ROLLESTON skipper Mark James is looking forward to better weather ahead after a stop-start beginning to the season.
The Willows outfit are looking for a season of improvement in Derbyshire County League Division One after their first season back there in 2013 following promotion.
They are also hoping to replicate last season’s tremendous run to the semi-finals of the National Village Cup.
Tomorrow they host Duffield in the league before a home clash against Milford Hall on Sunday in the cup, both 1pm starts.
“I think with the weather it’s been a bit of a frustrating start with one game on and one game off,” said James.
“Already we’ve missed three matches and the forecast for Saturday doesn’t look too good either.”
Rolleston are yet to record a league win in 2014, tieing one and drawing several others before their first defeat at the hands of 2013 Premier Division side Eckington last week.
It has been a solid enough start, and James is confident better will come.
“The games we’ve played we’ve been on the edge of victories,” said the skipper. “We’ve had a couple of winning draws where we just needed a couple of wickets, and then we tied with Clifton.
“We’re getting ourselves close but just need to get over the line – it’s difficult for batsmen, though, to get any rhythm with rain breaks, and it’s the same for the bowlers.
“A couple of lads hit themselves into form, but then don’t get a knock the next week.”
Winter signing Muhammad Zaroob had a slow start but is starting to find the form which made him such a danger for Burton in the last few seasons.
He hit his maiden half-century for Rolleston against Eckington last week and took five wickets against Stainsby Hall the week before.
“Zaroob’s turned in a couple of really, really good performances,” said James. “Against Stainsby a couple of weeks ago he took a good five-for with aggression and good lines.
“On Saturday he got the lion’s share of the runs, with 60-odd out of 111 all out. He hit the ball really cleanly and is showing real promise.
“We were up against it at Eckington after losing the toss with the wicket doing a bit, but 20-25-30 more runs would’ve been enough.”
Away from the league, Rolleston are again gunning for success in the National Village Cup.
Last year they fell one win short of a Lord’s appearance and are in Sunday’s Shropshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands final.
“It’s started pretty well,” said James. “It gives some of the lads a chance to show what they can do, with the lads who’ve joined the club this year unable to play with the competition rules.
“We won quite convincingly last Sunday and we’re really enjoying being in the competition again.”
Meanwhile, star winter signing James Ede will start his first game for the club next week after sitting out the first few weeks of the season.
“That’s a big positive for us,” said skipper James.