NEW Blackley skipper Chris Overend will be hoping his side can get off the mark at the second attempt under his leadership at home to Copley tomorrow.
The 2009 champions are still searching for their first Premier Division win of the summer after eight defeats in all, the latest coming away to fellow strugglers Mytholmroyd six days ago.
It was a result which dropped Blackley into the relegation zone with one point fewer than ‘Royd and eight in front of Old Crossleyans.
Overend had taken over as skipper at a players’ meeting the previous Tuesday after Craig Taylor had stepped down after just a short spell in charge.
Blackley’s club representative Steve Williams said he was surprised at the first team’s poor showing at a time when all the other areas of the club were flourishing.
“We have not been losing by a lot - 20 or 30 runs. We are scoring runs but the bowlers are struggling to take wickets,” he said.
While Taylor, former skipper Dave Townsend and Dan Houldin have all had big scores recently and new signing Barry Hawksworth has moved past 350 runs, main strike bowler Tom Greenwood has been lacking the support he received when he and James Watson (now at Jer Lane) ran through batting line-ups two years ago.
Williams is hoping this season will following a similar course to the last one for the Lindley Road club’s firsts, who saved their skins after being tailed off at the foot of the table at one stage.
“We couldn’t win a game at the start of last season and we couldn’t lose a game in the second half. Hopefully a similar thing will happen against this time,” he said
Explaining the change of leadership, Williams said: “There was no big fall out. Craig was finding trying to bat, stump and captain the side too much.”
Blackley have a new electronic scoreboard this season, further boosting the facilities at a club which hosted the Parish Cup final for the first time last year.
The club’s plethora of others teams are doing well so Williams said relegation for the firsts would be a bitter blow.
“That is the absolute worst scenario for us,” he said. “But if that happens it won’t be for a lack of trying - there are plenty of people at practice nights.”
THE Halifax League’s select side will play the Nidderdale League at Studley Royal CC near Ripon in the second round of the Leeds Area Knockout Cup on Sunday, July 3.