Hat-Trick of Championships (1926-1939)
Major (later Colonel) Green took over for the 1926 season and Lancashire were champions, the first time since 1904. He was described as leading by example and “of much tactical instinct and better still with an understanding of character”.
Features were MacDonald’s bowling, the batting of Makepeace and Tyldesley who each made over 2,000 runs, the good team spirit, wicket-keeping and fielding. The club made a handsome profit of £10,000.
1927 saw Lancashire repeat their championship success but by a smaller margin with only 10 matches won in a wet season. Hallows had a great season hitting six hundreds and along with Ernest Tyldesley were the mainstays for the batting. MacDonald and Dick Tyldesley led the bowling with good support from Frank Sibbles.
The third year of Leonard Green’s hat-trick was the most emphatic with 15 victories and no defeats. The team was highly efficient with Hallows scoring over 2,000 runs including 1,000 runs in the month of May.
Watson and Tyldesley both scored over 2,000 runs and the side was completed by George Duckworth – 107 victims and a place amongst Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year. At the end of the season Leonard Green decided to retire with the enviable record of three successive championships and 42 wins against just 3 defeats.
Peter Eckersley at the age of 23 took over the captaincy and although it was inevitable that the season would be something of an anti-climax Lancashire challenged Notts all the way and finished a very close second.
Under the enthusiastic captaincy of Eckersley, Lancashire once more took the championship in 1930, a wet summer with 10 victories and no defeats. Ernest Tyldesley, Watson and Hopwood led the batting and MacDonald once more the bowling with good support from Hopwood and Sibbles. The year ended sadly with the passing of J.T.Tyldesley ending a link with the 1890′s and someone who was a very popular cricketer.
1931 and 1932 had much in common as apart from being wet summers - Lancashire finished 6th each year. MacDonald retired after taking 1,053 wickets in eight seasons and once described by Neville Cardus as “A bowler of rare and sinister beauty”. Dick Tyldesley also retired and Lancashire had to begin to rebuild the side.
1933 saw the club once more engulfed in financial worries with their players taking a cut in their match fees. Only one match was lost during the season and it pointed the way to the championship title of 1934.
Fine weather, a visit by Don Bradman’s Australians, and Lancashire – thanks to some excellent team-work with 13 matches won – delivered the championship once more. Cyril Washbrook began to nudge his way into the side and Len Hopwood did the double 1,000 runs and 100 wickets. The second XI were also successful that year winning the Minor Counties Competition.
Ernest Tyldesley retired in 1935 and no Lancashire batsman has matched his 100 centuries in first-class cricket. He made a tremendous contribution to Lancashire cricket and later joined the Committee. Also that year Len Hopwood did the double again and Peter Eckersley retired to become an M.P.
The late 1930′s saw Lancashire cricket undergo a period of re-building under the captaincy of Lionel Lister. The opening partnership of Paynter and Washbrook flourished and with Pollard and Phillipson bowling well Lancashire were full of promise with a good young side.
They went into the 1939 season with great hopes only to see them founder in a wet season and towards the end of the season a feeling of unreality as the nation drifted towards war.