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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Dalton go for famous five

THE young guns of Dalton have started the season on fire and will be going for their fifth straight league victory when Vickerstown visit tomorrow.

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ON FIRE: Dalton all-rounder Jon Bell has been in top form with the ball as his side have won four from four in the league

After four wins from four, Dan Sharp’s side face arguably their biggest test so far against the fourth-placed Walneyites, who demonstrated their ability by dismissing Hawcoat Park for just 47 last week.

But with home advantage – and all-rounder Jon Bell leading from the front – Sharp will be confident Dalton will remain unbeaten and top of the North Lancs Division One table.

They started the season with a Bell-inspired victory over Wigton, as the North Lancs League XI representative – who missed much of last season through injury – grabbed 5-13 and hit 27 not out.

Bell’s devastating form continued in the second game at Egremont, when he claimed 5-24, before a fine eight-wicket stand between Tony Butler and Brian Bell saw them home.

Another five-wicket haul from Bell – this time 5-20 – saw Dalton seize the initiative in their home game against Penrith seconds. But, despite the visitors being bowled out for only 112, they made life hard for themselves and it was left to Bell (32 not out) and skipper Sharp (34) to earn them a third consecutive 18-pointer.

Three wins became four last Saturday when Cleator seconds were dispatched.

Once again the Dalton batting line-up creaked a little bit, but Jordan Woodend, with 31, Sharp, with 39, and Bell, with an unbeaten 46, ensured a five-wicket victory, after seamer Adam Gibson had earlier taken 4-23.

“We’ve won four out of four which has been a fantastic start for us,” said chairman Stan Jones, who is hoping Dalton batsmen can start showing the consistency of the bowling unit and so further enhance their promotion credentials.

“Jon Bell took five wickets in each of the first three games and the bowling in general has been very good. We’ve struggled a bit with the batting to knock runs off.

“Jon Bell has also taken responsibility for getting a lot of the runs.

“But in the last few weeks other players have chipped in like Dan Sharp, Tony Butler and Jordan Woodend, and against Cleator A 161 was a decent total for us to knock off. I

“I know it’s only Cleator’s second team, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.

“Vickerstown are a decent side and it should be a good game on Saturday.”

Lindal Moor will hope to build on their first Premier Division win of the season, against Cleator last week, when they head around Duddon Estuary to face Haverigg, for whom professional Brenton Parchment showed some fine form with 87 in a winning draw against Kirkby.

After being stunned at home by one of the biggest threats to their crown, Cockermouth, reigning champions Furness will look to get back to winning ways as they take on another of the north of the county’s leading sides, Penrith.

Millom will hope to perform better than Furness did against Cockermouth when they hit the road, and confidence will be high after last week’s Graham Dawson and Geeth Alwis-inspired demolition of Carlisle.

Completing the Premier Division programme, it is a contest of the Ks at Fitz Park, with Kirkby still searching for that elusive first win against Keswick.

Cup action takes over on Sunday. Several Higson Cup games hit by the weather last weekend have been rescheduled, along with some of the first-round fixtures in the Sowerby Cup, with Hawcoat Park against Ulverston making for a decent local derby.

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