Lancaster captain says team must come to terms with being hunted

Lancaster must come to terms with being the hunted in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division this season.
Lancaster's Liam Moffat. Picture: Tony North.Lancaster's Liam Moffat. Picture: Tony North.
Lancaster's Liam Moffat. Picture: Tony North.

That is the view of skipper Luke Phillips who believes the rest of the clubs view beating his recently relegated side as a major scalp.

A big club with a long and illustrious history, Lancaster were one of the founder members of the Northern League when it first came into being in 1952.

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However, the six-times former Division One champions became the first club – along with Kendal – to drop into the Palace Shield under the new promotion and relegation pyramid system brought in last year.

It is Lancaster’s intention to bounce straight back at the first time of asking, but as they have found in the opening weeks of the season, it’s not going to be all plain sailing.

Their fortunes so far have been mixed, winning two but also losing two and Phillips is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing his men this summer.

“A lot of teams in the Palace Shield will want to beat us and Kendal,” said Phillips.

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“Obviously we have come down from the Northern League and other teams will see us as a big scalp.

“Lancaster with its size and history; you get clubs coming to our ground – it’s massive when you compare it to other grounds we are playing on in the Palace Shield.

“Other clubs will raise their game; they want to beat us and show that they are better than an ex-Northern League team.”

Despite the setback of being relegated, Phillips revealed his men are firmly up for the challenge of regaining their Northern league status.

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“I think we do have a little bit of adapting to do,” said Phillips.

“It’s all a bit new and a bit different. There’s different rules like legside wides which you don’t have in the Northern League.

“I think as the season goes on, we will get a little bit more used to it and we’ll prove that we will be good enough to be up there challenging.

“We want to try to kick on, hopefully be in those top two spots and go straight back up.”

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After winning their opening two games, Lancaster have come unstuck over the past two weeks – losing firstly to early season pacesetters Longridge and last Saturday to old foes Kendal.

Chief among Phillips’ concerns is his team’s batting form. After scoring over 200 on the opening day of the season against Torrisholme, Lancaster have struggled since and were shot out for less than 100 at the weekend.

“The batting has let us down the last couple of weeks,” he said. “We have just not scored the runs that we hoped we would have done.

“We have bowled and fielded well generally, but being all out for 90 against Kendal last weekend was not really good enough.”

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This weekend, Lancaster – who also lost to south Shore in the Meyler Cup on Sunday – welcome Eccleston to Lune Road.

“They have had a good start to the season,” he said.

“I think they have won two or three games and it should be a tough.

“It won’t be easy, but we have got to make sure that we are up for it and perform. People have got to start taking responsibility.

“Hopefully we will get a result.”