ALL-ROUNDER Aaron Heal is up for the challenge of taking Rishton into the top half of the table.
The Australian is in his first season at Blackburn Road and is proving a lively character, with hopes that he can change Rishton’s fortunes after finishing rock bottom last season.
And so far he has done well especially with the bat as he closes in on 300 runs as Rishton, after a poor start, have jumped up to 10th in the table - and want to go higher.
The 25-year-old has settled easily into English life as it is his fourth spell in English cricket after being at Exmouth and Darlington.
And, what makes it easier for him is that he holds a dual passport with his mum and dad both born in England.
"It's my first time in the Lancashire League and I am loving it," said the Western Australian all-rounder.
"I wanted to get some match practice which is why I came over to England - I had a pre-season in Australia last season and I didn’t feel it was competitive enough.
"So it’s great to play in the Lancashire League. I know it has a lot of history although I didn’t know the history of Rishton until I came here - but I do now as people have told me about Viv Richards and Michael Holding!
"And I also know plenty about them winning the league in 2007 and then finishing bottom last year - so hopefully I can help to improve them. My team Western Australia struggled last season so I know what it is like to be at a struggling club.
"And I like the challenge of that and hopefully I can help them win a few games and we can get a few more victories."
And, as he has got used to the pitches, he is getting the runs, hitting 76 on Saturday - with eight boundaries and a six - in the seven wicket win over Rawtenstall.
He did though survive a scary moment when Rawtenstall thought he got a nick on the ball but the umpire disagreed.
"I got a bit of abuse from the crowd when I was eventually out but I didn’t mind," said Heal. "It’s all part of cricket. I enjoy the banter."
And Heal then got going with the ball for his second five wicket haul of the season finishing with figures of 5-50.
"I want 1,000 runs and 70 wickets by the end of the season - I have got 15 wickets so far and 298 runs so I want to carry on," he said. "I think it has helped that all the lads have helped me settle in. Most of them live in Rishton so they are close by"
And he has got a big incentive to carry on standing out as Heal could earn a call-up to the Australian A side which is touring England at the end of June.
He only narrowly missed out on the Australian Twenty20 squad being in the squad of 30 before it was cut down to 15 so he wants to make sure he secures a spot with the A team.
"I was disappointed not to make the Twenty20 squad but hopefully I will get into the A team - that would be great for me," he added.
Accrington may have suffered a Worsley Cup blow yesterday but the defending champions continued to take charge in the league.
They were joint leaders with Ramsbottom before Saturday but saw off their nearest challengers to move clear at the top. Ramsbottom made just 106 with skipper David Ormerod taking four wickets. Accrington did look in trouble at 18-3 but Stuart Crabtree (29no) and Graham Lloyd (30no) saw them through.
Enfield continue to make sure they remain in the title race with a seven wicket win over bottom club Bacup.
Bacup made 183-7 but Enfield’s Adam Bracewell, with an unbeaten 75 including eight fours, and sub pro Theo Doropoulos, who made a quick fire 56 with three sixes and four boundaries, clinched their fifth victory in six league games.
And Church enjoyed a double win weekend - but it went to the final over against Lowerhouse as they clinched a two wicket win.
Lowerhouse made 188-8 with Andy Bentley taking four wickets.
Sam Holt’s 39 was a welcome boost after a shaky start while captain Phil Gilrane's unbeaten 42 was important.
There was a worrying moment when Church batsman Peter Rowbottom was hit on the head with the ball and went to hospital but wicket keeper Sam Tucker made what turned out to be a vital seven runs to seal a last ball win.
IT’S 20/20 action tonight as quick-fire cricket begins with entertainment on and off the field. Accrington travel to Rishton while Enfield, who won the competition in 2007, visit Church in the first of the Group A games.