ENFIELD CC are confident they are moving in the right direction despite their stuttering start to the current Lancashire League season.
The Dill Hall Lane side have only celebrated two league wins in this campaign but were on course for a third on Sunday against local rivals Accrington before the heavens opened.
They had amassed 205 and Accrington, who are without a league win this season, were 20-3 although pro Tama Canning was still at the crease before rain stopped play.
And, although the score won't count, captain David Bracewell was pleased with his side's batting display - especially that of brother Adam who top-scored with 68, while prolific pro Alivro Petersen got 66.
"It is the first time we have got over 200 and we would have backed ourselves at 20-3, even though the pro was still in, so it is just unfortunate. We seem to have had that kind of luck this season," said the captain.
"It is the first time this season that an amateur has got over 50 runs as no one but the pro has been getting runs for us.
"Alviro and Adam took us from 6-2 when we were struggling and got us into a good position, getting eight an over for 10 overs at one point. Then the rain came and both Adam and Alviro lost their momentum and were out pretty quickly when we got back out.
"But it was a confidence boost for us and now the amateurs have got to make sure we back Alviro up more. We need to improve our statistics and get more runs from the amateurs.
"Everyone thought we would be a batting side this season but we have been more of a bowling side. Hopefully, in the next few games, we can get more runs, get good scores, and this will lift our confidence and move us up the league."
And they hope this starts against Rishton on Sunday who may have their minds on their Worsley Cup semi-final trip to Todmorden. Enfield were in a similar position last season when they reached the last four.
"They are like us last season," continued the captain.
"Sleepy (Peter Sleep) is going back to his prime at the moment. If you can get an amateur who can get 100 and a pro to do the same, that's 200 plus runs on the board and you stand a great chance. Sleepy and the pro will be the danger this weekend - and I will have to make sure I don't drop them!"
The captain admits he is guilty of letting off a few batsmen - including Tama Canning on Sunday.
He dropped the New Zealander - his fourth dropped-catch of the campaign.
"I dropped a guy last week as well," bemoaned the skipper. "I am just lucky that Tama's drop was not costly as if he had gone on and got 80 and won the game for them, I would have been gutted.
"I blame it on being captain! Last season I just had to concentrate on my own performance now I am having to think ahead and make decisions about bowler changes and things like that and I suppose it affects my concentration."
He admits he is not the only guilty one. "There are a few others who've dropped a couple as well - we seem to drop four a game. We do need to tighten up as some of them have been costly."
Pro Petersen, back for his second season at Enfield, admits he has been pleased with his own performance - but aims to get better.
"I have got two centuries this season and average about 55 in the league but I feel I haven't played my best cricket yet - but it is getting better.
"I expect to get a century in every game and the lads will tell you I am a bit quiet after the game if I don't.
"I set myself high standards. I got 1500 runs last season and I want to go forwards again this season not backwards. It is hard when it is rainy and wet after coming from South Africa. There the wickets were nice and hard and you want to play cricket. But you have just got to get on with it."
Petersen has got 377 runs so far this season - with a top score of 103 - and two tons and two half-centuries. He knows the pressure has been largely on him to perform but he was boosted by Sunday's display.
"We had a better performance on Sunday with 200 runs and were in the driving seat," said the South African.
"I knew in the morning that it was a local derby and that I needed to do well.
"Recently a lot of guys have not been in good form so it was pleasing to get to 200 and I was happy for Adam to get his 68. That takes a bit of pressure off me. Unfortunately, though, it counts for nothing now."
He admits, though, he does thrive off the pressure of his position.
"Being the professional, it is pressure - but that is what we are paid for.
"At home, I have world class players behind me but here there is no Justin Kemp to come after me so all the pressure is on me - but I can cope with it.
"It does mean I have to concentrate more but I am enjoying it and hopefully we can get a few wins and catch up."
And he hopes the victories start on Sunday against their local rivals Rishton.
"Local derbies are a bit more exciting and there is a bit more of an edge to them," he said.
And the skipper added: "We do look forward to local derbies. They are kind-of grudge matches but played with the right kind of banter."