Garstang CC look to strengthen title bid

Garstang CC travel to Rufford on Saturday
Garstang CC travel to Rufford on Saturday

Garstang CC can take one step nearer to a league and cup double when they meet Rufford on Saturday.

Having already lifted the Meyer Cup for 2017, Mark Walling’s players are nine points clear of Fulwood and Broughton at the top of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division.

They travel to the division’s bottom side as clear favourites to secure victory and strengthen their place at the top of the table going into the final two games of the season against Great Eccleston and Croston.

If, as appears extremely likely, the Riversiders finish in the top two this season, then they have a decision to make.

It would see Walling’s players become eligible for promotion into the Northern League after the go-ahead was given earlier this year for promotion and relegation between the two competitions.

However, as Walling acknowledged, there is a lot of cricket to be played and talking to be done before Garstang’s 2018 season is finalised.

“As a club, we haven’t actually discussed it yet,” he said.

“We have said that we will discuss it at the end of the season after we see how the last few games will pan out.

“There is no point getting ahead of ourselves as a lot can happen between now and the end of the season.”

With Garstang top of the Premier Division with 187 points from 19 games and Fulwood and Broughton on 178, only third-placed Vernon Carus (173) can realistically hope to gatecrash the top two.

Next season may be a topic for another day as Walling’s players continue to take the season one game at a time.

Saturday sees them head to Cousins Lane, hoping to inflict a ninth consecutive defeat on their hosts.

Garstang won by 83 runs in the reverse fixture in mid-June, a fortnight after Rufford’s only win of the season against Freckleton.