JOHN Seedle is banking on more consistent bowling and a change of luck helping Rishton finally recapture last year’s title winning form.
Rishton, who have been going well in the 20:20 competition, finally garnered their third league victory of the season on Sunday with a crushing 174-run defeat of Colne, to gain swift revenge for a seven wicket defeat the previous afternoon.
On Sunday the Blackburn Road outfit host East Lancs, and will be delighted to see the back of Kiwi pro Shanan Stewart, who has returned to New Zealand with a hernia problem. When the sides met two weekends ago Stewart smashed a superb 137 as Rishton suffered last-ball defeat.
Seedle said: "Their pro has been a bit of a thorn in our side, so I’m pretty glad he’s gone. They were chasing 245 and got 55 for the last wicket. We’ve gone down three times where it’s gone to the last ball. But as a team we’re still together and it’s not like we’ve played bad cricket."
On Sunday the visitors racked up a huge 276, and crucially the bowlers delivered as Colne mustered just 102 in reply.
The veteran medium pacer, who has been sparingly used as a bowler this campaign, picked up a brace of wickets, and pro Saeed Anwar Jnr grabbed 5-42 after getting some stick from the Colne batsmen on Saturday, as Rishton were unable to defend 216-5 despite fine 80s from Anwar and skipper Andy Bartley.
Seedle said: "We have scored a lot of runs but we just haven’t managed to get an early wicket and have been bowling a few loose balls at the start. I’ve not really bowled much this season because we have got a side full of medium pacers and younger lads and the pro will be the first to admit that he’s not bowled as well as last year."
He added: "He’s a very, very good batsman. He can control a match and take an attack apart when it gets to the end of an innings. We need to put a run together and get some results going."
Fifteen-year-old Luke McVarish will make his first XI debut this weekend after impressing in the reserves.
Seedle said: "He’s a very precocious talent and has got a good character. In a few years he’ll be an outstanding talent."
In last week’s double headers Church won home and away against Bacup. On Saturday, Bacup were limited to just 58, with Andrew Bentley and pro Niel Bredenkamp the destroyers after Alec Holt had posted 89. Mark Gilrane took 4-50 on Sunday after both openers Holt and Sagawat Hussain notched half centuries.
Next up is a visit to Accrington, who lost ground at the top of the table after swapping wins with Worsley Cup semi-final opponents Burnley. David Lloyd played in Saturday’s five-wicket win, and delighted the crowd by taking a catch.
Enfield were exposed twice by the Lowerhouse attack as they went down to 79 and 94 run defeats, despite a knock of 41 from Chris Maudsley and pro Brandon Hiini taking 5-59 on Saturday. The Kiwi leaves the Dill Hall Laners after Sunday’s trip to Todmorden.