OSWALDTWISTLE Immanuel skipper Gerard Metcalf must wonder if he has run over a black cat recently as they have had such bad luck this season.
The New Lane side, after finishing eighth last summer, were aiming to improve this time but have had just one victory this season from their nine Ribblesdale League clashes and are second off bottom of the table.
Their pro Raja Ali was a late arrival and unforunately they will be without the Indian for the next few weeks as he has had to dash home to be by the side of his mother, who is sick.
"We aren't sure of the details but his mother is ill and obviously he wanted to go home," said captain Gerard Metcalf. "At the moment he is away for a few weeks but we will just have to see what happens."
It means Immanuel will be calling on the services of Church pro Ruven Peiris for their local clash against Baxenden on Saturday as he stood in last week for their defeat to Ribblesdale Wanderers.
"It has been a hard season," admitted the skipper. "The pro arrived late and then he has had to go home and although we have had high quality sub-pros so far it is not the same as having one with you all the time who can lift team spirit. We just haven't had a settled side."
He continued: "We started the season okay even though we lost a few games and then had a good win against Blackburn Northern and then were hampered with rain against Earby. We lost to Settle and Great Harwood, good teams, but then the wheels came off on Saturday.
"We were poor against Ribblesdale, a team who we should, at least, be competing with. But we have just got to keep plugging away. It has just been a nightmare."
If Peiris does play tomorrow it means he will be up against his team-mate from back home in Sri Lanka, Baxenden pro Indika Gallage.
Meanwhile, Bash captain Dave Usher admitted he was "gutted" after his side missed out on victory by 0.002 on run-rate. The skipper couldn't believe what happened in his rain-affected game against Clitheroe.
"They made 212 and we were going along quite nicely at 110-1 when the rain came down. We had three breaks for the rain and kept trying for the big hits but that ended up back-firing on us. Francois Herbst was on a half century but went for a big hit and was caught on the boundary, the same happened to the pro and my brother Pete.
"We would have been in control but then the game finished and neither side celebrated as neither side knew who had won. "About half an hour later, both our run-rates were worked out as 4.81 which will never happen again in my career.
"It was amazing we both got the same. Then, after more working out, they found that our run-rate was something like 4.813 and theirs was 4.815 so they got the win.
"It was a total sickener as we lost to a dropped catch last week and the rain stops meant we threw away this game. We have got to hope our luck changes."
While Baxenden were downbeat, the smiles remained on the faces of the table toppers Great Harwood who have extended their lead at the top of the table - but face second placed Barnoldswick at home on Saturday.
A win would be a huge boost to the Cliffe Park club who have a seven point gap at the top as they search for their first league title since 1900.
The faced last season's bottom club Whalley on Saturday and their batting was saved by captain Russell Whalley (49) and Paul Houldsworth (42) after early exits for the opening three batsmen in their 135 all out.
Whalley is current top run scorer at Harwood with 290 league runs.
Pro Martin Nurse then took his tally to 20 wickets for the season with 4-30 as Whalley collapsed and fell 47 runs short.