It was a double winning weekend for Tom Jacques’ first team as they beat Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday to take the maximum 15 points and on Sunday claimed the prize scalp of Palace Shield Premier League team Great Eccleston in the National Village Cup in a thrilling tie.
Jacques and Cunliffe were the mainstays of the Shireshead innings, making 64 and 67 not out respectively to amass a total of 203 for 5 in their 45 overs. It was encouraging to see the promising return of Rob Jacques who hit a fluent 21. In reply Kirkby were blown away by the juggernaut that is David Jack who took 5 for 18 in 10 overs, ably supported by Tom Jacques who took 3 for 17. The home side whimpered to 108 all out in 32 overs despite an excellent 65 from James Royce.
And on Sunday it got even better. Posting 188 in their 40 overs thanks to Moat’s 38 and Booth’s 36 plus several knocks between 10 and 20 Great Eccleston would have been confident at the break. Even moreso as Shireshead lost talismen Jacques and Cunliffe cheaply and Joe Oliver soon after.
It was a superbly mature innings from 15 year old Ernie Collinson (70) against some high quality and aggressive bowling from Will and Jim Procter that held Shireshead’s innings together. He formed a significant partnerships with Jake Agar (14) and Steven Foy (19), and when the mighty Dave Jack entered proceedings the scene was set for an impressive rear guard action. Jack made 70 in the way that only he can and took Shireshead to victory in the 40th over with 4 wickets still remaining.
Shireshead look forward to a plum tie against Lindal Moor of the North Lancashire League for the third time in recent years and will this time be hoping for the victory that has eluded them in previous visits to the south Cumbrian club.
Carnforth provided the stern test for Mike Mead in his second game as captain for Shireshead 2nds. However at 82 for 9 Carnforth looked like a team on its knees with paceman Aiden Weir taking 4 for 40 and Mead 2 for 20. However a remarkable last wicket stand between Stan Rich (47 not out) and Zack Dodds (28 not out), the visitors posted a competitive 154 for 9.
50 runs partnerships for both the first and second wickets put Shirehead in spitting distance of victory thanks to a wonderfully controlled 46 from Liam Burns and 27 from Paul Yates. On his return after a year of radio silence, Burns kept wicket immaculately earlier int he day and batted with aplomb against a youthful and belligerent Carnforth attack. Despite a cluster of wickets in the middle Tom Brown (21) used all his improvisation skills to add drama to proceedings with a flurry of boundaries and positive running. Luke Bray stood and delivered for 13 precious runs and carried his bat to take the home side to victory with two overs to spare and only 6 wickets down.
Shireshead 3rds (145/9) claimed a winning draw against Morecambe 4ths (127/9). A youthful Shireshead side with Rowan Yates and Jack Hayes making senior debuts forced a competitive total after being asked to bat. Stan Collinson was unbeaten and batted through for 46 on a difficult wicket and dad Jonty Collinson assisted with 50 picking the bad balls like the seasoned pro he is.In reply Morecambe made a good start with juniors Faizaan Ghumman and Nisshant Arun scoring well to make 46 for the first wicket. Shireshead then strangled the innings and Connor passenger 4/32, Stan Collinson 3/21 and Nick passenger 2/26 reduced Morecambe to 76/9. Shires couldn’t find the knock out punch and Morecambe survived at the bell on 127/9.