Liverpool news Local cricket: Liverpool and Newton-le-Willows hoping to get their seasons up and running after frustrating start PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - PLUS: Overseas stars arrive ... and a poignant way to pay tribute to Josh Downie

Liverpool news Local cricket: Liverpool and Newton-le-Willows hoping to get their seasons up and running after frustrating start PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - PLUS: Overseas stars arrive ... and a poignant way to pay tribute to Josh Downie

Liverpool news  Local cricket: Liverpool and Newton-le-Willows hoping to get their seasons up and running after frustrating start PremierLeague-News.Com
14 May 2021 - 08:02

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! For any readers who insist on viewing everything through a football-shaped prism, there was a very “international break in September” feel to last weekend’s near-total washout in the Love Lane Liverpool Competition. But while some teams were left frustratedly kicking their heels, others will have taken the time to regroup, and learn the lessons from the first two games. Matty Jackson’s Liverpool, for example, were held to a draw by Old Xaverians after posting 226/7, then saw their 195 chased down by Lytham. Having spoken before the season about the step-up in quality from Division Two, following what became a bit of a procession in 2019, Jackson reckons 2021’s games so far have given him plenty of food for thought. “Old Xavs were six down with about 15 overs to go,” he said. “No disrespect to teams in Division Two, but I think nine times out of 10 in Division Two we’d have won that game. Liverpool CC captain Matty Jackson in action John Middleton Photography “But Xavs came out, and did what they had to do, and did it well and made life difficult for us. “It was a similar story with Lytham - with the ball, they were very disciplined and stuck to a plan, and at no point did we really get the run rate up as high as we’d have liked. “Then with the bat, they got off to a good start but we dragged ourselves back into the game and into a position where we feel we could have done more to win the game - but their eighth-wicket partnership finished it off, and again maybe two years ago we’d have been picking up wickets and going through them. “But while we haven’t got a win yet, we’ve played some good cricket and there’s plenty of stuff we can learn from.” Winter signing Luke Wells won’t be available yet - Lancashire’s contracted players are not being released to their clubs, despite the county side having the weekend off. Jackson said: “We had hoped to have him available for this week - but now we don’t expect it to be in the next few weeks. We’ll look at it again when the white ball stuff kicks off.” One man who will be available is Scotland U19s all-rounder Liam Naylor, who has hit the ground running in his first two Comp games for Liverpool since signing from Alder, with scores of 71 and 79 from number 4 in the order. Liam Naylor (Alder) in action for Scotland U19s Jackson said he’s already made himself at home - both at his new club, and at the top of the order. “We talked about him batting 5 or 6,” the skipper said. “He had the confidence to come to me pre-season and say look, if you’re looking for someone to bat at 4, I’d be more than willing to do it. “For a young lad to put his hand up like that is one thing; for him to then put the performances in he has so far is completely different. He’s carried us a little bit with the bat and he’s really stepped up and shown some responsibility and maturity.” Tomorrow’s opponents, Newton-le-Willows, spent much of 2019 in contention for a return to the top flight for the first time since 2011 - they eventually finished fifth, 26 points shy of the top two. Jackson knows it will be a tough test for his side, adding: “They’ll be disappointed, they were right up there until the end; they’ll have ambitions of being right up there near the top and we’ve got to step up to that.” Both Jackson and his opposite number, Chris Chambers, clearly recall the last time the sides met - 2019’s Ray Tyler Cup final, in which Liverpool prevailed by 33 runs in a low-scoring thriller. “It was a good game, a very close game,” said Chambers. “That’s what I’m expecting Saturday as well - a good standard of cricket and a close game.

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. Between lockdown and downpour, they did manage to get out there in week 2, and recorded a seven-wicket win at Northop Hall, on the back of an unbeaten 78 from 18-year-old opening batsman Ben Walkden. Despite his tender years, Walkden has played 66 games of first XI cricket for the Crow Lane East Side. Since the start of the 2018 season, he’s been staggeringly consistent, scoring 1,026 runs in 30 league games at an average of 51.30. Small wonder that he’s caught the eye of county selectors, making his debut for Lancs’ 2nd XI and making 40 in a draw at Worcester late last month. Chambers said: “He’s been with us since he was five and scored a second XI ton when he was 12. “And he can bowl this year - in 2019 he had a stress fracture - but now he’s grown and he bowls a heavy ball. “We don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but we’re excited to see how he goes this year.” Promotion is Chambers’ eventual goal this season - but after the stop-start-stop nature of their season so far, they’re just dying to play some cricket. Newton-le-Willows' Chris Chambers “We just want to try to win as many games as we can,” he said. “Then, come the second half of the season, we’ll have a look and see where we are. “But our ambition is to try to get up towards the top of the league.” Newton will be able to call on newly recruited batting all-rounder Nathan McDonnell, who made his debut in the win over Northop Hall - but not wicketkeeper Matthew Hurst, whose move to Premier Division Leigh has taken the club by surprise. This week has seen several clubs welcoming their overseas signings to the country, as the tangled web of Covid travel restrictions begins to unwind slightly. Rainford’s South African all-rounder Jason Login is confined to a hotel, with his home country on the Red List - but there’s better news for Sefton Park and Southport & Birkdale, with their recruits coming from Amber List countries. Sefton’s off-spinning all-rounder Kemar Smith, from Barbados, is the younger brother of former West Indies player Dwayne; while S&B’s batter Dinuka Dilshan, from Sri Lanka, scored 118 on his first-class debut last year for Moors SC against a Colts attack including Test spinner Dilruwan Perera. Clubs across the Competition will pay a poignant tribute to Josh Downie this weekend by taking to the field with 10 men for the first over of each innings. Birkenhead Park batter Josh Downie, who died last week aged 24 Josh, a 24-year-old batter at Birkenhead Park, collapsed during a net session and died in hospital on Thursday, May 6, prompting an outpouring of grief from the whole cricketing family. In a message sent to all clubs, Williams, chairman of the Love Lane Liverpool Competition, said: “We think that this is an excellent idea and is very appropriate and specific to the game of cricket and unique to Josh as an opening batsman.” Josh’s teammates travel to Colwyn Bay in Division One, while the pick of the Premier Division ties sees 2019 champions Firwood Bootle seeking their first win of the season at home to 2018 winners Northern, who have three so far. Innings of the year so far across the region has to be that played by Cheshire Lines wicketkeeper Sultan Zeb at Goose Green in the Southport & District League’s Sandhurst Shield. After the hosts were dismissed for 126, Zeb followed his three catches and two stumpings by smashing 114 off just 43 balls to wrap up a 10-wicket win in less than 10 overs. He struck 11 fours and nine sixes - leaving the fielding side, umpires and batting partner James Wilcox (9*) lost for words.

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