Johnny Morton (News Letter)
With no Premier League cricket this weekend, all focus will turn to Section One and the various teams who are pushing to gain promotion to the top flight. Lisburn are certainly one of those in prime position, sitting top of the league after winning six of their eight games and boasting a more superior run rate than Downpatrick, who have the exact same record.
Lisburn were an ever-present in the Premier League, but were relegated last season having won only two of their 14 fixtures.
Now in a strong position to go back up at the first time of asking, captain Adam Berry says the whole squad has that goal in mind.
“Everybody would love to go back up, but it’s a very competitive league and it’s just a case of taking one game at a time and put our best foot forward,” he said.
Since losing two of their first three matches, Lisburn have won five straight in the league, and it was a win away to Woodvale that seems to have turned their season around.
“I know when we got beat by Downpatrick and Holywood everyone was down in the dumps,” added Berry.
"We won at Woodvale away and that pushed us on. There is a great belief in the team at the minute and everyone is enjoying their cricket and enjoying playing together as a team.
“We had a disappointment in the Irish National Cup away to Rush, which was actually good for us and brought us back to our level.”
One man who has been key to the resurgence is David Simpson, who struck 126 and took 6-42 in the same match against Bangor last time out.
He has also registered 59 in a losing Challenge Cup effort against Derriaghy, while taking 5-22 in a victory earlier this season.
Berry says he is a fantastic player to have around.
“He’s been in brilliant form,” he said. “To have someone like that in your team is brilliant and he’s getting to the age now where he knows his game really well.
“Both with bat and ball, he’s a pretty hard man to beat.”
They travel to Donacloney Mill tomorrow, who find themselves fighting at the other end of the table, sitting second bottom having won only two of their eight games.
They signed David Dawson from neighbours Waringstown for this season, and the batsman is going to be key in helping alleviate the fears of relegation.
Berry says they won’t be taking any game for granted this season, especially on the road.
“What we have learnt in this league is that playing away to any team is going to be hard,” he added.
“We don’t know a lot about the opposition so it’s going to be tough, but I know Donacloney have Luke Allison and David Dawson, so that’ll be two of their main guys.”
Other matches: Cregagh v Holywood, Bangor v Lurgan, Laurelvale v Downpatrick, Woodvale v Derriaghy.