WITH derby spoils proving the perfect tonic to a difficult start to the season, Netherfield CC captain Marc Brown is relieved to have hit his straps and found form.
The 26-year-old top scored with 79 as Netherfield comfortably chased down 190-6 with eight overs to spare, as Ben Barrow and Sri Lankan Saliya Saman also impressed with the bat.
Brown admits the wide-ranging role of captain has proved testing this summer, with his own form not hitting the standards he sets and the club enduring mixed fortunes.
But with yet another victory over Kendal in the bag, the right-hander believes an indifferent opening to the campaign can now be consigned to history.
“Every captain of a club team around the country will admit it is a hard job because you’re not dealing with players you’ve got a hold on every day and it can be a nightmare to juggle,” he said.
“I have to admit I’ve found it hard at times, especially when you’re not doing things yourself as well as you could do.
“In those circumstances it is hard to concentrate on the team and I do take a lot of pride in my own game. It’s difficult but obviously the rewards were there on Monday.
“I had a disappointing winter and a challenging time in Australia but funnily enough I actually felt pretty good early season.
“I chanced my arm a little bit against Kendal but sometimes you’ve got to do that in the game. It was pleasing to get a score on the board and lead from the front.
“Others played well and Ben’s knock was probably better than mine as I was scoring quite freely and he kept me calm and just kept knocking the ball around.”
Netherfield host Blackpool on Saturday in the Northern League before yet another contest with Kendal, this time in the County Cup, with Brown keen for their upturn in form to continue.
Prior to this, the Parkside Road club host Kendal in the Twenty20 on Friday, a competition in which Netherfield have thrived of late, including last year’s crowning as TWP Wealth Twenty20 champions.
“We clicked for the first time this season against Kendal and talked about it acting as a springboard for this weekend which is action-packed,” he added.
“We feel as though we have the perfect side for Twenty20 cricket, a format in which we’ve enjoyed plenty of success in lately.
“Everyone contributes something – we have five bowlers who do a job and we bat all the way down with players who enjoy playing their shots.
“Hopefully we can go some way to repeating what we did last year.”
Netherfield v Kendal (T20, Friday): Marc Brown (c), Craig Walmsley, Saliya Saman, John Huck, Ben Phillips, Ben Barrow, Brad Earl, Joe Atkinson, Tom Williamson, Mark Clarkson, Nathan Chambers
Netherfield v Blackpool (Saturday): Marc Brown (c), Ben Barrow, Ben Phillips, John Huck, Saliya Saman, Joe Atkinson, Brad Earl, Brendan Herron, Mark Clarkson, Nathan Chambers, Stuart Nixon
Kendal v Netherfield (County Cup, Sunday): Marc Brown (c), Ben Barrow, Ben Phillips, John Huck, Saliya Saman, Joe Atkinson, Brad Earl, Brendan Herron, Mark Clarkson, Nathan Chambers, Stuart Nixon