Heywood skipper Danny Pawson says it’s important his young side stay “grounded” following their impressive start to the 2015 season.
Heywood have played some excellent cricket this year, and in the last three fixtures – two against a strong Littleborough side – in three different competitions, have really stamped their authority on games.
The rise of Kate Cross, the emergence of the Dawson brothers as an opening attack of potency, and the increasing maturity of his side have Pawson optimistic for the future, but he is also aware there are always pitfalls awaiting those who get carried away with their success.
He said: “I don’t think I can be unhappy with how we have started. We have shown over the last three games that when we get it right there are not many teams who will be able to compete with us.
“What we do have to do is keep ourselves grounded and remember that we are still a very young side and with youth and inexperience there will be some inconsistency.
“But the dressing room is a fantastic place to be at the minute. I think the fact that so many of the team have played junior cricket together helps massively.
“You know when you go out on the field that we are all in it together and you know your mates next to you are willing to put in 100 per cent for you.”
Although it is a team game, individual performances are key to cricket. Pawson is leading the way with bat and – perhaps, surprisingly to those who don’t know him – with the ball.
But most impressive to those who watch Heywood on a regular basis is Pawson’s increasing maturity as captain. Giving the gloves to Dale Latham seems to have liberated him, while experience has made him more confident in his decision making.
He continued: “Of course, I’m extremely happy to be taking wickets but it’s more important that my performances are helping the team out. Also as I found last year it is a little easier to captain the side from the field rather than behind the stumps
“I think good captaincy is down to experience more than anything else. Last year, I was only finding my feet and got some great advice along the way from Chris (Kaye) and Bobby (Cross).
“This year I just think I’m a little bit more switched on to certain situations. But it is still a massive learning curve and I am learning more as each week comes.”
Heywood currently sit third in the CLL Premier Division – albeit having played a game more than some of their rivals – have won their only game so far in the CLL T20 and are through to face Northern in the second round, at Crimble, in the LCB KO Cup, a mouthwatering clash. They face a difficult task at Radcliffe in the first round of the Wood Cup next week, so all-in-all it’s been a fine start to the season, with the promise of more to come.
Despite the team ethos Pawson is keen to promote, there have been superb individual performances with the bat from Pawson and Bobby Cross, and with the ball from Kate Cross and Andy and Simon Dawson, while pro Nicol is bringing his experience to bear on an otherwise young changing room.
Add this to other solid contributions with bat, ball and in the field and it’s easy to see why things are looking positive at Crimble.
Pawson continued: “I think there are a few things (behind our good start).
“The way Bobby has started and the way Rob seems to have settled in really well and is a really calming influence on the lads.
“And obviously the emergence of Kate in the first team. She has been brilliant so far and although she will be missing a few games now she will be welcomed back when she is available again.
“And the two Dawsons have been at times unplayable with the new ball.
“The middle order have been the most impressive so far though, for me.
“I think the likes of Dale and Wes (Hunt) have stepped up to the plate a bit more this year and with the added experience of Ray (Baker) we are starting to look a lot stronger.
“Liam Mason is also starting to look a lot more comfortable on at the top of the order and his confidence is growing every game.”
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