Cup exit will spur 'Ridge on for rest of the season
Longridge captain Kyle Helm is convinced his men will not be affected too much by their disappointing Meyler Cup exit on Sunday.
The men from Chipping Road were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by arch rivals Garstang at home.
In damp conditions at the Newsham Memorial Ground, Helm thought he had been handed a stroke of fortune when he won the toss and inserted the visitors.
Unfortunately, it was Garstang who adapted better to the tricky conditions as the home side were dismissed for 95 chasing 134 for victory.
That defeat came just 24 hours after they leapfrogged above the Riversiders to go back to the top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division after a win over Thornton Cleveleys at Illawalla.
“There were mixed emotions at the weekend,” said Helm.
“We played really well on Saturday at Thornton Cleveleys.
“We bowled in the right areas and fielded well and then knocked off the runs – it was a good all-round performance.
“On Sunday, I thought I got lucky by winning the toss.
“We took some early wickets but a couple of their batsmen dug in to get 30 and 40.
“I think if one of our batsmen had got to 30, we would have probably gone on to win the game. It’s fine margins.
“The lads were disppointed because it’s a competition we wanted to win.
“We feel that it’s a competition that suits us because we have got five very good bowlers and you have to have five bowlers all bowling eight overs each.
“So the lads were a little bit gutted but it’s something we can learn from.”
This weekend, Longridge will look to maintain their place at the top when they host bottom side Freckleton.
They are currently four points clear of reigning champions Fulwood and Broughton, while Garstang are two points further back. Fourth-placed Vernon Carus are still in the title picture – 11 points off the top.
“It’s tightened up at the top,” said Helm.
“There’s probably four team in and around it.
“This Saturday is the half-way point of the season, so it would be nice to be on top after the weekend which would set us up nicely for the rest of the season.”
On Sunday, Longridge have a Ribble Valley derby to look forward to when they face Clitheroe at Chatburn Road in the Lancashire Knockout Cu.
“We’ve got Clitheroe in the last 16 of the Lancs Cup,” said Helm.
“It’s going to be tough ask. Their professional played for Pakistan against England a few years ago, so it should be interesting.”
Helm has a full squad to choose from on Saturday, although could be missing Rory McDowell for the trip to Clitheroe.