There have been harsh words flying around the Great Harwood club house after an indifferent start to the new campaign.
Captain Stuart Maher admitted that the words hurt but were true after being told by a senior club member that the current team were ‘the worst fielding first XI in living memory.’
"It’s harsh but true but sometimes these things need to be said," said the Harwood skipper.
"Our fielding has been poor this season, whether it’s due to lack of practise, because we are all older or anything else but we need to work at it and practise harder.
"We lost against Whalley and dropped four catches off the players that went onto get runs. You can’t do that. As a team we are not yet firing on all cylinders and it’s disappointing.
"We haven’t been bowling well, me included, the amateurs haven’t supported the pro with the bat and there has been enough said about our fielding."
The one bright spot has been the batting performance of pro Syed Shahabuddin who has amassed more than 400 runs so far and is top scorer in the league.
Shahabuddin showed his class on Saturday as Harwood condemned Cherry Tree to a sixth straight loss.
Indian Shahabuddin hit an undefeated 152 in 137 balls with 16 fours and a stunning seven sixes from Harwood's 237-6.
Scott Friend finished 51 not out in Cherry’s reply that eventually fell 24 runs short as Harwood chalked up their third win of the season.
"We moved the pro up from number four to opener and it worked," continued Maher. "His was a massive contribution and it won us the game.
"With the bat he has done well for us but, like the rest of us bowlers, he is struggling with the ball.
"We have had players missing – Phillip Allen missed three weeks with a wrist injury snowboarding and has just broken his other arm snowboarding.
"Someone tells me that he isn’t much good at snowboarding!
"We also have a number of teachers who are missing this weekend but we will have the core of our team for the double header."
And it’s a big one as, after Settle tomorrow, it’s a derby against current unbeaten league leaders Baxenden.
They extended their lead at the top of the table thanks to their own efforts against Clitheroe and bad weather at Settle on Saturday.
Babar Naeem produced a telling all-round contribution as Bash defeated title holders Clitheroe by 97 runs at Back Lane.
The Pakistani star hit 47 off 62 balls before being run out as the 2009 champions made 224-9 from 45 overs.
Ben Swindells, however, top scored with 49 from just 30 balls to give impetus at the back end of the innings..
When Clitheroe batted, Naeem (5-50) and Liam Riley (5-48) dismissed them out for 127 as Baxenden won a sixth successive game.
Maher added: "In recent history, when we have played at home against Great Harwood we tend to have a good record but away it’s dreadful – let’s hope it continues this weekend.
"I suppose they are the team everyone wants to beat with them being top.
"They have got a few new players in who we will have to get to grips with but we have nothing to lose – they will be the favourites."
Barnoldswick skipper Richard Nichols scored a century to inflict a fourth league loss on Oswaldtwistle Immanuel.
Nichols carried his bat for 127 from 123 balls as the Victory Park outfit reached 251-7.
When bad weather intervened, Oswaldtwistle needed a revised target of 164.
Pro Chris Cook-Martin made a good go of it, scoring 89 from 68 balls but Ossie finished an agonising eight runs short as they have fallen just short in a couple of matches this season.