Graham Lloyd is upbeat about Accrington’s chances this season after they got off to a winning start against Haslingden.
Accy posted 113 and were indebted to David Ormerod and Ashar Zaidi bowling devilishly in tandem – both picking up a five-wicket haul.
They skittled the visitors out for 84 and travel to Todmorden this weekend, hoping to make it two consecutive wins at the start of a campaign which promises to be closer than ever at the top.
“It is always nice to start off with a win. I actually didn’t think we got enough runs and it is always an advantage to bat second,” Lloyd said.
“Stephen Parry bowled really well against us and kept it tight. I know him from our days at Bootle and he is a very good player – one of the best one-day left-arm spinners in the country.
“But our two bowlers did really well.
“David Ormerod was excellent. You know what you’re going to get from him every week. He gives nothing away to a set field.
“You expect him to perform and he always delivers.”
Lloyd refuses to look too far ahead despite last season’s second-placed finish in the Lancashire League.
“It’s always important to get yourself off to a good start. You practice and train hard for that,” he said.
“Obviously we’re looking to hopefully finish as high as we possibly can.
“There are some good teams in the league this year – there are some good amateur players knocking about.
“We’ve made improvements to our squad this time and we hope to remain competitive for as long into the summer as we can. I’m looking for a top five spot and that keeps the interest going.”
Lloyd himself made just one against Haslingden before falling lbw to Parry, but stressed to his players that individual performances don’t necessarily matter as long as they’re winning games.
“I tell all the lads to just win games for themselves – whether that is with 10, 15 runs or some good piece of fielding,” he said.
“That is what matters, rather than a volume of runs.”
And looking ahead to the trip to Centre Vale, Lloyd added: “Todmorden have been a decent side for quite a while.
“They have good amateur players and were up around the top six last time.
“It is a difficult game for us and it will be a close one.”