GARY Brent certainly has the enthusiasm demanded of a professional in the Lancashire League.
The Zimbabwe all-rounder admits he is "loving it" at Enfield after coming in half way through the season to replace Brandon Hiini, who was called up for New Zealand international duty.
Brent has taken 24 wickets in his six games so far to help steer the Dill Hall Lane side towards the top half of the table and he is relishing every minute of his Lancashire League life.
"I couldn’t have come to a better club - I love it," said the 32-year-old. "It is a wonderful club, I have come over here with my wife and my little daughter and everyone has made me feel welcome.
"And the cricket league is so unique. It it not a hit and giggle league, it is very serious and there is a lot riding on every game. I have already realised there are a few niggles with some teams and I am learning about the derbies.
"And there is such a lot of tradition and history behind it. When I tell people I know in London that people pay to watch this cricket and we get a collection for 50 runs and five wickets, they can’t believe it.
"It is mind-blowing and I am enjoying everything about it. It is a really new experience for me and it is brilliant - I would love to come back next season."
It is pure accident that Brent ended up at Enfield. He had come to England after retiring from international cricket.
"I came over to London to look for work but a couple of clubs fell through. I ended up playing in the Essex league but I didn’t really play very well.
"Then Brendan McArdle, who obviously has a lot of links with the Lancashire League, told me Enfield were looking for a professional.
"I came here and haven’t looked back. I was worried about my form after Essex but I have been lucky enough to take a few wickets.
"I think my bowling suits these wickets but they are unique. You could be the best bowler in the world and it wouldn’t guarantee you a wicket here because you have to bowl at different lengths. It seems to be working for me at the moment but the fielders are holding onto the catches too."
And Brent is hoping the experience gets better and better as he looks to move Enfield up the table with four wins out of their last six league games.
"We are slowly gelling as a team. We are bowling as a unit now and we are fielding well. The batting is our weakness but we are working on it.
"A top five place would just be brilliant but that is what the captain David Bracewell is aiming at."
Enfield’s latest win came against bottom club Colne. Brent took four wickets, limiting Colne to 138 and then he scored 67 with the bat to guide Enfield to a six wicket win. They face title chasing Rawtenstall tomorrow.
ACCRINGTON suffered their first loss in seven league games against title rivals Nelson. It was a rare defeat for David Ormerod’s men who had looked in control until Rizwan Hussain (75) and Tom Lord (59) took Nelson’s tally to 216. Matt Wilson’s 52 was the top score but they lost by 40 runs. Table topping Accrington face Bacup tomorrow.
RISHTON pro Saeed Anwar Junior is on 1063 runs for the season after another big knock of 96. But the rest of the side yet again failed to back him up as Lowerhouse ran out 113 run winners against the champions, who are now struggling in second from bottom spot. Andy Bartley’s team come up against Burnley tomorrow, the team just above them in the league.
CHURCH also slipped to a defeat at Todmorden. Andy Bentley got three wickets to make it 45 for the season and Alec Holt top-scored with 47 but they lost by 36 runs. Church travel to East Lancs tomorrow.