SINCE the reformation of the Westmorland League in 1975, Burneside have never been relegated, but they entered last weekend in the bottom two.
Their problem in recent years hasn’t been the quality of their playing staff, it has been about getting their best players available each week.
Nathan Chambers has Northern League cricket on his CV and on Saturday he added to it a Westmorland League hundred and 6/22 in a stellar all-round performance against Silverdale.
Jon Mason (4/40) and Alfie Moffat (3/38) had Burneside in trouble, but Chambers (100), Jack Thwaites (27) and Bailey Carlos (37) counterattacked to 227/8 declared after 40 overs.
Chambers blew away the Silverdale batting despite a partnership between James Alker (23) and Alistair James (27) and it is now Silverdale who occupy a relegation position after being all out for 97.
On Sunday Burneside bowled out Sedbergh School 2nds for 164, Tom Fraine, top scoring with 37, and an opening stand of 127 between Mark Kelsall (58) and Dan Greenwood (73) enabled them to win by 6 wickets.
Carnforth’s lead was extended by their three wickets win against Sedgwick. Tom Parkinson’s 3/21 helped dismiss Sedgwick for 97 despite Tom Ridley’s 31.
Ridley (3/44) removed Carnforth’s vaunted top order, but Adam Hornby (33 not out) found form to secure the win.
Adam Richardson has been one of the league’s outstanding batsmen over the last generation but has struggled this season.
That is, until Saturday.
He made 95 hitting 8 fours and 5 sixes and added 104 with Richard Hodgson (65) who also generally goes about his business with vigorous purpose.
Although Aaron Cross (4/27) pegged them back, 246/9 was a formidable total.
Lee Calverley (66) and Liam Parkinson (34) added 88 for the first wicket but a parsimonious spell of 1/9 by Rob Shepherd stifled them and enabled Chris Howlsey (3/65) and David Birch (4/75) to buy their wickets as Heysham were all out for 198.
Trimpell have surprised many observers this season and won again on Saturday as Rob Cope (4/13) and Stu Burrow (3/24) made short work of the Bare batsmen.
It took Trimpell 16 overs to pass Bare’s 50 for the loss of three wickets.
Zeri Tomlinson (37) top scored for Sedbergh against Warton as Shaun Partridge (4/33), Tom Barnfield (3/25) and Harry Tugman (3/39) shared the wickets.
115 was gettable, but regular wickets from Matthew Harrison (3/21) and Henry Hopkins (4/16) saw the school prevail by 10 runs.
Shireshead and Westgate had hoped to be challenging Carnforth, but both have been inconsistent.
On Saturday, Joe Cunliffe (38) and Dave Jack (32) showed form, but with Dylan Conroy (4/15) and Zak Buchanan (3/18) bowling well, 130 seemed below par.
Garry Tattersall (25) and Phil Harvey (29) got Westgate to 56/1 but it was then the Josh Smethurst show as the tall seamer wreaked havoc taking a career best 6/16 as Westgate fell 33 runs short.
On Sunday, Carnforth and Shireshead reached the semifinals of the Palace Shield Meyler Cup competition.
Hampered by the late need to shuffle their team against Penwortham, Carnforth recovered from 29/2 thanks to Ryan Nelson (99) and Adam Hornby (71) who added 157 for the third wicket.
221/4 is a good, but not an unsurpassable score at Lodge Quarry and at 110/1 from 21 overs, Penwortham were favourites.
The Rich brothers, Archie (2/34) and Stan (1/27) built pressure and the run gathering slowed and wickets followed, Penwortham falling 22 runs short.
Shireshead can’t remember the last time they chased over 200, so feared the worst when Jack Morgan’s 64 underpinned Mawdsley’s 204/7.
Tom Jacques scored a composed 52 and although they stuttered from 152/2 there was enough experience in the hutch to get them home by 3 wickets with an over to spare.
Carnforth will travel to Standish in the semi-finals on July 18, whilst Shireshead have a trip to Penrith.
