By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
HATHERLEIGH’S acting captain Rob Cockwill was glad to see up-and-coming players seize their first-team chance during the Premier season that ended earlier this month.
Results were not Hatherleigh’s strong point in Premier North – one win in five completed games – but Cockwill could live with that.
Freed from the twin pressure of relegation and expensive overseas players in opposing teams, clubs such as Hatherleigh could give the next generation a taste of what first team cricket is all about.
Spin bowling batter Eddie Jones, took 14 wickets at around 18 runs each and the Presswell twins – seamer Jasper and his spin-bowling brother Charlie – had 11 wickets between them.
Cockwill, who took over the captaincy when Mark Lake suffered a shoulder injury in a warm-up match, said the eight-game season had been a worthwhile exercise for a number of reasons.
“With a lack of overseas players it was interesting to see how teams used games to blood youth and give them a chance to play more of a role in games,” said Cockwill.
“I know our younger players have really thrived and enjoyed the pressure of first-team cricket and it can only help them moving forward.
“We will have to improve over the winter, and keep pushing ourselves to achieve this, but we are looking forward to the challenge.
“Obviously we hope we get a full season of cricket next year. Our aim as a club is to compete and stay in the premier, which is where I think the club belongs.”
Cockwill said another positive to come out of the season was getting games on.
“A lot of thanks must go to all our club members and, of course the Devon Cricket League for making cricket happen again in a safe and enjoyable way,” said Cockwill.