Garstang CC skipper looks forward to Longridge CC reunion

Mark Walling is looking forward to 2019           Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society
Mark Walling is looking forward to 2019 Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society

Garstang CC skipper Mark Walling is looking forward to locking horns again with Longridge CC next season.

Having won the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield last year, Garstang took up the option of moving across to the Northern League.

That route is one which Longridge seems set to follow, having ended the 2018 season as Palace Shield champions ahead of Kendal.

Garstang, for their part, ended their first season at Northern League level in sixth place and were runners-up to Netherfield in the league’s Trophy final.

“Longridge have done really well to win the league and we always enjoy playing them,” Walling said.

“They are our main rivals so we’re really excited to be coming up against them; it’s teams like that who will make the league stronger.”

Garstang have already started their preparations for the 2019 season as they aim to build upon a good campaign this year.

The aim is to add greater depth across the board – but in one particular area.

“I think batting is one of the areas to strengthen for next year,” Walling said.

“Hopefully we will get a couple of fresh faces in to keep everyone on their toes – though I’m guessing every club will also be wanting to strengthen as well.”

Among that strengthening may be the hiring of a professional for next season.

However, as Walling warned, any incoming professional will have to prove their worth off the pitch as well as on it.

“We have had a meeting about the possibility of having a professional next year,” he said.

“However, if we are to bring one in then it would have to be right for the club, not just the first team.

“That would mean they would have to help out with the juniors and the coaching so we may look into the possibility of getting one.”