ENFIELD hitman Andy Barker has hit one landmark - and now he wants another.
The 45-year-old joined an elite group of batsmen who made 10,000 runs in the Lancashire League on Saturday.
And now, in his 30-year cricket career, he dreams of finally clinching a league title to make it a perfect season.
"That would be a nice sign off," said the Enfield man.
Barker had waited a long time for the runs - it was hanging over from last season and he needed just nine at the start of this campaign.
He got five in his first match and got the final four in the win over Nelson on Saturday to take him over the mark.
"It was a bit embarrassing really," said Barker, who made his league debut for Accrington in 1979.
"It has been such a long time in coming that I have actually forgot about it. I was so focused on the game that, when I got four, everyone except me started jumping about.
"I was still concentrating and then they made an announcement over the speaker and everyone applauded around the ground and I acknowledged it.
"To be fair, it was a really good reception and all the Nelson players were great.
"When I hang up my boots I will look back and realise what an achievement it is - to join the likes of Phil Sykes, Chris Bleazard and Mike Ingham. But I still want more runs as I feel really good at the moment."
He continued: "Last season was frustrating as I got injured, then there was the weather and it was really stop-start for me.
"But the skipper David Bracewell has put me in at number three to bat this season and I have finally managed to do it!
"While passing the total has been a bonus though, the main thing is that Enfield finally kick started their season.
"We feel we have got a good side here and winning the title would be a dream for me.
"I have come close a couple of times, I finished runners-up with Accrington and been close with Enfield twice so I would love to sign off with a title for Enfield."
After an opening day defeat, the Dill Hall Laners won both their double header games this weekend and could be outsiders to clinch the league title.
"We need to kick on but we have a good side and it has developed and I have enjoyed watching that," said Barker.
"Adam Bracewell, Craig Fergusson and David Bracewell have come on and they are supported by senior players such as myself and Mas Ahmed.
"And the professional, Gary Brent, is fantastic. He has enthusiasm and drive and always gives a 100 per cent and it rubs off on the rest of the team. It is looking good and I am glad to be part of it.
"I do get stick - the lads keep reminding me I have been playing for 30 years and my kids say it looks like I am running in slow motion between the wickets!
"Perhaps me and the likes of Dibber (David Ormerod) and Chris Bleazard are mad to keep going so long and feeling it after the weekends but we just love it."
And he relishes the battle of another campaign.
"Around five or six years ago the title was dominated by the likes of East Lancs, Haslingden, Ramsbottom and Bacup but now, if you can get a spell of ten games on the bounce, then you will be hard to catch.
"That’s what Accrington did last season and, coupled with their good players, they deserved the title.
"And I like them as both Graham Lloyd and David Lloyd are older than me and there aren’t many around.
"The big test for them will be coping with the pressure of being the champions and everyone wanting to claim their scalp - but it is a nice pressure to have."
The only downside on hitting his 10,000th run was that his dad, West Indies cricket star Keith Barker, wasn’t there to witness it. Keith Barker senior, died last year. "That was a bit sad but I am sure he was looking down and was proud of me."
And he also hopes his dad is watching brother Keith, who signed a contract at Warwickshire this year after being a professional footballer with Blackburn Rovers but returned to cricket.
"Keith has always been a talented sports star and chose football. It didn’t work out but he has got another chance at cricket and he has grabbed it with both hands.
"He has played for the Warwickshire first team this season and got in ahead of schedule really. But hopefully he will hold down a first team place and we will see the Barker name in the county team more regularly."
* IT WAS extra special for Enfield as they enjoyed a double win weekend.
Nerves were frayed though on Saturday as they beat Nelson by just one run. No one starred with the bat and it was Nelson’s staggering 66 extras - including 55 wides - which boosted their score.
Mind you, Enfield did follow suit giving away 38 extras and it went to the final over with the bowlers able to keep it tight.
However, David Bracewell’s side found their batting form on Sunday in their 94-run win over local rivals Church.
The skipper’s brother Adam Bracewell hit a quick fire 89 in 80 balls with pro Gary Brent chipping in with a welcome 52. Adam Greenwood top scored for Church with 33 but Matloob Khan’s 5-40 saw off the Blackburn Road side.
The day before Church had enjoyed their first win of the campaign with a narrow victory over Colne. Just one wicket separated the sides with Church calling on ex-player and current coach Mark Aspin as pro due to the red tape holding up New Zealand paid man Luke Woodcock. Sam Holt took 5-18 to secure the win.
Todmorden are proving Accrington’s bogey team this season. They beat the double winners in the Colne Trophy and then inflicted a league loss on the champions on Saturday
It was a low scoring game with ex-England player David Lloyd, 62, top-scoring with 28. David Ormerod took four wickets but it wasn’t enough.
However,the Thorneyholme Road side bounced back against Rawtenstall on Sunday with a stunning 169-run win.
Stuart Crabtree hit his best of 96 from 76 balls and sub pro Will Driver got 63 in their 246. Jimmy Hayhurst claimed five victims, Paul Carroll four and, for once, prolific bowler Ormerod didn’t get any.
Rishton also chalked up one win and one loss as they scraped by in a five run win over Bacup on Saturday. Richard Rostron made 59 and veteran John Seedle took 5-40. However Haslingden set them a club record 323-5 to chase on Sunday in mission impossible. Rostron again starred with a career best of 83 but it was too much for Rishton. Aussie pro Aaron Heal, making his home debut, certainly found out what the Lancashire League was about.