Date: 20th May 2018
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Date: 10th May 2017


A Paul Edwards copyright exclusive for L&DCC Official Website.

James looking for Highfield to continue good run.

Wigan derbies rarely need extra spice added to them but a glance at the early season Division One table shows that even more than local pride hangs on the result of Saturday’s game at Billinge Road.
Highfield’s cricketers will entertain their rivals from Bull Hey with just two points separating the sides at the top of the middle tier of the Liverpool Gin Liverpool Competition.  Highfield hold that slight advantage but both teams have won their three league games, and home skipper James Taylor will have to put any family feeling aside when he pits his leadership skills and the talents of his team against a Wigan side led by his brother Charles.
It is the first time the Taylor brothers have skippered opposing sides. James, who at 27 is three years older than his brother, is now in his seventh year at Highfield having initially spent a year at Grappenhall when he left Wigan.
Now, though his loyalties are unequivocally pledged to Highfield at what he hopes is the end of a turbulent and challenging period in the recent history of the club.
In 2015 the Billinge Road first team were relegated from the ECB Premier League. The following winter both Chris Liptrot and Mike Farrell left the club and joined Firwood Bootle. In 2016 Highfield won three of their first four games and looked a good bet to win promotion quicksticks, only for their professional, Saud Shakeel, to be called up for the Pakistan A tour.
Last season ended with Taylor’s men needing to defeat Northop Hall to secure their survival in the First Division. “May you live in interesting times” says the Chinese proverb. Well, Taylor has managed that and now he would welcome the tedium that comes with dominance and regular victories, something which has been made more likely by the signing of the ex-Wallasey slow left-armer, Madduma Lakmal.
“It’s been a
fantastic start to the season,” he said. “The pro has really helped us by taking 12 wickets but we have three good wins and three comprehensive victories as well.
“Last season we went
into a downward spiral after a very good start but we had a lot of young players coming through and not a lot of experience in the team. I was one of the older players.
“But we’ve now got that season’s experience under our belts and we’ve chosen a professional whose chances of international selections are less than Saud’s were. I think it was perhaps for the best that we weren’t promoted last year. As things turned out we were shown that we could have gone from Premier League to Division Two in a blink of an eye. It was clear that we all needed  to chip in and take on responsibility.
“However, I think we’d be ready if we went up in September. We have a strong bowling attack and our batters are gaining experience every week. 
If we were to go up, it would show the resilience and quality of the whole club, not just those who play for the first team but everyone behind the scenes. We have a good club atmosphere and I think it’s one that cricketers elsewhere might want to savour.”  
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