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Longridge are relishing trip to Lancaster

Longridge captain Ian Simpson
Longridge captain Ian Simpson

Longridge bowler Ian Simpson believes everyone associated with the club should relish Saturday’s trip to Lancaster.

Second meet third in the embryonic Moore and Smalley Palace Shield table with both sides having won their first two games.

Longridge have seen off Great Eccleston and Torrisholme in their opening two fixtures to sit third, a point behind Lancaster who have claimed maximum points in defeating Torrisholme and Croston so far.

Lancaster might have finished bottom of last year’s Northern League table but Simpson is under no illusion as to their ability.

“You only have to look at their games so far to see they are taking wickets and they piled on the runs against Torrisholme,” he said.

“I can’t remember us having played at Lancaster before so we’re quite excited about meeting them this early in the season and seeing where we’re at in terms of what we can do this season.

“They are the early pacesetters along with Eccleston as both of those sides have maximum points – but we’re only one behind.

“We’ve lost a couple of players this year so we’re trying to find out where we are in the pecking order.

“We think we’re a good team but Saturday will definitely test us more than we’ve been tested so far.”

While Lancaster got the better of Croxton in a low-scoring game last time out, Longridge saw off Torrisholme in another match where the bowlers dominated.

Having bowled out Torrisholme for 81, Longridge reached their target but lost four wickets in doing so; something which annoyed their camp.

“It was a good performance but we were disappointed to lose four wickets,” Simpson added.

“That was a bit sloppy but I can’t say it was a bowler-friendly wicket – if anything it was a surprisingly dry track given the run of weather we’d 
had.

“You could have batted all day if you’d wanted to but we’re still finding our feet and were just pleased to win.”

Meanwhile, in the Northern League Division One, Leyland take on newly-pomoted Garstang – who have won their opening two league games – at the Riverside.

Chorley put their 100% record on the line when they welcome Blackpool to Windsor Park.

Fulwood and Broughton are at home to Morecambe while Preston welcome Barrow to West Cliff.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Northern League Division One: Chorley v Blackpool, Fulwood and Broughton v Morecambe, Garstang v Leyland, Penrith v Netherfield, Preston v Barrow, St Annes v Fleetwood.

MOORE AND SMALLEY PALACE SHIELD Premier DIVISION: Lancaster v Longridge, New Longton v Croston, Penwortham v Eccleston, Thornton Cleveleys v South Shore, Torrisholme v Great Eccleston, Vernon Carus v Kendal.