CHURCH captain Phil Sykes insists the top order must fire if his side are to lift themselves away from the lower reaches of the Lancashire League.
Sykes, who joined the elite group of batsmen to amass 10,000 league runs in the recent match with Ramsbottom, top scored with 29 as his side slipped to a sixth defeat of the season by 101 runs at ENFIELD.
Sam Reidy (4-29) and pro Brandon Hiiny (4-34) were the chief destroyers for the hosts as Church were dismissed for 124.
Earlier the same two players had starred with the bat, both notching fifties in Enfield's imposing total of 225-8. Church pro Ruvin Peiris took 7-80 for the visitors.
And the 42-year-old Church skipper, now in his 24th season in the league, has called for more runs from his team, having mustered a measly one half century between them this term.
He said: "The side has been struggling a bit recently and it's down to the top order to get some runs. Ruvin will be the first to say that he's had a poor start with the bat. He regularly scores in excess of 1,000 runs a season.
"But it's not all down to him. The rest of us haven't performed either, so we're hoping that one or two players will fire."
Sykes began the season requiring just 37 runs to reach five figures and, having eventually achieved the milestone in his sixth innings, admitted it had lifted a weight off his shoulders.
He said: "When I went in, I only needed two runs and I managed to get them with my first scoring stroke for four. I wasn't going to make a song and dance about getting off the mark. It's been something that's been on my mind. I'm just pleased to get it out of the way."
Sykes is the only amateur Church player ever to achieve five centuries and has reached 50 on more than 60 occasions.
He began his career with Rishton where he spent seven seasons, including playing alongside the great Vivien Richards. One of the undoubted highlights of his career came against his former club in 1996, when he deposited the first two deliveries of South Africa Test legend Allan Donald's spell back over the bowler's head for a brace of sixes.
And club committee member Jack Houldsworth believes Sykes' achievement is something "a bit special."
He said: "From the Church point of view it's a source of some pride that a player has got to that landmark. As captain of the club he puts his heart into it and we're very pleased for him."
Church look to get their stuttering campaign back on track with the visit of Colne on Sunday, while Enfield visit struggling Nelson.
After recent troubles, it has proven an excellent week for ACCRINGTON, both on and off the pitch. Monday's news that the club's long-term financial future looks to be on a sounder footing followed the club's first victory of the season over Rawtenstall.
Accy amassed 237-7, bolstered by a brilliant 152 not out from their pro Nishit Shetty. Toby Bulcock then claimed 4-74 as the hosts fell 36 runs short.
On Sunday Accrington will try to exact swift revenge on Todmorden for their Worsley Cup exit.
League leaders RISHTON put in another convincing all-round display to see off Haslingden by 93 runs at Blackburn Road. Pro Saeed Anwar Jnr gave their innings a solid platform with 68, while there were useful contributions from openers Jon Cordingley (47) and Jimmy Bibby (30). Haslingden made a solid start in reply, but Anwar (4-55) and in-form John Seedle (5-36) reduced the visitors to 113 all out. This weekend the leaders travel to Bacup.