Spectators lucky enough to have booked a table in the Tynefield Park “beer garden” basked in sunshine on Saturday as Penrith first XI clinched a thrilling one-wicket victory in their first Palace Shield home game of the season.
The game kept onlookers enthralled until the end as teenagers James Ellis and Finn Harrison — batting at 10 and 11 — got Penrith over the line against Chorley-based side Eccelston.
The visitors were all out for 129 all in 40.2 of their allotted 45 overs, with Penrith’s Asher Hart in fantastic form, taking five for 29 from 13 overs. In reply, Penrith had Eccleston’s unused overs in addition to their 45, and reached 142 for nine from exactly 45.
They were in trouble at 41 for five from 15 overs, but captain Ali Craig, who top scored with 47, and Tristan Lundqvist (19) gave them a fighting chance, before Ellis and Harrison showed maturity beyond their 17 years to see them to 142 for nine.
Skipper Craig said it was great to play in front of a crowd again. Although spectators are still not allowed at private clubs, they are permitted to watch from tables in the “beer garden”, which were all full.
Tomorrow, Penrith are at home again, when Kirkham and Wesham, who have won their first two matches, are the visitors.