WESTHOUGHTON captain Rob Houghton has clear ambitions ahead of 2019 after reflecting on an “all right” summer of cricket for the Howfeners.

“I want to be winning trophies,” he said after a campaign which saw them with seven wins and nine defeats from 18 Premier division games in the Bolton League.

Westhoughton finished seventh out of the 10 teams in the top flight and secured the league's last Lancashire Knockout berth for next season.

They suffered early exits in the Hamer Cup and the Lancs Knockout and were quarter-finalists in the T20 and Peter Stafford Trophy, beaten on a bowl-out by Kearsley in the latter.

“I think we knew before the start of the season it was going to be tough having lost Danny Naylor and Oliver Newby,” said Houghton.

“It’s not really gone for us this year. But we’re not going to sit there and moan about it.

“Things like the bowl-out in the Stafford Trophy highlight that.

“Kearsley might have beaten us anyway to be fair. But we have stuck together, and we’re already talking about starting again next April.

“The lads had a beer back at the club [on the final Saturday of the league season], and we were already looking forward to getting the winter out of the way and starting again next April. We’re all mates, and that’s the best place to be in.

“There’s bits of planning been done already, with ideas thrown out there already.

“I’d be very disappointed if we didn’t better this season’s position. I think we’ll be a much better side and be very competitive.”

A consolation prize for Houghton was Lancs Knockout qualification.

“It’s a competition we want to be involved in,” he said.

“I remember going to watch the final at Old Trafford as a nine-year-old and seeing Rod Estwick smash Bootle (1998) into the only double tiered stand they had there at the time and having a great day out.

“We are looking at that as a competition we want to try and win next year along with the league and Hamer Cup.”

Matthew Morris scored 469 runs and was in the Premiership’s top 10 leading run-scorers, while Kieran Edwards took an encouraging 23 wickets from only eight matches.

“Both have been brilliant,” said Houghton, who finished by re-affirming Westhoughton’s long-term commitment to the Bolton League despite suggestions last month they saw their future elsewhere.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Little Lever back in the big time so to speak next year. I think they’ll be a top addition.

“Hopefully the BCL will keep strong. There’s a lot of quality cricket being played in this league and will continue to be played.

“As far as we’re concerned, we’re 100 per cent committed to the Bolton League. We want to give it the best go we can because we believe it’s one of the best leagues around.

“We’re not thinking of going anywhere.

“That’s not to say that might never happen – no one can say that. But not for now, certainly.”