Clayton-le-Woods skipper Steve Connor believes his side can look up rather than down – in contrast to previous seasons in Division Two of the Palace Shield.
Promotion is out of the quetsion but relegation looks unlikely too, as there is clear daylight between the Kem Mill Lane side and the bottom two.
Connor said: “We are playing a couple of teams that are around us in the table such as Norcross and Gregson Lane.
“It will be an opportunity for us to pick up a few results, which will give us a bit of a cushion from the relegation.
“The club are better off compared to last season. Our team is stronger.”
One of the changes to the first team has been the addition of all-rounder Aziz Patel, who has notched up 300 runs.
Connor said: “He started in the second team but he has played well and, along with Terence Markham, we have a good opening bowling attack.
“It is a good mix as Terence has taken 33 wickets bowling short of a length, while Aziz is doing it more flat and full.
“Then we have Faruk Chabdou, Stuart Barnish and even me coming in later to take wickets.”
On Saturday Whittle & Clayton-le-Woods hosted Mawdesley at Kern Mill Lane. Put in to bat, Khalid Sohail’s 45 was the highlight of the innings as the home side posted 115 all out. In response, Mawdesley overcame a sticky start, which saw opener Brian Parr bowled lbw for a duck, to overhaul their target in 35.1 overs with Dave Whiteley’s 32 the top score.
Meanwhile the 2nds travelled to Thornton Cleveleys 3rds in Division Five of the Palace Shield. The visitors’ decision to bowl first was a good one as they dismissed the home side for just 27 all out, Edward O’Donnell taking 8-17. Despite the loss of four wickets, Mark Duffy’s
15 not out saw them home.