OUR season starts tomorrow – that’s the hope of St Annes CC skipper Andy Kellett as the Northern Premier League champions bid to overcome a miserable start to their title defence.
With no wins from five division one matches, Kellett’s side tomorrow visit Lancaster, one of only two sides below them in the table.
The league campaign reached a low ebb last Saturday, when they dismissed hosts Preston for 82 but still managed to lose by 14 runs, though a much-needed confident boost followed on Sunday, when Swinton Moorside were defeated by eight wickets in the first round of the Lancashire Cup.
And Kellett hopes that is a launchpad for a league revival, starting tomorrow.
The captain said: “We desperately need a win at Lancaster.
“We’ve finally got our first win of the season in the cup and that will do us good. We bowled and fielded well, which gives us some confidence which was lacking a little.”
Kellett admits the team’s sluggish start is not easily explained but he feels fortune has not favoured his side.
“It has not gone for us and we have had a bit of bad luck, particularly against Barrow when the rain came when we looked like winning.
“You do need some luck – we had it last season when we won a few games at the last minute.
“But have played poorly in the other games and have not batted well, particularly at home.
“We were confident at Preston and the wicket was not bad. Lukman Vahaluwala bowled well but we should have won it.”
The seven-wicket haul by Preston’s Indian captain was matched by St Annes’ Sri Lankan spinner Dinuka Hettiarachchi, who ended the weekend with 11 wickets to his name following the cup win.
Kellett admits the professional’s late arrival due to Visa issues was a factor in the team’s disappointing start.
He added: “Yes, if Dinuk had played in the first couuple of games we would have won those. He has settled straight back in even though he does not like the weather we are having.”
With their star turn on song and his team-mates boosted by that cup success,
“Hopefully this weekend will be a turning point, and it would be a good time to start a winning run with plenty of matches to come, with bank holidays and twenty20s.”
Fleetwood were brought crashing to earth after their superb start, when defeat by Barrow saw Mat Clark’s side plunge from top to sixth.
They bid to return to winning ways tomorrow at Darwen, who have only one win to show for their first six.
Blackpool hope to continue their climb with a fourth straight win at home to Kendal. The Stanley Park club have seamer Richard Gleeson in fine form, with 14 wickets in his last two.