Lancaster CC look to make home advantage pay

Lancaster CC captain Jamie Heywood is looking forward to locking horns with another new skipper when they host Longridge on Saturday afternoon.

By Gavin Browne
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 4:45 pm

Not only are two of last season’s Northern Premier Cricket League top four meeting each other on day one but both have undergone captaincy changes during the winter.

Heywood has taken over from Ben Simm while Longridge are now skippered by Luke Platt after Nick Wilkinson stepped down at the end of last season.

Last season saw Lancaster win the first meeting at Newsham in June before August’s return match at Lune Road was abandoned because of rain.

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Jamie Heywood has replaced Ben Simm as Lancaster CC captain Picture: Tony North

Heywood said: “Longridge were our arch-rivals for a while and they have got a good overseas player (Connor Rutland) from what I’ve seen.

“However, our ground is a tough place to come if we play well and I’m glad we’re starting at home.

“It will be one of the hardest places to play but it’s home advantage and, hopefully, we can start off really well.”

Both teams could, perhaps, have asked for an easier start to their respective seasons.

Heywood, however, maintains it’s a reflection of how competitive the Northern League is.

For good measire, it will also be a good warm-up for what lies ahead 24 hours later.

“There’s no easy games because the Northern League is a strong competition,” he added.

“Blackpool will be there and they always seem to get some really good professionals.

“Richard Gleeson will be playing because he’s only on a one-day contract (at Lancashire).

“It’s tough playing against lads like that. We pay to play the game whereas he does it for a living.

“To turn up, get your pads on and face someone bowling 85 miles per hour – it’s a challenge but it’s a good challenge.

“That’s the reason you play, to face people like that, and the Northern League offers that in abundance.

“Then, on the Sunday, we’re at home we have Furness at home in the National Club Championship – and they’re going to be a really tough side to play against as well.”