Match report: Garstang 198-7, Longridge 190-5

Garstang batsman Allan Cook hits out during Saturdays victory against Longridge
Garstang batsman Allan Cook hits out during Saturdays victory against Longridge

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division

Kyle Helm won the toss for Longridge, elected to field and, with paceman Matt Greenall absent, Rory McDowell opened the bowling with Jonathan Millward.

Michael Walling and Alan Cook made a solid start for Garstang and eased to 68-0 from the first 19 overs.

Helm made a double bowling change, bringing Ian Simpson into the attack with Tom Howarth.

The impact was almost instant as they removed each opening batsman with a wicket each, Cook for 33 and Walling for 51.

Garstang skipper Mark Walling continued to score freely as the home side pushed on to 150-3 from 39 overs but Simpson bagged a flurry of late wickets to restrict Garstang to 198-7 from their 45 overs and finish with a fine 6-52.

The fact that Longridge fought back and prevented the home side from scoring 200 made for a fascinating second half as Longridge set about chasing 199 to win.

Jimmy Whitehead and Josh McDowell made a very patient start and struggled to get Ian Walling and Danny Gilbert away, edging to 17-0 from the first nine overs.

Once again, a change of bowling broke the opening stand as Coen Oosthuysen landed a double blow with Whitehead (23) and McDowell (43) falling to the South African.

Zac Christie (9) was then run out as the visitors had pushed on to 129-3 from 36 overs, needing 70 from the last nine.

Luke Platt was once again in great form and threatened to chase down the total on his own.

When Dan Wilkinson (9) and Josh Mullin (0) fell quickly to Ian Walling, Platt and Howarth needed 40.

Twenty-three runs came from the penultimate over which left Garstang firmly in the driving seat with six balls left.

Longridge fell eight short despite Platt’s quite brilliant 70 not out as Garstang regained their place at the top by a single point.