GRAHAM Lloyd is his own worst critic as he looks to help Accrington successfully defend their league title.
The former England batsman would have been expecting to near 500 runs at the half-way stage of the season and the Accrington pro Roy Silva would be anticipating much of the same.
But Lloyd, who turned 40 this month, admits it hasn’t yet happened for them with Lloyd on 340 league runs and the Sri Lankan paid man on 197.
And it has meant Accrington have slipped off the top of the table with Haslingden taking over as the front runners at the weekend.
"To be honest, I think we were lucky to survive at the top of the table as long as we did," said Lloyd, with the Thorneyholme Road side holding the lead for a couple of months. "We seem to have just scraped by this season and me and the pro haven’t pulled up any trees.
"We have one 50 between us and we are lucky that the younger lads have pulled us through and kept us up there."
These include Stuart Crabtree, 21, who has 326 runs and Graeme Sneddon, 23, who has 274 runs for the season so far.
While Accrington might be not hitting top form with the bat, skipper David Ormerod is still getting his usual amount of wickets with 37 this season.
"David does like a wet summer as he prefers the wickets but he always performs no matter what," continued Lloyd.
"He is a great captain and is well respected throughout the league and its down to the bowling and fielding that has kept us involved.
"We are hard to beat, are well organised and all we need is some more runs. And it’s not necessarily big scores - sometimes 20s or 30s are as important as 50s or 60s.
"Roy might not be firing yet but he is still a great guy to have around the club. He doesn’t take things too seriously and fits in well - it would be perfect if we both just had some more runs."
While Accrington may have slipped into second spot, Lloyd thinks there will be a lot more changes before the end of the season.
"It will chop and change as the league is close. There are no medals for being top in July and we have just got to hope we can stay around the top five and if we are there in September then we are in with a chance.
"But I think Haslingden, Burnley and Todmorden all stand a decent chance and Church could go on a good run and I think probably six or seven teams will fancy themselves for the title."
Accrington were knocked off the top on Saturday after a seven-wicket defeat by Burnley in a rain-affected game.
This provided an advantage for teams batting second and Burnley’s target was reduced from 173 to 131 from 34 overs.
Accrington had posted 172-9 with top scorers pro Silva (38) and Crabtree (33) with Simon Hanson (20) and Paul Carroll (20) boosting the total. But the target was always within range for Burnley.
Elsewhere Enfield, at one point second, slipped down to seventh after a four-wicket home defeat by Lowerhouse.
Adam Bracewell narrowly missed out on a collection as he top-scored for Enfield with 49 runs as they were bowled out for 156 runs in 41.3 overs.
And Lowerhouse’s target was then reduced to 131 from 37 overs after rain.
Enfield made a brave fist at defending their target and had some room for optimism at 97-5. But Chris Bleazard was still unbeaten on 39 at the end as Lowerhouse won with seven balls to spare.
Enfield come up against neighbours Rishton on Sunday who suffered their ninth defeat in 13 games when they were beaten by 31 runs at Colne. And it was host pro Anwar Ali, who proved to be their nemesis. He scored 69 runs in Colne’s 155 all out and then took seven wickets as Rishton were hustled out for just 92 runs chasing a reduced total of 124. Jimmy Bibby was Rishton top scorer with 36.
Aussie Mark Cosgrove has now signed on a short-term contract to pro for Rishton until the end of the season although they will have Ribblesdale League record breaker Jake Brown - who hit 238 on Saturday - as their sub pro against Enfield.
Things turned out a lot better for Church against Bacup. The Valley side appeared to be in the box seat after Church pro Luke Woodcock was bowled for a duck on his debut by visiting paid-man Jonathan Clare. Bacup then went on to bowl the hosts out for 133 but had their target reduced to 112 runs in 39 overs.
However, bowlers Levi Wolfenden and Andy Bentley produced match-winning performances and Bacup were tumbled out for just 69 runs. Wolfenden finished with a career-best 5-39 and Bentley had 4-24.