Walling's men aim to close gap at top

Garstang skipper Mark Walling is targeting maximum points against Freckleton on Saturday as they bid to close the gap on the league leaders.

Friday, 7th July 2017, 9:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:35 am
Mark Walling

Last Saturday’s abandonment against Croston saw the third-placed Riversiders drop 10 points behind leaders Fulwood and Broughton at the halfway stage of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.

The showers intervened with Walling’s players on 40-2 chasing their opponents’ 131-9, while Fulwood and Broughton posted a nine-wicket win after skittling Torrisholme for 66.

Garstang’s next opponents on Saturday are bottom side Freckleton, who lost a one-sided game on the opening day of the season.

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Waris Khan Ahmadzai took five wickets as Freckleton were all out for 36, a score which Garstang surpassed with 10 wickets in hand.

“I think it will be a harder game than the one on the first day of the season,” the skipper said.

“I think they have a few more players now than they did that day but we have to try and get maximum points and close the gap on the leaders.

“I think we have been a bit unlucky in the last couple of weeks but there is still plenty of cricket to be played.

“To be 40-2 chasing 130 meant the game was in our hands but there’s not a lot we can do about the weather.”

Before the rain arrived at the weekend, Coen Oosthuysen continued to boost his reputation.

A season-best bowling display of 5-44 keeps him top of the club’s wicket-taking chart for 2017 with 33 from 11 games.

Walling said: “He bowled really well on Saturday but we have to him use him quite a lot and, hopefully, we can do well in the second half of the season.

“Other batsmen find it hard to get him away; he’s a good weapon for us to have and, hopefully, he can carry on his form.”

Elsewhere at the top of the table, leaders Fulwood and Broughton travel to Great Eccleston, while second-placed Longridge are at Rufford. Fourth-placed Vernon Carus visit Croston.