Date: 15th Dec 2017
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HIGHFIELD LOOKING FORWARD TO LIFE BACK IN THE PREMIER DIVISION

Date: 20th September 2017

HIGHFIELD LOOKING FORWARD TO LIFE BACK IN THE PREMIER DIVISION

Speakman pleased with club's progress

 
It is the season of celebration and commiseration: celebration for those teams whose season-long efforts have resulted in championships or promotion; commiseration for the sides who will be spending next season at least in a lower division. The tough truth never mentioned at the beginning of April is that five of the 36 first teams in the Liverpool Gin Liverpool Competition will be relegated in September.
 
Highfield’s cricketers are well acquainted with both delight and disappointment. The Billinge Road side’s first team has been either promoted or relegated four times in the last five years and  this September  is one of the times when Jimmy Taylor and his players can begin to ready themselves for the many tests that come with membership of an ECB Premier League.
 
The success of Taylor’s team is in sharp contrast to the relief they felt in 2016 when they only just kept their place in the Competition’s middle tier.  “We were so pleased to secure promotion back to the Premier league with two games left of the season,” said the Highfield chairman Gary Speakman. “This is broadly the same squad that had to win the last game of last season to stay up, but this year we have had a great pro in "Bala" (Lahiru Lakmal) and he has made a significant contribution both on and off the field.”
 
Lakmal’s figures back up Speakman’s judgement. The Highfield professional took 64 league wickets and scored 538 runs this season although his efforts were backed up by the skipper Taylor (499 runs), Michael Gaskell (491) and by the bowlers Sam Rotherham (35 wickets) and Robert Halliwell (34).
 
“Jimmy has been positive all season in choosing to bat first and we have deserved our successes,” said Speakman. “We’ve won 15 of our 22 games but we have also had to dig results out at times, not least in the two titanic matches against a very good Sefton Park side, both won with Sefton needing a handful of runs, indeed just two runs in our first match and seven runs on the second occasion.”
 
But Highfield are not the sort of club who thinks their first team is all that matters nor do they invest all their resources in players. Some of it goes on saying “thank you” to the volunteers any club worth a candle needs.   

“With our second and third teams securing their current league status and our juniors now boasting a number of Lancashire players, we are pleased with the progress of the club as a whole,” said Speakman.
 
“And to cap it off, I was absolutely delighted when our beautiful ground was recently assessed as having the highest overall rating across all three divisions, a testimony to the hard work that Martin Gaskell and his band of skilled helpers put in. We rewarded these fabulous volunteers with a day out in a box at Old Trafford to watch some cricket without having to think about cutting the outfield or rolling the wicket!”
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