WITH Kendal having a free weekend, skipper Stu Parkin can reflect on the season so far with a generally positive mid-term report despite insisting there is room for improvement.

Following a commanding victory over Preston on Saturday, the Shap Road club lie eighth in the Northern Premier Cricket League Division One table with five wins from 15 matches.

With 12 fixtures of the league campaign remaining as well as a Readers Cup quarter-final with Blackpool and Cumbria Cup semi with Furness on the horizon, Parkin insists there is plenty still to strive for.

“In terms of the league, inconsistency has been a problem to be fair, he said. “We seem to either do brilliantly or not turn up at all.

“But we’ve taken 15-point hauls from our last two matches so we’ve started the second half of the season in buoyant mood.

“We’ve got to look to improve on our league position and I still believe a top four finish is not unreasonable.

“We’re within touching distance as there is only 45 points between us and top so it’s not unrealistic to think we can finish in the top four if we keep this good form going.

“We’ve got a Readers Cup quarter-final against Blackpool coming up and that’s massive for us as we have a home semi-final and final if we win.

“At the halfway point we’re still in every cup bar the Twenty20s and we’ve still got a lot to play for. We’re positive we can do well in one of the cups if not both as well as improve our league position.”

Kendal’s win against Preston featured a number of standout performances after the visitors were struggling at 13-3 with Ryan Shepherd and Gary Baker both notching half centuries.

Nick Lewthwaite went on to claim a five-for as Kendal prevailed by 106 runs, with Parkin keep to highlight the progress of former Burneside batsman Shepherd after stepping up to Northern League level.

“I think Ryan has found his niche batting at number five,” he added.

“He was batting number four earlier in the season and had a few games opening but I think he can play his shots there and play more freely.

“We’ve had a tendency of late not to be able to post a competitive score when our main batsmen have failed so it was nice to see a young lad show character and come to the fore.

“Gary’s batting is improving all the time and together with Ryan batted brilliantly, allowing the tail to play freely and we ended up posting nearly 200.

“It’s a massive step up from the Westmorland League and I believe Ryan has a long future at Northern League level. His last innings can only give him confidence.”