Morecambe CC aim to forget a difficult 2021 season

Captain Alex Briggs is just looking forward to focusing on cricket when Morecambe CC begin their Moore and Smalley Palace Shield season on Saturday.

By Gavin Browne
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 4:49 pm

Morecambe welcome Preston to Woodhill Lane after an eventful 12 months on and off the pitch.

On it, they are seeking an immediate return to the Northern Premier Cricket League following a season of two halves in 2021.

Having moved across from the Palace Shield at the end of 2019, the Covid-hit 2020 season left Morecambe waiting for their NPCL return.

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Alex Briggs hopes to lead Morecambe to Moore and Smalley Palace Shield success in 2022 Picture: Tony North

Initially, it was a promising one as they went unbeaten for two months in losing only one of their first 10 matches.

Defeat to Longridge at the end of June began a 12-match winless run which saw them relegated on the final day, two points from safety.

For good measure, Charlie Swarbrick and Jamie Heywood both left during the season – and the departures have continued.

Liam and Kieran Moffat have joined Heywood at Lancaster, last year’s captain Ryan Pearson is at Garstang, Louis Backhouse moved to Netherfield and Jamie Cassidy is with Heysham.

“It was outrageous,” Briggs said of last season.

“I’d never seen anything like it. We were flying after 10 games and were up at the top.

“However, especially in a game like cricket, it’s easy to get caught in a tailspin if results don’t go your way.

“We went from being on such a high to almost the lowest of the low.

“The best way I can put it is to say that, early on, the lower order came in with the score at 200 and 10 overs to go – then they were coming in with 10 overs gone.”

Coming down from the Northern League into the Palace Shield means there is a target on the Morecambe players’ backs for 2022.

Nevertheless, the captain is embracing the challenge and isn’t shy about his ambition for the year ahead.

He said: “The target is to get promoted, it’s as simple as that.

“The T20 in the Palace Shield is quite a long competition: I think there’s seven games in the group stages.

“On the flip side, we have a bye in the Meyler Cup first round so, if we win three games in that, we’re in the final.”