Longridge CC target silver success as the season draws to a close

Longridge CC's Ian SimpsonLongridge CC's Ian Simpson
Longridge CC's Ian Simpson
Longridge CC’s Ian Simpson is looking forward to facing familiar foes as they bid for silverware this season.

They head to Kendal tomorrow for the elite level Silver cup final in the 40-over competition for Northern League and Palace Shield clubs.

The final comes a fortnight after the two sides met in the second group stage when rain meant the match was abandoned.

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That early end perhaps suited Longridge more than Kendal, given they had been set a tough amended target.

“We’ve played them quite a few times in recent years,” said Simpson, who took four wickets in last weekend’s semi-final defeat of Great Eccleston.

“Every time I’ve been up there, it’s been raining but the weather looks good for this week so we might get a dry day and a full game in.

“Having said that, it’s also been a minefield up there before so I’m hoping they will prepare a good wicket.

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“They would have probably beaten us a couple of weeks ago when it got rained off after Duckworth-Lewis gave us a big run chase.

“It will be good to go there and try to put those wrongs right, and a win would be a good way to finish the season – but we know it’ll be a tough game ahead.”

Longridge had hoped to have been challenging for the Gold title this year, only to finish outside the top-two qualifying spots after the first group stage.

They finished third, four points adrift of second-placed Garstang whose defeat of Longridge, Simpson believes, proved key.

“We had two hours of bad cricket at Garstang,” he added.

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“We had a decent net run rate but we went there and let them get 150-odd before being skittled for 51.

“That’s cost us but all we can do is play the teams in front of us and win the cup – and if it’s the Silver competition, then so be it.

“We’ve had some good, competitive cricket this year which we weren’t sure we were going to get at one point.”

The later start to the season as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant lots of matches in a condensed period of time.

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In common with other clubs, Longridge have been able to field some of their younger players, who might not have had the opportunity to figure at senior level in a more ‘normal’ year.

“We’ve had some good cricket this year and we’ve been able to give some of the second teamers a chance,” said Simpson.

“Someone like Jacob Procter has had his first chance of first-team cricket in a Twenty20 game but all the lads who have come in have had a chance and done really well.

“It means that 2020 is the year of taking what positives we can out of what’s been a bad year for everyone.”