Lancaster and Morecambe set for derby on pivotal weekend
Both the Lancaster and Morecambe captains know their Northern Premier League derby is key as the cricketing summer heads into a pivotal weekend.
The traditional bank holiday Monday double header sees Lancaster host Chorley and Morecambe travel to Leyland on Saturday before the sides meet at Woodhill Lane on Monday.
Ben Simm’s Lune Road men have made the better start, sitting sixth to Morecambe’s eighth, and the spinner wants his side to be looking up not down with 30 points to play for.
He said: “We know a couple of wins will put us near the top of the table, if not top.
“But if we don’t pick up many points we’ll be looking towards the bottom and have a different outlook.
“It’s always a pivotal weekend of the season.
“Maybe a bit like us they (Morecambe) haven’t had the consistency of the batting they need.
“They haven’t had the control of their pro (Suraj Randiv) with the ball either and it’s difficult when you lose a player of that calibre.
“We’ll be looking to try and put some pressure on them.
“We’re in slightly better form, but it’s derby day at the end of the day and anything can happen.”
Josh Dixon’s Morecambe will find out on Sunday if they will have to do without Randiv this season, their title-winning spinner in line for a Sri Lanka recall to face England in the one-day series.
South African Daryn Smith is set to deputise again with Dixon confident his side can kickstart their stuttering season.
He said: “Leyland lost at the weekend and are beatable.
“Lancaster are doing okay, they’ve got over the line in a couple of games whereas we haven’t.
“They’re above us in the table but there’s not a lot between the top four and seventh and eighth.
“We’ll be going in at full strength and can win both games.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Three wins from five has seen Lancaster make a good start to the new season but Simm is still striving for more consistency.
He said: “It’s been a decent start.
“I can’t really grumble at three wins out of five.
“There’s still plenty of room for improvement though.
“The bowling’s been excellent and the top order batting’s been excellent, we’ve just thrown away a couple of games.
“We could do with being a bit more consistent but I’m happy enough.”
It’s been tougher going for Morecambe but Dixon is keen to look to the positives ahead of a big weekend.
He said: “It’s been a mixed start.
“I don’t think we’re a million miles away.
“It’s been difficult with certain things though, like Suraj not being here.
“Daryn Smith has been great for us but it’s not ideal having to get sub pros week in, week out.
“It’s nobody’s fault and we’re trying to stay nice and positive.”