Garstang CC have reasons to be cheerful

Coen Oosthuysen helped Garstang to sixth place in the Northern League      Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society
Coen Oosthuysen helped Garstang to sixth place in the Northern League Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society

Garstang CC captain Mark Walling admitted their first season in the Northern Premier Cricket League could not have gone much better.

Having moved into the league this season after winning the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield in 2017, Walling’s players ended the season sixth in the table.

There was also a place in the league’s 40-over final, making it a good first year in their new competition.

Walling said: “At the start of the season, we were going into the unknown a bit in terms of the sides we were going up against.

“We didn’t know much about to the league, so to finish sixth and reach a cup final is a good season for us.

“Obviously there are some really good teams, especially playing at home, but we had played some of the better teams in cups before.

“Having played some of the other teams in the Northern League, there is a bit of a gulf between the top sides and the others.”

This year was the first season where the top two in the Palace Shield could make the move into the Northern League if they wished.

Garstang acquitted themselves well to finish sixth while Fulwood and Broughton, who came across with them, stayed up with victory on the final day of the season.

Nevertheless, the fact both have avoided the bottom two gives hope to this year’s Palace Shield winners, Longridge, who are set to join the Northern League for 2019.

“I thought Fulwood might do better than they did,” Walling said.

“However, they did really well to win their last few games and stay up – and the fact both teams have stayed up is credit to them and the Palace Shield in terms of how good some of their sides are.

“We might be local teams who don’t have as big a pool of players as other teams but we all put a lot of time and effort into making sure we’re as good as we can be.”