ACCRINGTON captain David Ormerod admitted he was casting envious glances as main title rivals Haslingden broke the league’s batting record.
League leaders Hassy hit a massive 362-3 with Steve Dearden smashing 150; Graham Knowles 108 and pro Phil Hayes a quick 50 against Bacup on Sunday.
This puts them 20 points clear of defending champs Accrington, in second spot, and Ormerod admits it’s a tricky time at Thorneyholme Road with four defeats in their last six games and their batsmen not firing on all cylinders.
"It's all gone to pot to be honest," said Ormerod. "But we are still scrapping there and not giving up on the title yet. The frustrating thing is we know where we have gone wrong.
"Our professional Roy Silva is just not scoring runs – I think he has got about 250 runs this season and you can’t even compare it with players like Graham Knowles and Phil Hayes who are well above the 500 run target.
"In fact Haslingden scored more in one match than we have scored in the last three matches and it doesn’t make good reading.
"It’s hard at the moment as, if you have got other batsmen around you batting well, it tends to lead to success. Haslingden have that with Graham, Phil and Steve and well done to them.
"Steve Dearden got 150 which is tremendous and we can’t even score 150 as a team!"
But Ormerod is determined to keep his players believing in themselves. "We are still in second place - although they have a game in hand - and we are going to remain upbeat," he said.
"We know the problem and we need to rectify it and hopefully we can for the run-in.
"We haven’t got a lot of runs on the board but have been close to winning against Colne and Rawtenstall in low scoring games and so we are not too down in the dumps."
The captain admitted the Sri Lankan pro Silva – whose runs helped Accrington win the title last season – is gutted about his own shows.
"Roy always plays with a smile on his face but he is disappointed," continued the skipper. "He wants to contribute and wants us to win the title again and he wants to help the team.
"It is just a loss of form and anyone can suffer from them. We have tried a number of things to help him – he has gone out sub-proing; he has been practising different things in nets and we have batted him in various positions but we are all just scratching our heads at the moment."
He admitted alarm bells were ringing even before Haslingden became record breakers.
"I did look at the teams as obviously, with playing for Bacup, I have a big interest in them.
"I noticed they only had three bowlers against Haslingden and knew it would be dangerous for them and so it proved."
And Haslingden are the big danger to Accrington’s title hopes but Ormerod says he cannot fault them.
"They are having a fantastic season and all credit to them. I know a lot of their players well and Graham Knowles is having a fine season and leading from the front.
"We are happy with where we are in a way because two seasons ago we finished bottom, then won the league last season and we were wary about what happened to Rishton when they won the championship and finished bottom the following season.
"We needed to avoid that and we have done okay.
"We have raised the expectations at Accrington but we are happy to be up there challenging and we have stuck together and are enjoying it. I love playing as a team with these lads and we are not giving in yet."
Accrington’s latest loss came when they only made 113 against Nelson at Seedhill with Graham Lloyd top-scoring with 31.
Pro Robin Peterson took five wickets and then made an unbeaten 31 to see Nelson home.
ENFIELD were on the right end of a low scoring clash after they bowled Colne out for 118. Pro Gary Brent took five wickets with skipper David Bracewell claiming four.
Brent then made any unbeaten 39 and held it together with lower order batsman Azif Fazal to seal the win.
CHURCH are up to fifth in the league and will fancy their chances of going higher with nine games left.
Their latest win came against title hopefuls Todmorden even though Church were bowled out for 132. Alec Holt grabbed 42 runs for Church and then pro Luke Woodcock took control as, after Tod only lost the first wicket on 63 runs, the New Zealander then took four scalps and Andy Bentley grabbed three.
RISHTON battled hard but lost out by 11 runs to Lowerhouse in an entertaining finale to the game.
They had bowled Lowerhouse out for 154 with Garth Wyse taking 6-36 and sub professional Luke Procter claiming three wickets.
It had looked bleak for Rishton when last pair Shaun Hutchinson and Garth Wyse were at the crease on 96 but they put on 46-runs to agonisingly miss out.