Young guns can help Morecambe to future title challenge

Mark Woodhead celebrates his 50 against Lancaster.
Mark Woodhead celebrates his 50 against Lancaster.
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Mark Woodhead believes the current Morecambe side has the potential to go on to great things.

A strong second half of the season saw the Woodhill Lane outfit finish fourth to secure a spot in next season’s Lancashire Cup.

The upturn in fortunes coincided with some of the club’s younger faces getting a chance in the first team as several senior players moved into second team cricket, helping them to the league title.

The captain said: “To lose the bowling ability and experience of Reg (Cupit), Gareth (Pedder) and Jono (Gates) during the season and still manage to finish fourth takes a real team effort and the lads certainly supplied that.

“What those personnel losses did do was give the likes of James Law and the 15 and 16-year-olds, Jake Smith and Adam Derham, an opportunity to shine.

“They can all hold their heads high with how they’ve performed in the second half of the season for us.

“On paper it’s been by far the most inexperienced team I’ve played in my 22 years of first-team cricket.

“If the team can manage to stay together for a couple of seasons and add only one or two to its squad we’ve got a real chance of another title success. That might just entice me to play for a couple more years.”

Woodhead was full of praise for his side, having taken over the captaincy from Lewis Edge mid-season, a move that saw the wicketkeeper’s form improve.

Wooodhead said: “Lewis was a different person after giving up the captaincy.

“His relaxed, powerful style with the bat returned and culminated in him getting his first hundred for the first team and winning the batting averages.

“As ever he was consistent behind the stumps too, with some fine glove work.”

Only five balls were bowled in Morecambe’s final game of the season against Kendal at Woodhill Lane on Saturday before the rain brought an end to proceedings.