Longridge skipper wants players to maintain title ambition

Tom Howarth hit a half-century for Longridge at the weekend
Tom Howarth hit a half-century for Longridge at the weekend

Longridge skipper Kyle Helm admitted it was job done after their six-wicket win at Rufford on Saturday.

Helm’s players kept up their pursuit of Fulwood and Broughton at the top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield with victory against their struggling hosts.

Matt Greenall claimed seven wickets as Rufford were all out for 140 before Tom Howarth’s undefeated half-century guided Longridge to victory.

It wasn’t a completely routine win as, after dismissing the Rufford top and middle order relatively cheaply, Longridge were frustrated by the Rufford lower order, who contributed just over half of their total.

“The track suited Matt and it was a quick deck and the ball was coming through to me quite sharply,” Helm said.

“If I’m honest then I’ve got to say that’s the best I’ve seen him bowl for Longridge.

“For them to to get to 140 was probably 30 runs too many in my eyes but you can’t take that away from them.

“James Whitehead got out in the first over of our reply to a good ball from Richard Lyon, who is a good bowler so it was a case of seeing him off and getting runs from the other end.

“As soon as the change bowlers came on, that was when Tom and Josh (McDowell) made hay; it was good to see Tom in the runs for us batting at number six.”

Victory keeps Longridge four points behind the leaders heading into Saturday’s game against fifth-placed Great Eccleston.

They will be looking to do the double over their opponents following an eight-wicket victory in the second game of the season at the end of April.

“It keeps the season interesting ahead of a big game for us on Saturday,” Helm said.

“Fulwood and Broughton beat them last weekend but they are a dangerous side and you can never take any side lightly in this competition.”