CROMPTON Cricket Club is hoping to maintain its recent revival as it bids to stave off relegation from the first division of the Lancashire League.
Two wins from the last four matches against reigning champions Walsden and Rochdale – the others against Todmorden and Clitheroe were abandoned – has lifted the Glebe Street club off bottom spot and out of the relegation places.
And secretary Stephen Wright believes it would be a great achievement to remain in the league’s top 12 elite division after a rollercoaster season.
Crompton were top after four games but, a run of one win in eight games, saw them slump to last place.
But a haul of 28 points from the last four games has lifted them to fourth bottom and out of immediate danger.
Stephen said: “We need to stay in the top division as it contains some good teams and cricketers and that is where we want to play.
“We knew we were good enough to stay up but have lacked consistency. At one stage we thought we might have to accept we might be going down, but it has been good to fightback in recent matches.
Crompton’s cause was not helped by the loss of professional Shubham Sharma who returned home days after arriving from India.
Sharma, who played only one match, left after his mother suffered a heart attack.
“We had no qualms about Shubham leaving as family comes first, but it proved massively disruptive,” explained Stephen.
Crompton, unable to secure a permanent replacement, have engaged deputy professionals on a weekly basis.
Stephen explained: “That has proved a challenge as most leagues play on a Saturday so not many professionals are free.
“We have often had to source professionals from county sides which has been often at the last minute.”
Crompton have been especially indebted to Leicestershire who provided Paul Horton, Mark Cosgrove and Ben Mike.
Stephen added: “It has been difficult having a different professional most weeks as you don’t get a bond with the other players.
“Apart from Will Bosisto (an Australian club professional in Durham) none of the professionals have contributed much to the team.”
Stephen pointed out not having a professional has also impacted the juniors as his job was also to coach them.
Amateur batsman Denis Louis recently passed 500 league runs for the season when he hit 134 in the 10-run win against Walsden when they amassed 290 for six.
Adam Good also claimed a best-ever Lancashire League return of seven wickets for 41 runs in the win against Rochdale who were shot out for 67.
• Crompton’s second team reached the final of the Lancashire Telegraph 2nd X1 Cup but were heavily beaten by hosts Ramsbottom who made 258 for six before dismissing the visitors for 52.