CHRIS Mulligan is stepping down as captain after helping to turn Adlington’s fortunes around on the field.

The 36-year-old is handing over to his vice-captain Jon Howells due to personal and work commitments.

“I am getting married this year and have more responsibility at work so I have abdicated the captaincy,” said Mulligan who will continue to play, he says “if selected”.

“I have enjoyed my time as captain and I’m proud of the improvement we have made.

“We have a very solid club off the field, but we were really struggling on the playing side down at the bottom of the league.

“When Jon and I took on the project we looked at how we could start winning.

“We had a plan to win so many games in the first season and so many the season after and so on.

“In the first season we won seven games, the second we won 10 and finished second, and last season we came third.

“Helping Adlington to challenge for things has been brilliant because we weren’t doing that for a few years.”

This season has not gone to plan so far, with Adlington going into tomorrow’s game at home to relatively close neighbours Lostock in 13th place in the table.

But there are clear signs of an upturn in fortunes with two of their three wins this season coming in their last two games.

“I am surprised we are 13th because we have had three wins, but the league is quite tight,” he said.

“One of our problems is we have hardly got any bonus points because when we have been beaten we’ve been well beaten.

“We had an indifferent start which stemmed from pre-season. We lost a couple of young lads who moved on to the Liverpool Competition to try to improve their cricket.

“Then our pre-season fixtures were rained off which affected our preparations.

“We won our first game pretty easily against Golborne, but then we lost to Bury and Walshaw and we were a long way off competing in both those games.

“That was disappointing because we have not been like that for a few years.

“We’ve had a couple of really good seasons where we have been chasing for the title so those two games were a bit worrying.

“But we’ve improved and in the last couple of weeks we’ve beaten Standish and Astley and Tyldesley.

“We put on 260 against Standish and played excellently. Zak Millington, Jack Shovelton and Tom Foster all batted well. Jack was quite destructive scoring 50 in about 23 balls.

“It was a fantastic game against Astley and Tyldesley. We put on 219 and they batted really well and got 211.

“Majid Majeed (Adlington’s professional) has had a bit of a slower start this season.

“He’s just not taken the wickets and we haven’t helped him by dropping a few catches.

“And Ben King is 40 now and he’s bowling a bit slower as he gets older. He’s struggling to get the wickets.

“On the plus side Majid got a ton against A&T and he and Mark Halliwell put on 130 for the fourth wicket and both played really well.

“Tom Foster, our coach, has been batting really well recently. He’s got three 50s and looks really solid.

“With him, Majid starting to fire and Mark Halliwell playing well over the last couple of weeks and Zak and Jack running into form things are starting to look much better.”

Tomorrow’s game has a little extra interest for Mulligan who played for Lostock when he was a teenager.

“They were called British Aerospace then,” he said. “They haven’t been in the league for about 10 years but they are obviously a local team and there’s a friendly local rivalry.

“But we have put together a little run and it is really important for us to win to keep it going.”