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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Crocked Barrow skipper D’Leny hopes to be back

RETIRING Barrow Cricket Club skipper Chris D’Leny has not completely ruled out a return to the game one day.

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HOWZAT! Chris D’Leny in familiar pose appealing for a wicket from behind the stumps for Barrow CC

The wicketkeeper/batsman has hung up his spikes and pads aged just 25 because of a long-standing knee problem, on which he is due to have a fourth operation.

Under his captaincy, Barrow, having led the way for much of 2012, finished runners-up in Northern Premier League Division One this season, just six points behind winners Fleetwood.

Following Saturday’s final game – a three-wicket home win over Morecambe – D’Leny announced his retirement to his team-mates.

Speaking to the Evening Mail, D’Leny, who works as a joiner, said: “I snapped my knee cruciate playing football quite a few years ago and am due a fourth operation on it, so I have decided to retire from cricket.

“I say retire, but if it sorts itself, who knows, in a couple of years I might make a comeback.

“Barrow is the best club I have ever played for and, although not playing, I hope to be there supporting the lads at future games.”

Reflecteing on a season that saw Barrow go so close to a first title since joining the Northern Premier League in 2004 – finishing second for the second time in three years – D’Leny, who has been at Ernest Pass for the last six seasons, said: “It’s disappointing, really.

“We led for almost all the season and, on paper, had the best team in the league.

“The team spirit was great but we had some rotten luck with the weather and also lost a couple of games when we should have done better.

“No-one, however, remembers second place and having set our hearts on winning the title, it is very disappointing to have been beaten to it by Fleetwood.

“The defeat in the County Cup final to Workington was a big disappointment too.”

l Cumberland spinner Toby Bulcock – the leading wicket taker in Minor Counties cricket this season – will be the professional for Northern League club St Annes in 2013, having played for Carnforth this year.

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