Garstang CC hoping not to be stumped

Garstang CC start the 2017 Palace Shield season at home to Freckleton on Saturday
Garstang CC start the 2017 Palace Shield season at home to Freckleton on Saturday

The 2017 Moore and Smalley Palace Shield gets underway this weekend with last season’s fourth and fifth-placed teams meeting on the opening day of the campaign.

Garstang, who were fourth in the 2016 Premier Division standings, welcome Freckleton to the Riverside on Saturday, hoping to get the new season off to a winning start (1.30pm).

It’s a game that will be of extra significance for one of Garstang’s new signings, Danny Gilbert, who joined from Freckleton over the winter.

The former Blackpool player completed the switch in January, leaving Garstang delighted at his arrival.

A spokesman said: “Danny has established himself as one of the leading seam bowlers in the league over the last few seasons and the club is delighted to be able to secure his services.”

Gilbert isn’t the only new arrival at the Riverside with youngster Waris Khan Faradzai making the move from last season’s champions, Fulwood and Broughton.

He followed younger brother, Parwez, who made his move at the end of the 2016 season.

Ahmadzai is a fast bowler who took 44 wickets at an average of 13.93 in all competitions last year, which included a career best of 6-57.

Garstang skipper Mark Walling said: “Waris has a lot of potential which if he works hard he can become a huge success at the club.

“I’m excited to see he how grows as a cricketer over the next few years.”

Also joining Garstang for the new season is Michael Wellings, who has returned to the Riverside following four years with Barrow.

Before his move to Barrow, Wellings had established himself as one of the leading batsmen in the Palace Shield.

He compiled numerous centuries and and also claimed the Premier Division batting award for good measure.