SKIPPER Marc Brown is refusing to be too downbeat despite Netherfield opening their Northern League campaign with a five-wicket loss at St. Annes.

The Parkside Road club posted 206-8 from their 50-over allocation as Saliya Saman top scored with 66, although a strong top-order reply saw St. Annes secure victory with an over to spare.

Brown saw enough in the Netherfield performance not to be too concerned with defeat, with Sri Lankan professional Saman in particular tipped to shine this summer.

“There were plenty of positives to take out the game and we spoke about that afterwards,” he said.

“It was just a case of batters getting in, looking good but then not really going on to get substantial scores. The wicket was pretty good and we probably went a little bit too early.

“We perhaps tried to play a few too many shots too early in the innings and didn’t really save ourselves enough fuel in the tank for a big push in the last ten overs.

“Our new pro put a really good knock in and he is certainly going to be a bit of a favourite down at Netherfield this season, he has slotted in really well.

“There is room for improvement but there are definitely some positives to take from the batting. In terms of bowling, they actually batted pretty well and didn’t give a lot of early chances.

“We tried all sorts of variations in the attack but just came up short a little bit but we weren’t too negative afterwards.”

Netherfield head to Fleetwood on Saturday, with the Broadwater side the league’s pace-setters after a winning draw at Morecambe followed by victory against Lancashire Colts.

And while Brown insists he does not want his side to fall too far behind the division’s fast-starters, he accepts it may take time for Netherfield to fully hit their straps.

“Since my time at the club, Fleetwood away has always been one of the harder games and the conditions there are always challenging,” he added.

“No captain in the league wants their team to fall away but we seem to be playing the harder teams up top so we might have the chance to catch up later on.

“It may take us a few weeks to nestle in as a team as we have quite a few new faces but we’ll certainly be looking to get a positive result on the board.”