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Leyland crowned 2013 Northern League Champions

Leyland won the 2013 Northern League First Division title in a thrilling final day of action with a comprehensive 116 run victory over Darwen while Barrow were deprived of glory again their game at Blackpool was rained off.

Leyland were put in by the hosts on what was a sunny afternoon at Birch Hall and recovered from a relatively slow start at 63 for three, with the prize wicket of Luis Reece who fell for 33, one of the three casualties.

However Henry Thompsons top scoring 40 as well as the 38 by Karl Cross helped Leyland as they declared on 201 for six in 44.5 overs.

Darwen made Leyland work hard in the first innings, with Neil Cordingley taking 3-38 but with 201 to defend, Leyland's bowlers had to keep things tight and Dale Jones stepped up to the plate by ripping through the Darwen line up returning figures of 5-24.

Darwen were skittled out in 41.5 overs for 85 as Leyland celebrated a fantastic title winning moment.

Skipper David Makinson was delighted by his teams success: "What a great feeling to win our Second 1st Division Title in four years," he said.

"The end of Saturday's game was a bit surreal. We were obviously trying to keep up to date with the scores from Blackpool, whilst ensuring we concentrated on beating Darwen.

"We were hearing tales that they were playing, then they were off, then back on again, so the instant we won the match, we weren't sure if we could celebrate.

"Confirmation came soon afterwards to the joy of all the lads and our loyal specators. I can only imagine how the Barrow lads must feel and I do have a little sympathy for their Captain Daryl Wearing.

Barrow, whose game at Blackpool fell victim to the rain, have now missed out on the Northern League title for a second consecutive season despite sitting at the top of the Division for a large part of the campaign.

The game at Stanley Park did start, with the overs reduced to 31 and then 23 overs during the first innings.They were put in by the hosts and declared on 158 for two off 23 overs.

Daniel Salpietro was in sparkling form with a top scoring 95 off 74 balls and was ably supported by Dean Williams who hit 25 off 51 balls, with Ryan Brown hitting a quick fire 24 off 17 balls.

But their hopes of winning the title were washed out, as the rain swept in after nine overs of the second innings, with Blackpool on 17 for one.

Salpietro took the wicket of John Mounsey for 0 with Patrick Allington on hand to take the catch. Barrow will now regroup and look to bounce back next season on what has been a dramatic season of Northern League action.

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