BATSMAN Adam Bracewell has been at Enfield since he was 10-years-old – so running out for rivals Rishton on Saturday was a strange feeling for him.
The 25-year-old is the Blackburn Road professional for the last eight games of the season as he moves from the amateur to the paid ranks.
He has been an Enfield stalwart, playing alongside brother David, since he was a teenager but he is hoping to seize his chance at moving up a notch as he nears 600 runs for the season.
All-rounder Adam – who is also a strong wicket keeper – admitted it has been a bit of a shock.
"I had just got back from my holiday last week when I was told there was a phone call about going to be the professional for Rishton for the rest of the season," said Adam.
"It is a great chance for me although I did get some stick when I walked into the Enfield bar after I had got back from my Rishton debut!
"It is weird for me as I have spent all my cricket life at Enfield, I have been there since I was nine or ten, and know everyone there so when I played for Rishton it was strange to look around and not know everyone.
"There obviously is more pressure and more expectation but it is a good opportunity for me. I didn't do too great on my debut but hopefully that was a blip and it will work out.
"To be paid for doing something you love and do anyway is a bonus."
David, the skipper at Dill Hall Lane, admits he will miss his brother but is proud of the way Enfield keep churning out players who go on to bigger things. In recent years, Liam Jackson and Sam Reidy have also turned pro while Keith Barker plays for Warwickshire.
"It is a feather in our cap really that Adam has gone on to be a professional. He is one of a few and they are all of a similar age, about 24 or 25, so imagine if we had them in our team!
"It shows the younger lads at our club, though, that the opportunity is there to progress and do well. I am obviously pleased for Adam but I would rather have at the club!
"He has, though, got nearly 600 runs this season and he is up among the top batsmen like Graham Knowles, Vishal Tripathi and Graham Lloyd and he is enjoying his best season. He is one of the best amateur batsmen in the league but this season he has kicked on.
"From our point of view, we are 50 points behind Haslingden and are not going to challenge them for the title.
"And Adam was hoping to break Andy Barker’s club record of 940 runs at one point but it now would work out around 50 every game so it was a superb opportunity for him to have a go at Rishton.
"We will miss him as he is the life and soul of the dressing room and does his stuff on the pitch but it does give us to a chance to give some of the younger members of the team a try out for the last eight games."
Enfield are currently fifth in the league and, if they remain in the top five, they will class that as a good season.
David said: "We were up challenging but we had our usual fall away in June and July. I don't know what it is – whether it's a drop in form or we get nervous – but we don't seem able to see it through.
Still we said at the start of the season we expected Accrington, Haslingden, Todmorden and Nelson to be strong and they are all there above us so a top five finish would be an improvement."
Professional Gary Brent has been the top man for Enfield in the last two week's. He took 6-30 against title-hopefuls Nelson and then hit a quick 55 in their eight wicket win on Saturday.
ACCRINGTON are still in with a shout of successfully defending their league title – but they need to get back to winning ways soon.
Graham Lloyd has been bemoaning his batting stats this season but he smashed 120 against Todmorden on Saturday – although his side still lost.
The former Lancashire batsman hit 16 fours and a six in his knock taking him to 606 runs for the season but Tod opener Simon Newbitt hit 111 and helped his side to the win.
RISHTON, with Adam Bracewell as pro, didn't get the win they needed as Bacup's batsmen found their form. Ryan Broad made his first Lancashire League century in their 258-6 with Shaun Hutchinson taking four wickets.
Adam Bracewell scored just 10 in reply as they fell 148-runs short.
And Church’s struggles with the bat continued as they lost by five wickets to Colne
Church made just 145 – but it would have been worse than that with lower order batsmen Andy Bentley (19) and Sam Tucker (40) making the score more respectable. Pro Luke Woodcock claimed four wickets but it was easy for Colne.