OSWALDTWISTLE Immanuel bowler Gerard Metcalf turns 50 this year - and he is showing age is no barrier as he is on course for his best ever season.
The Ribblesdale League bowler has 39 league wickets at the half-way stage of the season closing in on his league best of 58 which he set around four years ago.
"I hope I can beat it. I am happy with the way things are going but I think it does flatter me a bit," said Metcalf who is in his 35th year of league cricket having made his debut at Church in 1975.
"The two opening bowlers - Andy Metcalf and Alamgir Anwar - have done really well, keeping it tight, but without perhaps getting the wickets they deserve.
"So I think we are just doing well as a bowling unit and they set a platform for me to come in later on.
"And our fielding has also been good. The only thing which is perhaps letting us down is our batting where we need to be more consistent but Iam sure it will come."
Immanuel have been too close to comfort to the bottom two in recent seasons and, in the last campaign, did finish in the wooden spoon position.
However they now occupy seventh spot and have two ten wickets wins to their name this season - the latest coming against Edenfield this weekend where Metcalf took another six wicket haul.
"I can’t remember us ever having two ten wickets wins in a season before so it could be a club record," said the ex-skipper, who give up his captaining duties at the end of last season.
"But it is good to be looking towards the top of the table rather than be in a dogfight to finish out of the bottom two.
"I think we could put a run together, be a bit more consistent with our batting and I don’t think a top six spot is out of the question."
And another thing they have to get right is their form at New Lane.
"We haven’t won a league match yet at home this season," continued Metcalf. "We beat Feniscowles in the cup but, other than that, for some reason we haven’t done well at home. I think it is just one of those things but we need to break that."
And they would be delighted if that came tomorrow where they face Edenfield again hoping for a repeat show.
This is especially from English pro Andy Kerr who, a few weeks ago, was bemoaning his lack of runs but he seems to have clicked and him and Daniel Metcalf are forming a strong opening partnership for Immanuel.
Kerr has 242 league runs - 548 in all competitions - for the season with Daniel Metcalf on 364 (540 in all competitions).
"Andy has come into form, especially in the Twenty20 competition and hopefully that will give him a boost to have a good second half to the season."
And Metcalf says hitting 50 won’t make him give up his cricket. "I never tire of it. If I did, I wouldn’t play."
* NEW Ribblesdale Wanderers pro Jake Brown enjoyed a record breaking debut. The 23-year-old South Australian shattered the Ribblesdale League senior division batting record with an incredible innings of 238 not out against Blackburn Northern. Brown, who only arrived in the UK 48 hours earlier, struck 20 boundaries and 18 sixes in his 147 ball innings. He is sub-proing for Rishton on Sunday.