IAN ROBINSON is targeting a top-two finish as Ormskirk look to complete their season in style by winning their final two matches.
The reigning Liverpool & District Cricket Competition Premier Division champions cannot retain their crown, with Lytham confirmed as title winners last weekend.
But the team moved to within 14 points of second-placed Northern with a win over Southport & Birkdale on Saturday.
And Robinson is hoping that victory over bottom club Rainford this weekend could put his side in an excellent position to secure the runners-up berth ahead of their Crosby rivals.
He said: “That is the aim now. It was strange last weekend wanting (third-placed) Leigh to beat Northern, but that result has brought the three clubs closer together. We have a real chance now, providing we can win our last two games. We are now pretty much guaranteed to finish in the top four, which is always a huge positive.
“The aim is to finish as high as we possibly can. We’d be delighted to finish second, when you consider we have had quite a tough season in terms of players missing and injuries.”
Ormskirk are finishing the season strongly. They were too powerful for S&B last weekend, posting 213 from their innings, before bowling their visitors out for 182, with only the brilliance of Scott Lees (105 off 88 balls) preventing a hammering.
S&B were 20-6 at one point, until the Lancashire second XI man entered the fray.
“It was a good win for us,” said Robinson.
“We were probably a little disappointed with our batting performance. We had targeted at least 220 on that pitch, so to be bowled out short of that was disappointing.
“All of our top order got decent starts, but only one (Andrew Baybutt) went past 50. That is something that we have been a bit frustrated by this season, but fortunately it didn’t cost us this time.”
He added: “Our opening bowlers, Chris Smith and Gavin Griffiths, were superb. We had them on the ropes at 20-6, but Scott Lees came out swinging and everything he hit came off for him, so fair play to him. We were just pleased we could close out the win.”
Next up is a trip to a Rainford side which is yet to record a league win this season. Robinson, though, insists there will be no complacency in the Ormskirk camp.
“They played well when we played them at home,” he said.
“They have two of the top 10 run-scorers in the league in (captain) Mark Williams and Nicholas Hendrie, so they have the ability to bat well.
“We’ve just got to go there with the right attitude. We’ve been on a good run lately, the cup defeat to Northern aside, so we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We certainly won’t be taking Rainford lightly, regardless of where they are in the league.”
He added: “I think the season we have had has been OK. We would have liked to have maybe had a better run in one of the cups, but as I say we have had a tough season in terms of who we have been able to select.
“We’ve got a young team, and a local team as well, so we can take lots of positives from the way we have performed this season.
“There is a lot to build on.”