Longridge CC won’t hand the Northern League title to Leyland

Ian Simpson wants Longridge CC to end the season with victory at Leyland
Ian Simpson wants Longridge CC to end the season with victory at Leyland

Longridge CC end their maiden Northern Premier Cricket League season knowing they can play a huge part in who lifts the title.

They travel to leaders Leyland, knowing that a win which sees their hosts collect one point or fewer can open the door for Garstang provided they take full points against St Annes.

For their part, Longridge are assured of sixth place following last weekend’s winning draw against Penrith.

While they cannot finish any higher or lower, Longridge bowler Ian Simpson wants to finish the season on a high.

“We’ll try our best but, at the end of the day, we just want to win a game of cricket,” he said.

“If we can turn Leyland over and they have to cancel their celebrations then so be it but whoever is top on the last day deserves it.

“They have been the two outstanding sides all season and it’s only right that it should be decided on the last day.

“We’ll be going there, trying to upset the applecart, and it’s going to be a competitive game because we want to finish well.”

Longridge brought down the curtain on their home games for 2019 against Penrith in a match where both teams could have won.

A game reduced to 37 overs a side saw Longridge post 140-8, only for their visitors to finish 15 runs short of victory on 126-7.

The seven points Penrith took kept them three points of the relegation places but Simpson admitted he was bemused by their approach with one game of the season left.

“It was a strange game,” he said on reflection.

“It looked a tricky wicket, it got a bit wet during the week, but we felt we managed to get a competitive score.

“We knew with our bowling attack that we had a chance but we weren’t sure how they were going to approach it.

“They knew Kendal were in the bottom two and then they found out Kendal had beaten Garstang, so then Penrith were in the bottom two.

“It was all change but they never seemed to go for it; it felt like they were happy with the points. They needed something like 25 off the last over to win but were happy with a run a ball.”