Longridge skipper focuses on 2017’s plus points

Longridge skipper Kyle Helm was satisfied at how their season panned out
Longridge skipper Kyle Helm was satisfied at how their season panned out

Longridge skipper Kyle Helm believes this season has shown their players they are good enough to compete at the top end of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.

They ended the season fourth in the table, having been genuine title challengers until four straight defeats in August.

Twenty-six points proved the difference between Longridge and second-placed Fulwood and Broughton who, along with champions Garstang, have opted to try their luck in the Northern League next year.

That decision means Kendal and Lancaster will make the reverse journey into the Palace Shield for the 2018 campaign.

While the temptation is there to wonder what might have been but for that awful August, Helm is taking the positives from his players’ performances in league and cup this year.

“Ninety-five per cent of the season was superb,” he said.

“We had the cup runs in the Lancashire Cup and the National Knockout but it’s the Palace Shield and the Meyler Cup which are your bread and butter really.

“We had more games rained off than anyone else but that wouldn’t have made a difference in the end.

“We’d had the tied game against Fulwood and Broughton at the end of July but what did the damage for us – more than the August defeats to Garstang and Vernon Carus – were the losses either side of those games against Penwortham and Torrisholme.

“I think that, even if we hadn’t lost those games and still been beaten by Garstang and Vernons, then we would have been right up there with a lot to play for.”

Attention now switches to the club’s AGM taking place in December before indoor nets begin at Longridge High School, either at the end of January or in early February.