Skipper Simpkin looking to maintin divisional leadership until the end of the season

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Bowler Matt Ashcroft. 1432_13011 (9128829)

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Captain Ben Simpkin. 1432_13010 (9128823)

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Bowler Matt Ashcroft. 1432_13012 (9128831)

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Captain Ben Simpkin & bowler Marcus Ashcroft. 1432_13013 (9128833)

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Captain Ben Simpkin (centre in cap) talks to his team. 1432_13009 (9128821)

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Nick Frith fielding. 1432_13014 (9128837)

Bartestree & Lugwardine Cricket Club v Romsley & Hunnington CC. Marcus Ashcroft takes the second wicket. 1432_13006 (9128809)

First published in Sport by

BARTESTREE & Lugwardine captain Ben Simpkin thinks there is no boundary to where the club could end up in the Worcestershire County League.

The Herefordshire club are currently top of Division Four, after having finished fourth last season – their first season in the Worcestershire League.

Simpkins said: “We’re pretty pleased to be top of the league, but being top of the league at the end of the season is where we would ideally like to be – we can’t take anything for granted yet.

“We see ourselves as being one of the big clubs in the county so Division One is where we want to be to show that.”

Bartestree left the GB Liners Marches League last year to play in the Worcestershire League and in their first season were challenging for promotion.

Simpkins said: “We had to start at Division Four so we’re not quite at the level we want to be at but you’ve got to earn your place.

“It was our first season in the Worcestershire League so we weren’t sure what we were coming up against.

“We felt we had out-grown the Marches League, to be honest, we’ve been thinking for a while that we’re a big club who want to go places.”

He went on to say that after having such a good season last year the aim was always to go one better this year.

He said: “We did well last season without being spectacular so we knew we are good enough to win this league and so far we are doing that.

“We’ve got a fairly young team and everyone from last season has got a bit older and a bit more experienced and I think that’s what we lacked last season.”

Last weekend’s win at home to Romsley & Hunnington means they are a step closer to achieving this goal but Simpkin is looking further ahead.

He said: “If you look at the teams who got promoted from this division last season they have done well, so I’d hope that we would be there or thereabouts next season.”

To achieve this success, however, Simpkin believes they will have to score more runs than they have this season.

He said: “You can’t rest on your laurels and go into the next division and think you’ve got a good enough team, but I think, bowling-wise, we’re probably good enough.

“We’ve been lucky this year that we’ve been able to bowl sides out for less than we’ve scored, so it works out well.”

Marcus and Matt Ashcroft have been opening the bowling this season and have taken 35 and 21 wickets respectively, including taking all 10 wickets between them in the previous week's win over Five Ways Old Edwardians.

Simpkins said: “Marcus has been bowling well all season and Matt’s just consistent – he is brilliant to have because you can put him on one end and you know what you’ll get.”

Bartestree & Lugwardine 2nd have been performing just as well as the club's first-team this season and a convincing win at Romsley & Hunnington 2nd on Saturday sees them second in 2nd Xl Division Three, just 12 months after being promoted.

Simpkins said: “It’s the holiday season at the moment so it’s always useful to be able to call on players from the second-team when needed.

“We’re lucky that when we have to call people up they tend to be useful players.”

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