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LOCAL CRICKET : Recs steady progress is no surprise to Garvey.

Byline: BY PAUL EDWARDS

IT HAS been a damp start to the 2005 season in the First Division of the Liverpool Competition but with five games played it is possible to see patterns emerging and some pundits have perhaps been surprised by the excellent form of St Helens Recs, who currently lead the table.

The recruitment of the 34year-old Australian all-rounder Richard Chee Quee has been identified as a major cause of Recs' improved form but Ruskin Drive skipper Scott Garvey says the seeds of revival were sown two seasons ago.

' We've made a very good start to the season,' he agreed. 'But it's all been part of a progression from over a couple of years.

What we have managed to do is keep a squad of players together when before that we were losing them to other clubs. As a result there's a togetherness in the team and a good spirit. In the winter we were strengthened bythe arrival of opener Simon Brown from Huyton and middle order batsman Sean Latham from Haydock and now Richard Chee Quee has settled in, we'll see where we can go.'

The Randwick professional has played an important role in Recs three wins but Garvey has forthright views on attempts to buy success.

'

There's far more to building a side capable of sustaining a promotion challenge than simply spending a few quid,' he observed. ' Richard's contributed well with both bat and ball and he's spread confidence throughout the side but I've also been pleased with the progress of our youngsters.'

As to the rest of the campaign, Garvey is cautious. He said: '

There's far too much hype flying around at the moment with people telling us we're bound togo up, and such. We have a huge amount of work to do and the aim is to keep on as we've started. Our aim is to be in contention when there are eight to 10 games to go.'

Tomorrow Garvey's men welcome third-from-bottom Highfield to Ruskin Drive. Mark Ramsdale's team have yet to record a win but have had their programme savaged by the weather with three games abandoned, two without a ball bowled. Liverpool have made a poor start to the season with three draws and two defeats from their five games and Steve Nealey's team will aim to get off the mark at home to St Helens.

By contrast, Ainsdale have proved their ability to compete at this level with two wins out offive starts and Dave Newcombe's talented outfit currently lie fourth. A visit to Orrell Red Triangle tomorrow is followed on Sunday by a home Lancashire Cup tie against Barnoldswick from the Ribblesdale League.

Perhaps the most intriguing of tomorrow's fixtures is Formby's home game against Maghull which brings together two teams with genuine hopes of playing Premier League cricket next season.

However, a straw poll around the division still finds last year's nearly men, Colwyn Bay being identified as the most likely candidates to join the elite and the Welsh side have the journey to Southport and Birkdale in prospect

CAPTION(S):

Simon Brown arrived at St Helens Recs from Huyton
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 13, 2005
Words:522
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