BOLTON ASSOCIATION CRICKET: Fielding is the key to Winton's early season form
WINTON are not getting carried away by their 100 per cent winning start to their first season in the Bolton Association.
The new boys travel to Elton tomorrow with league victories over Standish and Astley and Tyldesley and a Cross Cup win against the latter side already under their belts.
The Worsley Road men joined the Association this season along with Swinton Moorside, Worsley and Lostock to increase the league’s number from 14 to 18.
And while it has been a successful start, captain Mike Seenan is well aware tougher tests lie ahead.
“I would love to finish in the top six but that’s not going to be easy.
“Flixton, Bury, Swinton Moorside are all strong sides and Atherton, although they’ve not made the best of starts, will be up there.
“The big thing for us is that it is exciting to have a new challenge after an indifferent couple of years in the MDCA (Manchester and District Cricket Association).
“New teams, new grounds, different players to play against, it’s a great new challenge for us.
“If we finish in the top six we will be very happy. If not, then top 10 will be good. That’s our aspiration and expectation.”
Rather than having stars in their side, Winton’s game is based on fielding a solid all-round 11, good fielding and a strong team ethic.
“We have a pretty strong make-up,” said Seenan. “Nine, 10 and 11 are bowlers/wicketkeeper who can all bat; seven and eight are great fielders who are handy with the bat in Matthew Talbot and Nick Stacy; and the top six are batsmen/all-rounders.
“We don’t carry anyone and everyone has a part to play and knows what they have to do.
“We have a good team ethic and six or seven of the players are Winton lads who have come up through the juniors.
“We’ve got two honorary Winton lads because they have been with us a few years, and two Aussie overseas, Roland Bricker and Justin Kramersh.
“We’re young and pretty committed and decent in the field. I don’t want to overplay it but I would think we are in the top two or three fielding units this year and I would like to think we will win two or three games with our fielding display.”
Seenan already believes Winton have won one with their fielding, the opening-day victory over Standish.
“We were defending 130 on a tough bowling wicket,” he said. “With average fielding that would have been 160 or 170 and we might have lost the game.
“We are very much a team with some good players. We’ve had some good news this week with our former pro Will Driver coming back to us.
“He’s ex-Lancs under-19s and ex-pro at Accrington and he pro’d with us for three of the last four years.
“He scored 1,600 runs for us two years ago and to have him back is a great bonus.
“We’ve also got opening bat Lewis Johnston from Newton Heath who is another good signing.”