CAPTAIN Paul Hewart is hoping last weekend's run blitz can propel East Lancashire Paper Mill away from the relegation zone.

The Radcliffe team demolished bottom-of-the-table Clifton seconds in the clash of the bottom two in Greater Manchester League Division Two A by 243 runs.

And Hewart, who missed the match, hopes his side's best batting performance of the season, which produced a massive 371-4, will give his side the confidence to climb away from danger.

"Losing's a habit, just like winning," he said. "And losing games has affected our confidence and been a factor in our recent run of defeats.

"Hopefully last week has put things right.

"Don't get me wrong, it was the bottom team we beat, and Clifton seconds aren't the Clifton seconds of previous years, but a win's a win.

"It pulled us up two places to fourth bottom but it's still tight down there and this weekend we're at home to Elton Vale who are second bottom.

"A win would be massive for us because it would give us some breathing space and we've got to take the confidence from last week's win into this game.

"We've got the players to be higher in the division but it's about all of them delivering it at the same time.

"We could have won the previous three weekends, against Elton, Westleigh and even Droylsden, but it's that confidence factor being against us."

Last Saturday saw two players get centuries – Ian Wade with a spectacular 134 off 62 balls, and professional Matthew Smalley with 115 not out.

"Ian's done that before," said Hewart. "We could do with him keeping that up, same with Matthew.

"Our wicketkeeper, Mark Robinson has been scoring well too, Will Turnbull scored a hundred at Micklehurst, and Shas (Shasvat) Kakkar has come into the side and is proving to be a decent bowler.

"If we can get our first-choice 11 out we're a decent team.

"We were promoted last year and the aim before the season was to establish ourselves in this division. It still is.

"Hopefully, we've got enough to do that and a win this weekend would go a long to way achieving that aim."