NETHERFIELD edged closer to their first Northern Premier Cricket League Division One title since 2008 with an emphatic seven-wicket win at St Annes.

James Park-Johnson's first innings return of 4-25 and South African sub professional Daryn Smit's return of 3-30 saw Netherfield restrict St Annes to 141-9.

The Field knocked the runs off in 29.3 overs as Smit top scored with an undefeated 49 off 60 balls, while Brad Earl set Netherfield on their way to victory with a scintillating knock of 43 off 26 balls, before Netherfield closed 142-3 off 29 overs.


After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Netherfield made the early breakthrough when Lewis Richardson trapped Atiq Uz Zaman LBW.

St Annes recovered onto 55 through the second-wicket partnership of 42 between Mustafa Durrani and South African Matthew Breetszke.

However, Netherfield soon regained control as Park-Johnson broke through to dismiss Durrani for 36 off 45 balls.

From that point, Netherfield dominated and Park-Johnson saw off Nathan Armstrong and Breetszke while St Annes toiled onto 64-4.

Smit bowled Tom Higson for three before Park-Johnson finished his haul by taking the wicket of Matthew Derham who picked out Ben Barrow.

Netherfield continued to run riot when Tom Williamson claimed his first wicket of the afternoon to dismiss Henry Higson who was caught behind by Lewis Edge.

St Annes collapsed onto 93-8 after Edge stumped Thomas Bradley off the bowling of Williamson. However, a ninth-wicket partnership of 41 between Richard Staines and Matthew Grindley frustrated Netherfield as St Annes pushed onto 123.

Smit finished with a return of 3-30 after the South African claimed the wicket of Grindley who was caught by Earl before the hosts closed on 141-9 with Richard Staines undefeated on 39 off 71.

In reply, Earl and Barrow made a dominant start with a first-wicket partnership of 53. Earl scored most of the runs in that partnership with a scintillating knock of 43 off just 26 balls. However, his innings, which included seven fours and one six, came to an end when his attempted drive was caught by Grindley off the bowling of Breetske.

Barrow was the next to go after falling to Grindley, while Josh Dixon was dismissed by Breetszke.

However, Daryn Smit and John Huck guided Netherfield to victory in just 29.3 overs. Smit top scored with his 49 not out, while Huck closed on an undefeated 21 off 48 balls.

Netherfield need just two more points to win the title as they face Kendal at Shap Road on Saturday.

The Field face a busy weekend where they entertain Leyland in the Pro 40 Cup semi final on Sunday, before they travel to Morecambe in the league on Bank Holiday Monday.