Longridge CC can still target league and cup success this season

Longridge CC bowler Ian Simpson
Longridge CC bowler Ian Simpson

Longridge CC’s Ian Simpson reminded his team-mates they still have plenty to play for as they enter the final third of the season.

With seven games of the Northern Premier Cricket League campaign to be played, they sit fifth in the table with a two-point deficit to Netherfield and a further 12 to third-placed Fleetwood.

They host Fleetwood on Saturday, seven days on from a disappointing abandonment at Barrow.

They had managed eight overs’ play, in which time the home side had made 18-1 before the rain arrived and ended proceedings.

Given Barrow’s position at the bottom of the table, 32 points from safety, it was a game in which Longridge had targeted victory and maximum points.

Simpson admitted: “Of all the teams we didn’t want to have a match called off against, it was the team bottom of the league.

“Luckily, everyone else got rained off so at least that’s a positive but it means we have to beat all the teams around us to have a chance of finishing in the top four.

“There’s a hell of a lot of cricket in these last seven games and a lot of points up for grabs.

“If we can win five of the last seven, that would take us to more than 200 points which would be amazing for our first year in the Northern League.

“We want to finish in the top four and play the Lancashire Cup next year; we were used to finishing in the top four in the Palace Shield and it’d be great if we could do that again.”

It’s a double-header for Longridge this weekend with Saturday’s game against Fleetwood followed by the Berry Beds 40-Over Cup tie with Chorley on Sunday.

Victory would see Longridge meet Netherfield in the last eight but Fleetwood’s visit to Newsham is the immediate priority.

The two sides met earlier in the season with Fleetwood winning by 45 runs.

It proved a learning curve for the Longridge players as, unaccustomed to batting out time, they were all out with six-and-a-half overs left.

“We were 10 per cent off that day,” Simpson recalled.

“We drifted from overs 30 to 40 and they got 50 runs more than they should have and we didn’t bat our overs – these are the lessons you learn.”