MICHAEL Farley says Radcliffe Cricket Club’s team spirit will overcome the blow of relegation.

The Racecourse men have returned to Division Three after just one season in Division Two B in which they have only won one match.

But while Farley admits the drop has hurt the side he says the togetherness of the players will ensure there is no long-term damage.

“Of course it’s a big disappointment to go down but we had a look at the individual stats this week and we measure up pretty well with other teams amateur for amateur,” he said.

“The difference is we don’t have a pro and we don’t pay any players and it’s the quality of that kind of player in other teams which beats us.

“The thing is we’re all mates at Radcliffe. We’re all Radcliffe lads and we all want to play for the club so we’ll be all right.

“We don’t like being relegated because everyone wants to play as high as they can. But it’s more important to play as high as you can at the right club.”

Meanwhile, ELPM face a battle to beat the drop from Division Two A with four games to go.

The third-bottom Radcliffe club are level on points with Elton Vale, who are one place below them in the second relegation spot.

Elton Vale have the easier of the two games on Saturday away to rock bottom Clifton second team - who have won one game and lost 15 this season – while ELPM are at home to fifth-bottom Prestwich seconds.

Captain Paul Hewart, whose side lost at third-placed Shaw last weekend, said: “We go again this Saturday, knowing a win is surely just around the corner and would just drag us away from the last relegation spot.”

On the latest defeat, he said: “Their openers batted very patiently and put on 83 for the first wicket.

“It wasn’t until Gavin Greaves (3-47)and the guile of myself (3-42) were introduced that we reduced them to 125-6 but a late rally got them to 179.

“Again we let ourselves down with the bat with only three players getting into double figures - Matty Partington 17, Mark Robinson 39 and Sam Oldham 11.”