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Cricket: Lullington Park staying positive in adversity

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 01, 2014

FINE KNOCK ... Lullington batsman Joe Cain on his way to an unbeaten 33 not out last week against Sandiacre.

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JONNY Shales says Lullington Park's dressing room is not a miserable place despite the club's struggles in the Derbyshire Premier League.

Park are second from bottom in the top flight ahead of their trip to Spondon tomorrow, 12.30pm.

But Shales, who is unavailable for the game and will hand over the captaincy to Paul Dawson, says Park are staying upbeat.

"We know the situation we're in is very real," said the skipper, who led Lullington to the 2010 Premier League title. "We're in a bad position at the moment but we've got faith in our ability to pull ourselves out of it.

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"But we do need to start performing soon because the games are running out.

"We're not too downhearted about it, but it's important we start to turn it around."

Park have won just once in the league this season and have sunk to second from bottom.

However, they are not far from safety, with newly-promoted Marehay only a point ahead of them in the table.

Last week Lullington lost at home to Sandiacre, who have the most potent pace attack in the county and are right in the race for the title.

"We only scored 160 and maybe 200 or 220 would've been competitive," said Shales. "They bowled really well and didn't give us any bad balls.

"We didn't perform as well in the field before drinks as we can, but we improved afterwards.

"We really knuckled down and bowled well."

One positive to emerge from the defeat was a decent knock of 33 not out from young batting prospect Joe Cain.

The 21-year-old played well and has impressed Shales with his attitude.

"Joe has brought some extra enthusiasm to the first-team," he said. "He has got the potential to take a game away from another team. It's just a shame we couldn't hang around with him last week because it would've taken us nearer to that 200-mark.

"He showed he's not just someone who can clear the boundary. He played really nicely and showed why he's in the side."

Shales is replaced by the returning Danny Gough this week as Lullington add an extra bowler to the mix.

It means that South African pro Martin Walters is likely to move up from four to open the batting, promoting Matt Sanderson up the order.

"It's going to be Paul's (Dawson) decision on the order," said Shales. "We're lucky in that all the guys in the side can hold a bat, so we can shuffle the order around.

"Moving Marty up to open is an option and Matt can bat at No 4 with his ability.

"Marty hasn't had a lot of luck this season but he got a ton in the Lichfield League on Sunday. I know it's not the same standard, but it's runs on the board."

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