Longridge skipper takes positives from season-ending successes

Longridge skipper Kyle Helm saw his side end their season with victory against Freckleton
Longridge skipper Kyle Helm saw his side end their season with victory against Freckleton

Longridge captain Kyle Helm wants his players to use the end of this year’s Moore and Smalley Palace Shield season as momentum for going into 2018.

Longridge’s title hopes evaporated after four straight defeats in August but they ended the season by defeating Croston and Freckleton either side of an abandonment against Thornton Cleveleys.

It was enough for Helm’s men to finish the season in fourth place, though the Freckleton win last Saturday was one of the hard earned variety.

Longridge had bowled out their opponents for 92, stumbled to 33-6 in reply and got over the finishing line on 94-7 thanks – predominantly – to an undefeated 45 from Ian Simpson.

“We needed to finish the season with those two wins really, especially after what happened to us during August,” Helm admitted.

“Saturday’s win had looked a bit iffy at one stage because, when you’re chasing 92 and you’re 33-6, I’m sitting there wondering what’s going on.

“Myself and Ian Simpson batted a long time and they were getting frustrated because they had got so many wickets so quickly.

“It wasn’t a 33-6 wicket but they’d had two tracks marked out and it was very wet on top.

“The umpires decided to go with the one that looked the driest but it wasn’t the flattest of wickets.

“It was also quite a warm day when it wanted to be so, when it came to our turn for batting, it dried out but then the ball started doing strange things like lifting or shooting.

“They got a couple of wickets from balls like that and it wasn’t until the change bowlers came on that we kicked on.

“I came in at 33-6 and only got seven before I was out with only 11 to win so that shows how well Ian batted.

“It was important to finish with two wins and, hopefully, we’ll carry them into next year.”