Top four slot in the northern League is the target for Longridge

Longridge bowler Ian Simpson
Longridge bowler Ian Simpson

Longridge have shifted their sights going into the second half of the Northern Premier Cricket League season.

In their first year at this level after winning the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield last season, Longridge could have been forgiven for targeting a third-bottom finish and survival.

However, 11 games into the campaign and they sit sixth in the table, only 17 points adrift of the leaders, Leyland.

With that in mind, bowler Ian Simpson, pictured right, admits they have a new ambition for the rest of the season.

“When we started, there were questions about whether we needed a pro or were we good enough,” he said.

“We’ve raised our goal now and we want to finish in the top four; if we can do that then what a season we’ll have had.

“It would be more than we could have asked for and gives us a platform to make some fundamental decisions about the club and where we are at this moment in time.”

Those decisions are for another day, however, with the immediate attention now being Saturday’s home game against second-placed Netherfield.

The two sides met on the opening day with Longridge going down to a nine-run defeat.

However, confidence will be high in the home camp after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in their game at Blackpool last time out.

Defending a score of 186-9, Longridge saw Blackpool reach 115-1 in reply – only to lose their last nine wickets for 67 runs and give Longridge a four-run win.

Simpson and Dan Wilson both took four wickets with the former having high praise for the latter.

“I said to a few of our lads that we didn’t win the game but they lost it,” Simpson admitted.

“We kept chipping away but their players kept trying to win it in one shot and we kept taking wickets as a result of that.

“For Dan, as a 16-year-old, to bowl the 47th and 49th overs – and bowl a maiden and a wicket maiden when they only needed 12 to win – was unbelievable.”