Garstang CC captain aims to go one better next year

Garstang CC captain Mark Walling      Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society
Garstang CC captain Mark Walling Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society

Garstang CC skipper Mark Walling is already looking to next year after leading the club to a successful 2019 season.

This year saw Garstang finish second to Leyland after taking the Northern Premier Cricket League title race down to the final day.

For good measure, they also won the league’s T20 competition, reached the semi-final of the 40-over event and made the last eight of the LCF Club Knockout tournament.

However, there will be no resting on laurels at the Riverside as the club aims to improve during 2020.

“I think it’s been a positive season,” Walling reflected.

“If you’d said before the season that we’d finish second in the league and do as well as we have done in the cups, then we’d have taken it.

“Although we have had a good season, there are a few ifs and buts but we can look to improve on those next year.”

Having finished sixth in their first Northern League campaign in 2018, Walling’s players had a fine season this time around.

Having won 10 games and lost 10 games last year, Garstang’s 2019 season brought 12 wins and only four losses, as well as a final points tally of 236 – 46 better than 2018.

One of the reasons for that improvement is the club’s Indian professional, Punit Bisht, who has re-signed for next year.

The batsman was Garstang’s standout performer during the season by scoring 1,600 runs in all competitions at an average of more than 53.

“Punit re-signing for next year is really good news,” Walling said.

“Obviously he scored the amount of runs he did but having him around the team has been really beneficial.

“He was exactly what we wanted in terms of a professional.

“I think a lot of people have seen the benefits that he brings and I haven’t heard one person say a bad word about him.”