LAST season was one of doom and gloom at Accrington CC.
There were financial problems, a bottom of the table league position and the club’s very existence was under threat.
What a difference a year can make.
Accrington are now joint top of the early league table and they are the talk of the town for the right reasons - with a decent crowd expected at Thorneyholme Road on Sunday as Sky pundit David Lloyd returns to play for his old side.
At 61, David wants one more shot at the club where he began his career and helped financially last season as they went through their troubles.
Since coming through the ranks at Accrington, he has moved onto Lancashire, captained his county, enjoyed England success as a player and coached England in the late 1990s before sitting comfy in a chair and commentating on the cricket around the world, being the face of Sky Sports cricket.
But now he will, like his son Graham, come full circle and turn out at one of the clubs closest to his heart.
Graham also boasts Lancashire and England honours and captain David Ormerod is hoping the two can provide a bumper crowd - and another win.
Accrington have had two victories so far and Ormerod insists that David can still do the business.
"He turned up at nets from his home in Cheadle on Tuesday and he had a steely determination in his eye," said the captain.
"People might say it is a publicity stunt and a PR exercise but David can certainly still play and is deadly serious.
"He told us he wanted to be picked in the team on merit and judged on practise and he showed he can move well and can still bat.
"He will definitely not weaken the side and he is a very fit man.
"I am sure the rest of us will milk it with Sky meant to be coming down on Sunday and we do wonder what they are going to do.
"David is in regular contact with the likes of Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton so you never know what could happen!
"But we are just pleased to have him here. There is a fantastic buzz around the club especially compared to the troubles of last season.
"We have done well so far so David will have to keep it going or else I will end up with egg on my face!"
David is in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to East Lancs but is not certain to play whereas on Sunday, against Burnley, he will definitely start.
"We are looking at his batting although he did show in nets he can still bowl a bit so we will have to see how it goes," said Ormerod.
"But it is a real morale boost. He just wants to be treated as one of the lads but he is a good person to have in the changing room.
"David has had a bit of stick off his son Graham but Graham is a great asset for us too.
"He has helped me a lot and is a breath of fresh air at the club.
"He gets the respect off everyone because of what he has done in his career. It is going well so far."
"It is fantastic for Accrington," said President Peter Barratt. "I have been with the club since David was here as a player and it is brilliant to see him back at the club.
"He has continued to support the club even when he has been many miles away and he has been great.
"We can’t wait to see him play alongside with Graham.
"Sky are coming down to film David and we are hoping for a good crowd."
Accrington made it two wins out of two by seeing off Ormerod’s old side Bacup on Saturday.
Accrington were in trouble at 52-6 but lower order batsman Simon Hanson top scored with 35 in their 133 all out to give Bacup something to chase.
Ormerod then took 6-35, including the prize wicket of pro Chris Harris, to take his tally to 12 wickets so far as Bacup finished 34 runs short.
Champions Rishton chalked up their first win of the season after drawing their opening game.
Captain Andy Bartley provided the backbone of their innings with a solid 78 but Jimmy Bibby’s 31 proved important in their 191-6.
Professional Saeed Anwar Junior then took 6-43 and Richard Rostron and Scott Greaves chipped in with two wickets each to see off 2006 champions Burnley.
CHURCH had their first win of the campaign too but there’s was a lot closer - a narrow, nail-biting one wicket victory over Worsley Cup holders East Lancs.
East Lancs made what seemed a high target of 176 with Andy Bentley continuing where he left off last season with a five wicket haul.
Opener Sagawat Hussain and Alex Holt got Church off to a good start but it was Adam Greenwood’s unbeaten 38 which proved vital.
He kept calm while wickets fell around him and, despite needing 51 with just two wickets left, Phil Gilrane’s side saw it through. A staggering 35 extras certainly helped Church’s cause though.
ENFIELD are usually strong starters but will not be enjoying this season so far.
Their opening game was wiped out with the weather last week and might have wished Saturday’s clash with Rawenstall was too.
They were only chasing 90 after Keith Barker plagued the Rawtenstall line-up taking 5-31.
But, chasing a reduced target of 86 from 47 overs, only Craig Fergusson (15) and Adam Bracewell (12) got into double figures as they fell 42 runs short.
All Sunday’s games fell victim to the weather and will be replayed on the first fixed date - next Saturday, May 10.