Longridge CC worked together to claim Blackpool CC success

Ian Simpson took four wickets to help Longridge win at Blackpool on Sunday
Ian Simpson took four wickets to help Longridge win at Blackpool on Sunday

Ian Simpson hailed Longridge CC’s collective display after they reached the group final of this year’s ECB National Club Championship.

Nick Wilkinson’s players were 23-run winners against Blackpool on Sunday, setting up a final with Horwich RMI at Newsham on Sunday, June 30.

A good batting performance saw Longridge reach 186-6, headlined by Dan Wilkinson Jnr’s half-century.

It was then the bowlers’ turn to shine in the field with Simpson taking 4-34 in restricting Blackpool to 163-9.

“Sunday was a brilliant day and we were really pleased with the performance,” Simpson said.

“It’s a competition we enjoy playing in and there’s some national recognition at the end of it.

“It was a slowish track but our openers and Luke Platt gave us a quality platform and we maybe should have got to 200 but they bowled really well.

“We still felt 186 was slightly over par, and when they batted, we kept picking up wickets at key times.

“It was a really good performance and one where everything clicked; the batting, bowling and fielding were all top drawer.”

Having seen last Saturday’s league game with Garstang fall victim to the weather, Longridge hope the conditions are better when they travel to Penrith seven days later.

A day after that are the final Readers T20 group games with Longridge hosting Chorley and Leyland.

They are currently bottom of the table with two points from three games, level with Chorley, while Leyland are top with four points.

Although it doesn’t top Longridge’s list of priorities this season, it will give first XI cricket to some players who have been on the fringes.

Simpson said: “I think there are a couple of lads who aren’t available.

“T20 isn’t really our priority but we’d like to win and do well – and I’m sure the lads who we pick will do fine on the day.”