Blackpool beat the rain to extend lead at top

Blackpool just beat the weather to extend their lead at the top of the 3D Sports Northern Premier League to 11 points after a five wicket victory over Darwen at Stanley Park.

They bowled out Darwen for 124 with Sri Lankan pro Saj Weerakoon's left arm spin accounting for five wickets for 36.

Weerakoon also made a brilliant run out to dismiss Kamran Anwar as Darwen collapsed, losing their last nine wickets for just 46 runs after opener Jordan Clarke's obdurate innings of 35 was ended by a Michael Penney catch off Mike Taylor's bowling in the 31st over. Luis Reece anchored Blackpool's reply with an impressive innings of 46 and Weerakoon (25) and skipper Danson (24 not out) helped see Blackpool to a 12-points victory just before the rains came.

With five games to go Blackpool are in the box seat but their next three games are all away including Saturday's trip to in-form Netherfield.

St Annes had to settle for a winning draw as the rain ruined a potentially thrilling finish against Barrow. Atiq Uz-Zaman hit his third league century of the season, an outstanding 115 off 140 balls, including 15 fours and three sixes, and Stephen Twist weighed in with an unbeaten 69 as the depleted home side amassed 261 for 5. Fifteen-year-old Liam Livingstone then underlined his immense potential with an innings of 94 and Jon Miles hit 51 as Barrow closed on 187-3 after the loss of 13 overs to the elements with the visitors 75 short of victory.

Veteran Manoj Parekh bowled Preston to victory over Fleetwood, taking 7 for 39 as the visitors were dismissed for 107. Mark Emsley's 38 provided the biggest resistance. Preston were made to fight for their runs as Adam Breakall returned three for 27 but Yasin Patel and Joe Davies saw Preston home.

l Lytham failed to close the gap on the leaders in the Liverpool Competition when they slumped to defeat at New Brighton. In reply to the home side's score of 191-7 declared, they managed only 172 with Guy Roberts top scoring with 75.

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