Longridge CC skipper sounds rallying cry for run-in

Rory McDowell picked up a couple of wickets as Longridge claimed 11 points against Great Eccleston
Rory McDowell picked up a couple of wickets as Longridge claimed 11 points against Great Eccleston

Longridge skipper Kyle Helm believes the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division title race is wide open.

With nine games of the season to go, Fulwood and Broughton are top with 123 points, five clear of Longridge with Garstang a further five back in third place.

The leaders have a tricky period of fixtures on the horizon with fourth-placed Vernon Carus their opponents on Saturday, the top two meeting at Highfield on July 29 and a trip to Garstang on August 12.

Consequently, Helm is of the opinion there may well be some twists and turns to come as his side prepares to host Eccleston on Saturday.

“The title is up for grabs now going into the final games of the season,” Helm said.

“Luckily, from our perspective, we have no more Sunday games for the rest of the season now; it’s just Saturday for us from now on.

“There are two ways of looking at it; one way is that the lads are getting a rest from competitive twice a week.

“The other way of looking at it is that more competitive cricket will help to keep them sharp as the season goes on; I’m hoping it’s the first of those two situations.”

With that in mind, Helm admitted there was something of a Catch 22 situation.

The more matches his players have then it stands to reason the better their season is going.

Nevertheless, he admitted there were times when it was nice to only be playing one game at the weekend.

He said: “From a selfish point of view I love playing every Saturday and Sunday, especially if it’s like when we played Clitheroe in the LCB Knockout the other week.

“That was a great occasion with the number of people watching us, the standard of players we met and the significance of the game.

“However, while it’s always nice to play on both days, as a keeper, I like to give my fingers a rest from time to time!”