Fylde coast cricket preview: St Annes’ skipper calls on his players to follow up last week’s first win

St Annes CC skipper Nathan Armstrong is hoping to follow up last week's victory
St Annes CC skipper Nathan Armstrong is hoping to follow up last week's victory
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St Annes take on Fulwood and Broughton this weekend for the first of what their captain describes as “eight cup finals”.

The Vernon Park club finally claimed their first win of the league season last week at the 14th time of asking, seeing off fourth-bottom Kendal.

It moved them 19 points clear of bottom side Barrow in Northern Premier Division One and 12 adrift of third-bottom Penrith with eight games of the season remaining.

“It was great to finally get that win,” said captain Nathan Armstrong.

“It was just what we needed to give us that push for the rest of the season.

“I think we went in with the right mindset, but getting their professional out early was definitely key.

“It was just a good day and everything went to plan. We got wickets early on to put the pressure on and we bowled a lot better than we had done in previous weeks.

“There was a bit of relief afterwards but I think we’re all looking forward to the games coming up now.

“We enjoyed the win, we enjoyed the night but we were straight back to it in training.

“We’re looking forward to Saturday to try and push out of the relegation zone.

“There’s definitely a good chance for us now to push up the table.

“I said from the start our team is good enough to compete with every team in the league, although we obviously haven’t done that so far this season.

“Hopefully the win on Saturday will give us that belief because we know how well we can play.

“It’s the old saying but we’ve got eight cup finals remaining now and we’re aiming to win every single one.

“We start with Fulwood this weekend and Barrow next weekend which are two massive games.

“But a couple of wins would stand us in good stead going into the final six games.”

Armstrong believes there are a number of factors for St Annes’ poor form this season, but he’s not interested in dwelling on the past.

“If I could put my finger on what has gone wrong we would have stopped it a lot earlier,” he said.

“I just think it was almost a perfect storm, everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong.

“We lost a few players right before the start of the season, I’ve picked up an injury halfway through and it’s been difficult watching from the sidelines when you can’t do anything to impact the games.

“I think there are many other things as well but hopefully we’re going in the right direction now and we’ll be able to get ourselves out of the mess we’ve got ourselves into.

“I’m hoping to be back from my injury soon, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

“But I don’t think I will be fully fit by the end of the year but if I can manage it and play and help the team out then I will try and get back as soon as possible.”

This weekend’s opponents Fulwood and Broughton sit in sixth place in the league and Armstrong says a second win on the bounce won’t come easy.

“It’s a tough game against a good team who have done well this year,” he added.

“They’re a good group with a very good bowler in Simon Kerrigan, so the way we play him will be key.

“But they also have some good players all the way down the order but I think it’s just important to play our own cricket and get the win.”

Tomorrow’s fixtures

Northern Premier Cricket League: Barrow v Longridge, Chorley v Penrith, Fulwood and Broughton v St Annes, Garstang v Netherfield, Kendal v Fleetwood, Leyland v Blackpool.

Liverpool Competition ECB premier league: Lytham v Southport and Birkdale.

Moore and Smalley Palalce Shield premier league: Fylde v Penwortham, Great Eccleston v South Shore, Lancaster v Vernon Carus, Morecambe v Croston, Preston v New Longton, Standish v Eccleston.

Division 1A: Grimsargh v Hoghton, Mawdesley v Thornton Cleveleys, Rufford v Kirkham and Wesham, Torrisholme v Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods, Withnell Fold v Tarleton.