Garstang skipper Mark Walling is hoping to end Netherfield’s title bid

Ian Walling
Ian Walling

Garstang CC can play party poopers for the Northern Premier Cricket League’s final day of the season on Saturday.

Mark Walling’s players host Netherfield at the Riverside (12.30pm), knowing that victory will ensure a top-half finish and dent their visitors’ title hopes.

Netherfield go into the game sitting in second place, seven points behind Blackpool with Garstang sitting in sixth.

A win for Garstang and results elsewhere going their way could see them leapfrog Leyland and Chorleyto to end their first Northern League campaign in fourth – in addition to their Trophy final defeat last weekend.

“There are so many positives for us to take out of the season,” Walling said.

“If you had offered us sixth place and a cup final before the season started, then we’d have snapped your hand off without doubt.

“We could probably do with strengthening the batting because there were too many times we were bowled out.

“If we can bring someone in and the rest of us can improve five per cent then that would stand us in good stead but there are places up for grabs.”

Victory gives Garstang an immediate chance of revenge for their Trophy defeat at Netherfield last Sunday.

Walling’s players were comfortably beaten as they were dismissed for 99 chasing their opponents’ 185-9.

On the back of Saturday’s 85-run loss against Penrith, it was a weekend to forget in what has largely been a positive first season at Northern League level.

Walling said: “It was a bit of a disappointing time for everyone, especially losing against Penrith.

“They played really well and you could tell they needed to win to secure their Northern League spot next year.

“As well as they played, it was still a disappointing day but Sunday’s performance was just as bad.”

The challenge now for Garstang’s players, after such a dispiriting weekend last time out, is to finish the season in style.

Last year’s Moore and Smalley Palace Shield champions have acquitted themselves well after moving competitions for the 2018 season.

Fulwood and Broughton, promoted with Garstang, have survival just about in their own hands.

They go into their final game agains Fleetwood at Broadwater with a two point lead over Morecambe who are second bottom.

If F&B better the result Morecambe get at Chorley, they will stay up.

They gave their chances of staying up a huge boost with a 76-run victory over Chorley last week.

A century from Charlie Rossiter played a huge part on that win, Rossiter hitting an unbeaten 104.