After their defeat last week, Kirkby Lonsdale got their promotion challenge back on track by beating Ingleton by 6 wickets.
Ingleton made 79, with Luke Troughton taking 3/11.
Robert Warne (79) and Bob Simpson (55) added 139 for Coniston’s first wicket as the visitors posted an imposing 253/6 at Holme, despite Brendan Herron taking 4/33, profiting from seven dropped catches.
Herron made 73 and with Lee Barnes making 49, Holme had a chance before Barnes was run out.
Paddy Maher took 3/51 as Holme were all out for 197.
A brilliant all-round performance by Sam Fletcher saw Windermere continue their impressive recent record.
His 5/28 bowled out Carnforth 2nds for 109 and he then scored 71 not out as the Lakesiders won by 7 wickets.
Paul Salmon scored 31, but Joe Atkinson (3/9) and Will Anderson (3/21) bowled Netherfield 3rds out for 96.
Anderson (45 not out) then needed the assistance of last man Tony Hadwin who survived four balls as the last pair knocked off the last 10 runs required by Cartmel, Josh Shorrock returning 5/32.
Dave Hannigan (58) and Freddie Whatmuff (53 not out) led Westgate 2nds to 167/7 which was 38 too many for Shireshead 2nds as Jacob Vaughan took 3/22 and Oliver Whatmuff 3/15 whilst Simon Gould scored 45.
Runaway Division 3 leaders Ambleside suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Leven Valley. Tudor Griffiths (37) and Barnaby Wileman (45) took Ambleside to 158/5, but Luke Deveney (42) and hard hitting from Tony Johnson (67 not out, including 6 sixes) gave Leven Valley a four wicket win with five balls to spare.
Records were broken at Bolton-le-Sands on Saturday.
17-year-old Ethan Burton, with a previous career best of 35, scored 126 not out for Holme 2nds.
Sam Greenwood (41) and Neil Moysey (36) helped the visitors reach 251/3.
Incredibly it wasn’t enough as 19-year-old Ben Anderton scored 160 not out (17 fours, 7 sixes), his second one hundred of the months as Gary Metcalfe (31 not out) helped him win the game for Sands.
The records books have been scoured and it looks like this is the highest ever winning score by a team batting second in league history.
Galgate have been big run scorers, but their bubble burst as Ben Harvey (5/20) and Adam Kershaw (5/24) skittled them for 50.
Earlier Sedgwick 2nds’ Geoff Boycott clone, Ian Whitehead made 83 (but Sir Geoffrey was never run out) and Ali Howell 52 in 190/6. Paul Antcliffe took 3/25 as Heysham 2nds restricted Arnside 2nds to 172/9, Darren Barber making 43. Stuart Powers (34), Richard Townsend (48) and Harry Wallbank (44 not out) took their side to a comfortable 7 wicket win.
Joe Singleton’s 78 not out was the reason Morecambe 3rds beat Carnforth 3rds. 175 was too many for a young side, and Singleton capped his day taking 4/31 as Carnforth made 123.
Sorenthar Nedunthelian (42) and A Thimphu (34) helped Morecambe 4ths reach 163/7. Martyn Cook took 3/35 but Burneside seconds we’re all out for 74, Dineh Annadur taking 4/10.
Leaders Kendal suffered a three-wicket defeat against Ingleton 2nds whilst Shireshead 3rds beat Westgate 3rds by 4 wickets thanks to 37 balls 55 not out by James Sutcliffe and 40 from Stan Collinson.
Earlier, David Lord (59) and Oliver Whatmuff (66) had batted well as Westgate totalled 169, Alan Moulsdale taking 4/42.
Trimpell 2nds are now top of Division 4 after beating Sedgwick 3rds by 4 wickets.
Andrew Whitehead (39) and Hrishi Desai enabled Sedgwick to score 158/7, Gareth Johnson taking 4/24, but Mark Huddleston made 87 not out, receiving good support from Daz Makin (37).