Aiming to retain title

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There are a few new faces at Leyland Cricket Club this season but the Fox Lane outfit is hoping last year’s success will be repeated.

Leyland swept all up before them in 2010 – including the Northern League title.

Leyland have four Saturday senior teams and two Sunday senior teams.

They also have one of the best junior set-ups in the area and put out sides at U17, U15a, U15b, U13a, U13b, U11a, U11b, U10 boys and U10 girls.

Leyland play in the Northern League; Palace Shield; and West Lancashire Sunday League.

First team captain is former Lancashire player Dave Makinson, although he’s currently struggling with a back injury so is unlikely to figure in April’s games.

South African pro Brett Pelser returns for his second season at Fox Lane, having made a big impression last season on and off the field.

New signings are Adam Coates (Westhoughton), Ian Dickinson (Croston) and David Fisher (Vernon Carus) while second team captain Chris Dovey has retired.

Daniel Hall (Australia) and Tom Reece (Didsbury) also will be missing at Leyland this year.

Second team skipper and secretary Ian Farrington said: “We realise that it will be difficult to repeat the successes of last year, but there is a genuine excitement around the club ahead of the new season and the players have been practising hard over the winter. Our squad has been strengthened, so I do not see a reason why the club cannot mount a challenge on all fronts again.

“As well as aiming to retain the Northern League Division One title, David Makinson has targeted better performances in cup competitions this season, with the first team entered in both the Lancashire Cup and the ECB National Club Championship.”

Popular Farrington has identified teenagers Nathan McDonnell and Tayyab Afsar as the ones to watch this season.

He said: “Both 19-year-olds got an extended run in the first team last year and played their part in the title success.

“Nathan is a stylish, attacking right-handed batsman who will be looking to establish himself.”