Longridge CC prepare for a home double-header

John Simpson top-scored for Longridge as they earned a winning draw at St Annes on Saturday
John Simpson top-scored for Longridge as they earned a winning draw at St Annes on Saturday

Longridge CC play the first of back-to-back Northern Premier Cricket League matches this weekend as they look to put pressure on some of the division’s leading lights.

Six games into their first season at this level and Longridge find themselves seventh in the 12-team division, albeit only eight points behind second-placed Fleetwood.

They welcome eighth-placed Kendal to Newsham on Saturday before hosting Garstang seven days later.

All in all, it has been a promising start for Nick Wilkinson’s first XI after they moved across from the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield.

“We were a bit like rabbits in the headlights against Netherfield in the first week,” said bowler Ian Simpson.

“We didn’t bat as well as we could have but, as the league and cup games have gone on, we have gained confidence from winning some of those.

“We don’t fear teams; we respect them but we know we have a really good, strong, bowling unit.

“We’re still feeling we can compete with anybody and we’re on a run now of what we think is three or four winnable games.”

The Longridge attack has impressed, bowling out their opposition in three matches and taking at least seven wickets in their other outings.

Their batters hadn’t really fired until last weekend when they posted their highest league total of the season with 273-4 at St Annes.

It came seven days after they were shot out for 129 chasing Fleetwood’s 174-7 instead of playing for a losing draw; something Simpson admitted was a learning curve.

“We’re still in that ‘win-lose’ cricket mentality,” he said.

“It will take us a while to get around that draw mentality because we could have denied Fleetwood full points.

“We’ve always been used to there being a target and you chase that going down to the last man.

“That’s probably a bit naive of us but we’ll learn from that and know what to do the next time it happens.”