Incoming skipper Hall confident ahead of new season

Australian ace Richard Howe, the star of Whitby CCs 2015 campaign, will not be coming back to the club for 2016
Australian ace Richard Howe, the star of Whitby CCs 2015 campaign, will not be coming back to the club for 2016

Whitby CC are looking to put the frustration of last season behind them when they kick off their new North Yorkshire/South Durham Division One campaign next month.

The Seasiders were edged out in the promotion race by Billingham Synthonia in the dying embers of the 2015 season, but that is a memory that new skipper James Hall and his players are keen to banish.

Hall, who replaces outgoing captain Paul Buck, will welcome new overseas arrival Jono Chapman into the squad, the Aussie replacing Richard Howe, who starred with both bat and ball last time out.

Steve Husbands has also arrived from Fylingdales, while Mike Thompson joins from neighbours Mulgrave.

Hall said: “It has been a long winter and we are all looking forward to getting going after finishing last season on a bit of a downer when we went so close to getting promotion.

“We are all feeling confident this time out though, we have bettered our finishing position in this league every time we have been in it and there is only one place we can finish if we are going to do that again.

“Two strong teams have come down from the top flight in Redcar and Marton, we also know that Bishop Auckland and Thornaby have strengthened as well.

“We won’t have Richard [Howe] this season, which will be a blow because he finished with both our batting and bowling awards last season, but we have heard good things about Jono.

“He comes from the same club as Richard and is supposedly a quicker bowler than him, which is a bit of a feat.

“We will have to replace Richard’s runs though, so it is up to a few of the lads to step up and contribute.”

Hall is keen to make sure that taking the role of skipper won’t affect his performance on the field.

He added: “When I start the season I always aim for 50 wickets. I didn’t get there last season because Richard took most of them.

“Paul [Buck] said that when he took over as captain that it affected his batting a bit, I hope that it won’t affect my performance.

“It will be something completely different for me, but I’ve been in the first team for 12 years now, so when the opportunity came up I thought I’d give it a go.”