Lees stays at Trafalgar Road
Friday 26th November 2010
Southport and Birkdale's Scott Lees has spent just one summer playing cricket on Merseyside – but he is already a big fan of the Liverpool Competition. The former Farnworth Social Circle fast bowler took 41 league wickets in his first season as S&B finished eighth in the First Division – and he is convinced that the environment brought the best out of him.
"The things I really like about the Competition are the good wickets and the system of promotion and relegation," he said. "The surfaces ensure that it's a fair contest between bat and ball and the divisional structure means that there's something to play for all season. You travel further than you would in the Bolton League but it's worth it because you play on good tracks.
"The fact that S&B were in a battle to stay in the First Division late last summer compelled us to play positive cricket," he added. "If we hadn't needed to beat Wigan, we probably wouldn't have bowled Jack Morris-Holland at the end of that game. As it was, he did really well and took three crucial wickets. Even in the first month or two of the season when we weren't winning a lot of games the cricket was always enjoyable because we were getting very close to victory on a number of occasions and we weren't drawing too many matches."
Lees' appreciation of S&B is warmly reciprocated at Trafalgar Road. On several occasions in 2010 the Boltonian paceman either claimed crucial early wickets or polished off the tail. In a few games he did both jobs and also formed an increasingly impressive new ball partnership with Craig Todd.
"When I was playing under 17 and under 19 cricket, I came up against some very good players like Jonathan Bairstow, Azeem Rafiq and Ben Stokes," said Lees, "but it was still age group cricket. It's a lot different spearheading an adult attack, not least because I'm regularly coming up against experienced 30 year old batsmen.
"I really enjoyed being the one who got us going or finished things off. It gave me a professional's responsibilities, but last season was essentially a rebuilding year for us and any hopes people had of winning promotion were probably pitched a bit too high. However, every one of us showed we had the ability to win games and it was especially good to see people like Dean Skelton and Lee Bolton play important roles later in the season."
As to 2011, Lees is optimistic about the Sandgrounders chances in the First Division and has recommitted himself to the cause.
"If we can keep that team together I think we'll have success," he said. "People at S&B were really good to me last season and to fit in so well was ideal. Certainly I don’t see any reason to leave."