottom club Vernon Carus, needing just 17 overs to amass a winning total of 110- 1.
Forty-eight hours earlier, Flintoff had rolled back the years on a fun day of T10 cricket for charity, raising more than £1,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
The St Annes club chairman paid tribute to two of his predecessors in the role, Brian Standing (who died in February) and his own late grandfather Harry Hargreaves.
Back on the pitch where Flintoff made a name for himself as a junior before his heroics in Lancashire and England, he posted a video on social media and said: “A great day at St Annes. Ex-players and a nice audience.
“My grandfather and Brian Standing… two great men. Glad to be back.
Flintoff will be delighted with his former club’s season so far, knocking out newly promoted Vernon Carus for 105 on 37.2 overs as Lukman Vahaluwala took 5-16 from 10.2.
Captain Matthew Stevenson led the resistance with 60 (nine limits) from 100 balls, but only one of his teammates hit double figures and the wickets fell quickly from 57-1.
Higson, whose Freddie-esque double century in T20 last season remains fresh in memory, then went 78 for the second wicket with professional Yohan De Silva (29) as St Annes claimed a fifth victory in seven games and remains fourth in the table.
They are still 11 points behind leaders Blackpool, the league’s other unbeaten side, who took a comfortable five-wicket win at Kendal.
Josh Boyne stood out for a Blackpool side that have won every completed league game this season, after going 3-20 from 11.5 overs with an unbeaten 45 as the visitors chased a goal of 109 in just 35 ,3 overs.
At bat, Kendal was sent off with one ball remaining as the excellent Matt Grindley took 4-15 from 13 overs. Captain Chris Miller oversaw a promising start, Kendal’s best score of 32 went over 50 with just two wickets less. But their second best score was 13 and the innings quickly died down.
Boyne came in with Blackpool’s answer at 20-1 and hit four bounds in his 77-ball run as victory was sealed at 110-5, with the fifth wicket only going down when the scores were level.
Blackpool still lead second-placed Garstang by six points and third-placed Longridge by seven after the front four all won.
Lytham won seven out of seven in Liverpool’s competition with a six-wicket success against struggling Ainsdale.
Indian career Akash Vashisht is finding his feet fast at Church Road, after going 3-61 on 24.4 overs with an unbeaten 77 on 111 balls (six fours)
Stephen Lucas had carried his bat for 76 of 187 balls (10 limits) for the visitors, who were placed and declared at 203-7 on 64.4 overs.
Opener Lucas went 86 for the fifth wicket with Tom Oughterson (46), a stand broken by Jack Saunders, who took two wickets in his six overs.
Lytham then recovered from 18-2 as Akash put in 88 for the third wicket with Guy Roberts (58) then an unbroken 77 with Joshua Holden to seal the victory at 206-4 in 43.4 overs.
Holden finished 46 steps from just 27 balls, hitting five sixes and six fours to leave Premier League leaders Lytham 23 points ahead of second-placed Liverpool, despite every chase club losing at least twice.
Fleetwood also recorded a seventh successive league win, winning by five wickets after dismissing hosts Great Eccleston for 118 in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield.
After setting up Ecc, Matt Moat trailed the longest for his 27 before falling to Jeremy Davies, who knocked out all of the front four (for 36 from 14 overs). Zac Corcoran (for 35 from 11) also took four wickets.
Player-coach Atiq Uz-Zaman then led a positive response from Fleetwood with 51 as victory was wrapped up with nearly 10 overs to spare at 121-5 despite Mohamed Nadeem’s 3-21 from eight overs.
Fleetwood lead the Premier League 22 points clear of Morecambe and Penwortham, with Thornton Cleveleys in fourth after a six-wicket win at Eccleston.
Chorley’s side opted to strike but counted without Thornton captain Daniel Howard, whose 7-25 from eight overs dismissed them for 106 from 30 despite a fourth wicket of 49 between Reece Thomas, with an eight-limit 40 , and Captain Michael Atkinson .
TC fly-half Jake Apperley then retired unbeaten on 54 (11 overs) to ensure Cameron Smith’s 4-19 from 12 overs was not enough as the hosts took the win at 110 -4 on 27.4 overs.
Kirkham and Wesham couldn’t keep up with Fylde’s coast winning trend, going down just one wicket at Penwortham.
Asked to bat, K&W was grateful for 36 (on 40 balls, six limits) by number eight Justin Banks to extend the target to 121 from 35.2 overs, after slipping to 85-8.
Penwortham looked to be sailing at 118-6 but lost three wickets as they scored four more runs for the win, Justin Banks taking two to finish with 5-46 from eight overs.
Wicketkeeper Robbie Sumner kept his cool for 25 steps as a nervy win was completed in 22.2 overs.
Fylde was also on the wrong end of a one-wicket defeat in the Premier League, seeing their 175-9 aggregate at Withnell Fold passed with 10 balls remaining. Flyhalf Will Smith scored 49 and captain Craig Allison 40 as Fylde ran 121-1 after being put on the line.
But the momentum was lost as Nick Fowler took it 3-30 from 13 overs and Withnell’s last pair needed just a single to seal the victory after Matthew Cook’s 48 (Smith 3-50 ).
St Annes 2 top the Division Two table after a three-wicket win at Vernon Carus 2, but Wrea Green are only a point behind after winning at Torrisholme 2 by the same margin.
Adam De Gray Birch’s 3-16 from 13 overs helped limit the hosts to 94-6 and Wrea Green then made it 95-7 in 32.5, wicketkeeper Tom Small scoring 41 of them ( Ben Schofield 3-10 from 10 overs).
Norcross cruised to a nine-wicket victory after ousting hosts Fulwood and Broughton 3 for 40, with Richard Thomas taking 6-20 from 13.2.