GREAT Harwood have wasted no time in snapping up a professional for next season.
Their 2007 campaign only finished last Saturday with West Indian paid man Jermaine Lawson leaving a couple of games ago.
But they have already got their act together after signing Indian all-rounder Syed Shahabuddin for their 2008 campaign.
"It is hoped Shahabuddin will being strength to the bowling with his accurate seam bowling while strengthening the batting in the upper order," said club secretary Stuart Maher.
Shahabuddin spent this year at Moddershall Cricket Club in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Premier Division, making 709 runs from 18 innings - an average of 47 and a high score of 142.
He also took 44 wickets at an average of just 20 with a best of 7-66.
"Shahabuddin was one of our substitute professional during this season where a consistent pro was hard to come by," continued the secretary.
"The instant impression made by him in that period was instrumental in the club's decision to sign him for this season."
Harwood ended the season in fourth place - qualifying for the Lancashire Cup - with a final day win over Whalley thanks to 56 from John Swanney.
It was tight - with just three runs in it - but they were relieved to finish a difficult season, where they had to change their pro and battle with injuries, on a high and now will be focusing on trying to win their first league title since 1900 next year.
OSWALDTWISTLE IMMANUEL captain Gerard Metcalf is happy his side are moving onwards and upwards after an improved season.
Immanuel have been battling in the lower reaches of the table but pulled themselves out of the bottom two in a strong finish.
"We had a good second half of the season and we are quite happy with the way things have gone," said the Immanuel skipper.
"Last year we won three games in all competitions and this year we won 10 in all competitions, so it is a big improvement.
"The second team finished in about mid-table and the third team stand a chance of finishing runners-up so we are all moving in the right direction."
They are not yet sure if pro Ahmed Saeed will return next season although he has been offered a new deal at New Lane.
"We have spoke to him about coming back but we haven't been able to agree terms. We will have to see what happens," added Metcalf.
After so much promise, Baxenden finished their season on a low after three successive defeats led to Blackburn Northern ending up clear winners of the league.
Mark Rishton's side did set the pace at the top for a long time and it was tight but, after Northern clinched the title last week, the steam went out of Bash and they lost their final game to Edenfield.
But pro Jonathan Fielding will have been at least happy with his own haul as he took 115 wickets in all competitions - and 106 in the league overall - achieving his pre-season aim of a century of wickets.