A hectic weekend of action brought cup joy and league woe for Chorley.
On Sunday, they booked a third round National Knockout spot with a comprehensive demolition of in-form Blackpool, but that sparkling show was sandwiched between two Northern League defeats which put a dent in Andy Holdsworth’s side’s title aspirations.
The win over Blackpool illustrated all that is best about Chorley as they overpowered their opponents with a fine all round display.
Rain had washed out the tie on the scheduled date a fortnight ago, and it threatened to do the same in the rearranged game which had been switched to Windsor Park as Blackpool’s Stanley Park was being used for a music festival.
Play eventually got under way after a 30 minute delay, and Chorley overcame the early blow of losing Holdsworth and fellow opener Andy Winrow to take command.
Ian Dickinson returned to form in fine fashion with a superb 84 as he piloted the home side to a respectable 184 for 9, and then the bowlers took over to ensure Blackpool’s run chase never got going.
The only danger was from the threatening grey clouds but the rain kept off long enough for Chorley to skittle out the home side for a paltry 79 and book a third round tie at Darwen which is expected to take place this Sunday.
However, there was less joy the previous day when the Windsor Park side’s first ever trip to Penrith ended in defeat. The long journey up the M6 looked as though it may have been in vain as grey skies gathered at Tynefield Park, but the rain interrupted just once as Billy Smith’s five wicket blast ensured the home side were restricted to 148 for 8. On a small ground, that total looked attainable, but home pro Paul Hindmarch and former Kendal man Jack White reduced the visitors to 45 for 5 and the game looked up.
A steady 40 from Jack Catterall brought the visitors back into it though, and in a thrilling finale, the last wicket fell with Chorley just two runs short in the gathering gloom as the clock passed quarter to nine.
The weather was different on Bank Holiday Monday as glorious sunshine bathed a big Windsor Park crowd, but the result was unfortunately the same as visitors Darwen took the honours to extend their lead at the top of the table.