WEDNESDAY'S four-hour coach journey to Taunton did not start well when the men’s second team decided their coach was not good enough for their trip to Arundel for T20 finals day and commandeered our coach, leaving us to wait for a last-minute replacement.

Thursday’s game at the impressive county ground saw us shoot ourselves in the foot with another poor performance, which made qualifying for finals day that bit harder heading into the final three games of the round robin.

Taunton is an ideal size for these sort of games and the view from the score box is superb.

The only other downside of the day was a remarkably long journey, which saw us get back to Old Trafford at the unearthly hour of 2am.

A day in work to remind them that I’m still employed there, before I was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to drive to Loughborough for a 10am start.

The development squads met prior to the main game, and, as earlier in the week, we were well beaten and I did the game solo.

The main game followed in front of a reasonable crowd, particularly as they charged double the other five teams for admission.

For once at Loughborough we were granted the use of the upper storey of the Ski Lodge to score from, which offered a far better view than the other couple of places I’ve scored there in the past.

Even so, we had the usual blind spot which, given the way we were beaten, probably was not big enough!

We now need favours as well as wins to get through.

Game over it was back in the car to drive up to Gateshead to see one of our sons who lives there.

And, guess what I did on my day off? Correct, we went to Chester-le-Street to watch Durham take on Lancashire in the Vitality Blast.

The Riverside ground is one of my favourite grounds to watch cricket, and, although the weather was not brilliant, we were treated to a great display from the Red Rose boys as they totally outplayed Durham after a difficult start to the game against some express bowling from Mark Wood.

And so to Tuesday and the first of two must-win games which sees us take on Yorkshire Diamonds at Blackpool.

With the weather looking iffy the Yorkies won the toss and elected to bowl with their captain saying they thought the track and conditions would suit their seam attack.

They then opened the bowling with a leggie who went round the park for 14.

Our Indian star, Harmanpreet (Harry) Kaur, then treated us to a wonderful innings including six sixes.

The game turned into a thriller as Kathryn Brunt almost stole it from us, but we held our nerve and kept our slim hopes alive for finals day.

Up early again the following day for the final RDC game of the summer at Audley CC near Stoke, a lovely if open ground somewhat reminiscent of Chew Moor as I would imagine it would be pretty chilly on a windy day.

The girls saved their best for last as they stormed to 350-4 in 50 overs, two of them hitting their maiden centuries which was a pleasure to be able to record for them.

The reply never really got going but saw the hosts reach 200 in the final over.

Two days later, on Friday, we crawled down to Southampton in just over six hours.

Saturday’s game was a must-win, but even then we needed Surrey to lose for us to reach finals day.

The view from the score box at the Ageas Bowl was superb, although once it had gone dark and the floodlights took over from natural light it was not always easy to pick out the ball in the air.

The game was a cracker which we managed to win and keep our hopes alive only to find out Surrey had scraped home with two balls to spare to deny us a place in finals day.

So with county games done for the summer all that remains are the final three matches of the season for Lostock.

The first of these was at home to Farnworth Social Circle, and with all due respect to everyone involved in what was a great game of cricket I really found it hard work to motivate myself.

Whether it was because of the adrenalin rush of the last few weeks I don’t know, but it felt a really long day and I struggled to keep myself going.

It was really pleasing, though, to see our pro, Bradley Williams, score the ton he has been threatening all season and steer us to the win that secured our top-division status for next season.

A trip to Walkden next was a game that if you blinked you missed it.

To say we were not at the races was an understatement as the game flashed by in about two hours, and having been asked in my capacity as acting secretary of the BCL to present Walkden with the league trophy I duly hung around.

League president Frank Hinks decided to pull rank and present it himself, finally allowing me to get a word in after about 15 minutes of photos.

Any side that loses just two of 17 games are certainly well deserved winners of the title.

The following Saturday brought the final game of the season against Westhoughton.

Sadly, the weather had the final say on what has been a terrific summer for cricket, and, like all the others, the game was washed out.

There was though still time for our second XI to receive their Championship trophy, which was a great reward for their efforts and a massive fillip for the club.

So that’s it, 21 weeks of cricket, 63 games on 35 grounds in 10 counties and more than 5,000 miles clocked up.

It was a memorable summer. What now? Well, there are plenty of stats to update for club and county and plenty of meetings for club and league.