Ace bowler Collins to join champs Lane

Simon Collins
Simon Collins
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Simon Collins, the star performer in the Foster’s Halifax League in 2013, is joining champions Jer Lane.

It is the second big capture of the close season for Mick Hustler’s league and Parish Cup winners following the arrival of last year’s Clayton skipper and front line bowler Sam Wilson.

It is also a second major blow for Bradshaw following the loss of key batsman Wayne Cotton to Thornton.

Left-arm slow bowler Collins had an amazing tally of 87 league wickets at 11.83 apiece last season to win the league averages by a wide margin.

His exploits earned him a nomination as amateur sportsman of the year in November’s Courier Awards.

Collins, who played in Bradshaw’s winning Parish Cup final as a 16-year-old in 1991, has spent almost his entire career at the club.

As well as helping Bradshaw to three title wins, he and Cotton have been key men in successful battles against the drop in the Premier Division.

Like Cotton, Collins said that he was leaving in an attempt to win more silverare late in his career but Bradshaw was still dear to his heart.

“It was a tough decision because Bradshaw is my club.

“But I am in the twilight of my career with perhaps a couple of good years left in me to challenge for silverware.”

Collins knows Hustler and after a phone call from the Jer skipper he had made up his mind over Christmas to move.

He hoped the departures of him and Cotton might give Bradshaw skipper Aaron Buckley a chance to build a new, young team.

Bradshaw official Mike Turner said: “It is unfortunate that we have now lost two big players.

“Simon has been with us a long time and has always won our bowling prize - no-one else ever gets near.”

Turner said the losses left Bradshaw looking to recruit and hoping that players such as Joe Lewis and Connor Ryan would develop quickly.

Collins is also a useful batsman but his effectiveness has been compromised by bowling a huge number of overs.

“A few seasons ago I think he bowled every over of every game from one end - over 400 overs,” added Turner.