STAND are heading up to the GMCL’s Premier Division as champions of Division One B.

Stuart Catterall’s men secured their second promotion in three years of GMCL cricket on Saturday when weather hit their closest rivals.

Stand had no fixture, but challengers Monton and Moorside had matches rained off.

Captain Catterall and Co have won 14 of their 19 games, and they will be hoping to end the summer in style with a home win against Monton on Saturday.

The Manchester side can still finish level on points with a victory, but Stand would still have more wins and would prevail as a result.

“At the start of the year, we set ourselves a target of finishing in the top half. So to get up into the Premier League is a great effort,” said batsman Catterall.

“It’s fantastic. It’s been down to a real team effort.

“I don’t think we’ve had any superstars if you look down the averages. But everyone has contributed when we’ve needed them to.”

Local lads Danish Ateeq, Catterall and Ali Asad have all topped the 350-run mark, as have overseas amateur Jamal Sukhon, from New Zealand, and Sri Lankan professional Geshan Wimiladharma – the latter who returned home at the start of August.

With the ball, Ateeq claimed 36 wickets and Sukhon 33.

“With the batting, we have a lot of depth,” continued Catterall.

“Last week against Dukinfield, we were 70-6 and scraped to 155, a defendable total on the wicket we played on.

“We’ve done that on a regular basis. Games could have gone either way.

"We could have ended up being bowled out for 100, but we’ve got 180 and defended it.

“People have come to the fore when the games have been on the line.

“When we get into the Prem, we’re going to have to do it on a more regular basis.

“It’s going to be a big challenge.

“We’ve had a good side this year, as good as I can remember in my 10 years at Stand.

"But I think we’ll have to strengthen again to compete.

“All you need to do is look at the sides who went up last year and probably three of them will come back down.

“We haven’t got the big budget of some other clubs, but we’ll give it a go.

“I think we’ve got a ground sides don’t like coming to because I’m not sure they think the wicket is very good.

"We think it’s fine. But if sides are nervous coming here, we have to take advantage of that.

“The way we will compete is to have strong home form.”

On Stand’s plans to strengthen their squad, Catterall added: “It’s hard to attract players now unless you offer them payment.

"But I’m hoping that just going into the Premier will be an attraction for some.

“That’s what we’re going to have to play on.

“We’re going to have to strengthen, even if it’s just in terms of numbers.

“This year, we’ve relied on 11 or 12 players in the first team who’ve performed, adding the odd one to that here and there.

"We’re probably going to need to have a slightly bigger pool of players next year.”