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Sutton wants Barnt Green to be challenging at the top next season

Craig Gibbons 19th Sep, 2018 Updated: 19th Sep, 2018

SKIPPER Andrew Sutton has demanded Barnt Green to never again get into a situation where it requires a number of victories in the dying embers of the season to avoid relegation.

The Cherry Hill Road side managed to secure their place in the Birmingham League Premier Division for a further season with a run of four consecutive victories in their final six games.

Having spent the majority of the season at the wrong end of the table, Green’s late run of good form ensured they ended the campaign in eighth, just ten points above the dreaded relegation zone.

With the winter break now in its infancy, Sutton told the Standard the cricket committee will sit down and identify what went wrong and what needs to be done to be challenging at the top end of the table next year.

“With how the league is changing to two divisions next year, hopefully it will be more competitive and a lot of sides will be recruiting over the summer,” he said.

“And that’s something we will be doing because overall it has been a disappointing season.

“There have been a few individual stand-out performers in the likes of Zain Ul-Hassan, Jacques Banton, George Hargrave and Neylan Chauhan but others haven’t stepped up.

“For about 95 per cent of the season we have been down the bottom but on a positive note the lads did show great character to get us away from danger.

“However, going forward we do not want to be in this position ever again and next year we’d like to be challenging at the top.”

Green brought the curtain down on their campaign with a 148-run defeat at Walsall.

Bruce Thomason hit 86 in 64 balls after Alex Mellor (71) and Billy Cox (45) added 96 for the second wicket as the hosts settled on 261-6.

Cox (4-28) and experienced skipper Paul Wicker (3-26) ripped through a strong Barnt Green batting line-up.

Paul Byrne took the vital wicket of Ed Pollock early on, then Cox took the next four wickets on the spin to send Green packing.

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