OVER the years I have always thought I was a bit of a local cricket geek – or “badger” as it appears to be better known these days.

This is especially with me being a scorer for many years before moving into playing senior cricket.

I used to enjoy looking out for the scorecards in both the Bolton Evening News and Bury Times to see the breakdown of how players had performed each week at all clubs.

Obviously, I didn’t know the full ins and outs of every club in the area back then but since founding my cricket-related business I have spent a lot of time finding out more about how clubs operate, their goals and the work volunteers put in.

One club I was never too aware of when I was younger was Stand.

For some reason I was of the opinion they ranked quite low in the cricket pecking order compared to the clubs closest to them geographically, Unsworth and Prestwich.

But having spent time working on their behalf they have quietly impressed me.

So now, when I promote them to local businesses, I cannot speak highly enough, especially after they kindly donated their old roll-on covers to my own club Elton last year when they received funding for new ones.

To me, they are the success story of the GMCL in Bury.

Starting off in Division Two in 2016 they achieved promotion to Division One at the first attempt. Then, in 2017, what should have been seen as a consolidation season saw them narrowly miss out on promotion to the Premier Division by a solitary win.

This year they currently occupy a place in the top three, just a couple of points behind my other clients, Moorside and Saddleworth, from the now-defunct Pennine Cricket League.

Our other clubs in Bury have obviously had their successes, too, over the course of recent history, but credit where credit is due, Stand have met the challenges of the new structure head on and have gone under the radar in terms of receiving praise for their performances.

Even though I have clients in the same division as Stand I hope they maintain those performances for the remainder of the season, because the Hamilton Road club will not need waking up when September ends if they go one better than last year by achieving promotion to the Premier Division for 2019.