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It has been a winning 2018 season for both the first XI and second XI at the Blackpool Cricket Club. Not only did the first XI win the Northern Premier League, but the second string also lifted the Palace Shield 1B title. It is an outcome that few could have dreamt of at the beginning of the summer, but the success reflects brilliantly on the club’s junior set-up, with the vast majority of both the first and second XIs coming through the ranks as youth team players.

Both the first and second XI teams have been invited to celebrate with supporters and officials at the biggest event in town since Blackpool hosted the penultimate leg of one of the U.K.’s leading tours for poker at the Grosvenor G Casino. It promises a fantastic evening of celebrations to mark this unheralded double title-winning campaign. The party caps with an appearance from the local cover band, Quarterlight, from 9:30 p.m., with an excellent choice of the 60s, 70s and 80s classics as well as current favourites played live in the clubhouse.

A 10-wicket home win over Penrith crowned a fantastic Northern Premier League season for the first XI, ending the campaign seven points ahead of runner-up Netherfield. It has been a tremendous effort from the squad, led by skipper Paul Danson given that the average age of the side is no more than 21-22. Danson already said that he rates 2018’s title-winning success as a better achievement than the 2014 victory given that “everyone has played a part.”

There’s nothing stopping this youthful side from achieving more success in the years to come either. With so many talented fresh players in the squad, many of whom born and bred in the Blackpool area, it is possible that Danson’s men could develop a lasting reputation. It’s also heartening for the youngsters coming through the system at the Blackpool Cricket Club to see the progress made by homegrown pro Richard Gleeson, who started for the Lancashire first team against Yorkshire at Headingley earlier this summer. It only goes to show that the Blackpool Cricket Club can be a platform for players to grow and reach the pinnacle of English cricket.

The celebrations of our two title-winning campaigns are by no means the final get-together of 2018 for the cricket club. On Saturday, 8th December, the club heads to the world-famous Manchester Christmas Market. Advance tickets are available from the clubhouse at £20 per head, which guarantees a place on the coach. The coach departs the cricket club at 9:30 a.m., with the aim of arriving in the Manchester city centre by 11 a.m., giving you plenty of time to explore the market and stop for a bite to eat (and a glass of your favourite festive tipple perhaps!) before returning to the cricket club at 7 p.m.

It has been a unique season for the Blackpool Cricket Club, and what better way to mark our achievements than by getting involved in all the fun. We are the champions! Eat your heart out, Freddie Mercury.

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