Longridge CC keep bowling over their opposition

Jon Millward is one of the Longridge CC players to have impressed with the ball so far this season
Jon Millward is one of the Longridge CC players to have impressed with the ball so far this season

Longridge CC’s Ian Simpson admits the club’s bowling attack is their biggest threat as they seek a place in the Northern League next season.

Having taken six wins from their opening seven matches this season, Longridge are presently second in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division, three points behind Croston.

The standout statistic is that both teams – plus Torrisholme – have the division’s fewest batting bonus points.

Seven games in and both teams only have one batting bonus point as opposed to 20 bowling points for Croston and 17 for Longridge.

“We need to play to our strongest suit and that’s our bowling,” Simpson said.

“We always look to bowl second because it’s our strength, especially at home, where we know we can defend totals.”

Longridge’s bowling has had to be spot on so far this season as, despite their lofty league position, there have been some batting struggles.

Those struggles have been a cause for discussion in the dressing room with players moving from first XI to second XI and vice versa with last season’s senior skipper, Kyle Helm, restored to the firsts.

“That’s what we can’t get our heads around because Longridge is a good cricket wicket,” Simpson said going into Saturday’s home game against Thornton Cleveleys.

“We have a good changing room and, while we win as a team, we lose as a team as well.

“We’ve seen that, with Kyle scoring a century for the seconds the other week and a few other lads in the runs, we have some strength in depth.

“If some of the lads have to drop into the seconds – which is a good standard of cricket – there is no losing face.

“I wouldn’t say we have set the world on fire with our batting but we’re still there or thereabouts so we’re still doing something right.

“What we have to do is take it one game at a time and play each game on its merits.”