’Vale captain hoping for in-house answers to progress questions

Laurelvale captain David Sinton (front row centre) with team-mates before the midweek friendly against Lurgan to help preparations for Saturday's Section Two opening fixture. Pic by Tony Hendron.
Laurelvale captain David Sinton (front row centre) with team-mates before the midweek friendly against Lurgan to help preparations for Saturday's Section Two opening fixture. Pic by Tony Hendron.

If past campaigns have often been about adding to Laurelvale’s rich legacy, captain David Sinton considers a more internal measure for progress across 2015.

The Villagers’ relegation battle over the second half of last season served to highlight the struggle for consistency within the Laurelvale ranks.

Sinton, a long-term fixture around the Laurelvale clubhouse, retains faith in the quality on the books and insists small margins can turn the frustration of 2014 into a positive future.

“Given how we had a relegation fight for the back end of last season, it is possibly sensible to set a top-four target as our first objective for this year,” said Sinton. “That is not to say we do not want to challenge and, certainly, I expect Section Two to feature some really tight games this year so anything is possible.

“However, before looking to promotion or anything, we must first focus on what went wrong last season and how to fix those issues.

“The good news, from my viewpoint as captain, is that we are talking about issues outside of ability.

However, before looking to promotion or anything, we must first focus on what went wrong last season and how to fix those issues

David Sinton

“It is about stepping up the commitment levels, keeping our focus and improving our decision-making process in a match.

“Statistics show how we batted, on average, for something like 45 of the 50 overs each innings last season and it is the potential for improvement in those missing overs that gives me the belief we can turn it around with small but important changes.

“It is about each person learning that balance between individual success and team progress.

“Cricket is an individual sport within a team game in many ways in that one guy can influence a match but it is important to think about the bigger picture.

“We managed some decent cup results and basically got a win over most, if not all, of the sides in our division across one competition or another.

“That is the foundation for moving forward and we have had a good run of indoor and outdoor practice sessions, plus a few friendly fixtures.”

Laurelvale visit Saintfield in the first fixture tomorrow (Saturday).