Chairman Don Lange insists Haxey Cricket Club have had a very successful 2013 despite the relegation of their first team and loss of all-rounder Graeme Attenborough.
Mark Atkins’ men finished second from bottom in the Lincs ECB Premier League following a troubling campaign not helped by the loss of key players.
However, following the end of the cricket season it was then announced the bottom two clubs would be relegated after Lincs County winners Market Rasen opted to take their Premier League promotion.
That meant the demotion into the Lincs County League for both Haxey and rock-bottom side Hartsholme.
It was also announced that star all-rounder Attenborough would be returning to Doncaster Town CC following two seasons with the Isle men.
Lange says he is disappointed with the demotion but said that he has been happy on the whole with the club’s 2013 following championship wins for its second team and three junior sides.
“We obviously did not want to get relegated but that is what has happened because we weren’t good enough and we didn’t perform,” he exclusively told the Bells.
“But being in the Premier League in the first place is a measure of how far we have come as a club.
“It proved a struggle after we lost some of our key players when the season started so it was hard to recover and we couldn’t sign anybody else on.
“We’ve had a taste of the high life and we want that again. We want to bounce straight back up.”
He went on: “The club as a whole have had a very successful 2013.
“All three junior levels won their league and the second team did too.”
Haxey now head into their 2014 campaign without high-scoring Attenborough who played a major role in the team winning the County League three years ago and the ECB Lincolnshire Premier League in 2012.
But with the news of the departing Attenborough, who scored 766 runs in 21 games for the firsts, Haxey are likely to see the return of solid opening bowler Paul Bell.
South African Josh Savage - who top scored Haxey’s wicket taking last year with 53 - has also pledged his playing future to the club and will continue his work of coaching the younger players as well.
Another new addition is Pakistani top order off-spinner Qeyash Khan.
“We’ve signed a couple of players which we’re really pleased about,” said Lange.
“Josh is great to have at the club, he’s been brilliant working with the younger players. We also really missed Bell when he went to work down south, he can get you 40 wickets.
“We’ve also got some exciting young players coming through the ranks so we’ve been successful on the whole.”