Northern League leaders Leyland Cricket Club are wary of rivals’ threat

David Makinson
David Makinson

David Makinson reckons his Leyland team are in a four-way fight to be crowned champions of the Northern League Division One.

The Fox Lane skipper has always insisted that he never takes the league table seriously until the season enters into August.

Yesterday saw the opening day of the eighth calendar month of the year and if Makinson afforded himself a quick glance at the table, he will have noticed his team are sitting pretty at the top.

However, they are being put under extreme pressure by second-placed Garstang, who are breathing down their necks just five points behind.

Fleetwood, in third, and fourth-placed Netherfield will also all fancy their chances still of lifting the title, according to Makinson.

Intriguingly, Leyland have to play all three in their final seven games of the season.

Despite the daunting run-in, Makinson insisted his men should be full of confidence and fully deserve to be on top. They have only lost once all season and have been victorious on 10 occasions.

“We have been playing really well all through the season,” said Makinson. “We just lost that first game of the season at Kendal, but apart from that we have done really – batting and bowling.

“If you look at the table, there are seven games to go, that’s 100 points to play for.

“I would be surprised if anybody else other than the top four win the title now.

“Garstang, Fleetwood are still right in it and Netherfield still have a chance but it will probably take a lot to go right for them to win it.”

Mark Walling’s men – who are enjoying only their second campaign at this level after winning promotion – are perhaps the surprise package of the league, but Makinson is not shocked to see them doing well.

He has pointed to the fact that they have a good all-round side and in Indian pro, they have arguably the best batsman in the league.

“They did well at the beginning of last year,” Makinson said. “But they fell away a bit towards the end.

“But if you look at their pro and the runs he’s scored, if you have someone like 
that you’re going to be challenging.

“I think he’s scored 200-odd runs more than anybody else.”

This weekend, Leyland travel to derby rivals Chorley, who are well down the table but have found some form of late.

“It’s always a good battle at Chorley,” Makinson said.

“I am sure they will be looking to knock us off the top – I know we would if the shoe was on the other foot.”

Sunday sees the opening round of the Northern League’s 40-over Cup competition

40-over Cup fixtures: Barrow v Blackpool, Garstang v Kendal, Leyland v Fulwood and Broughton, Longridge v Chorley, St Annes v Penrith