UNSWORTH captain Aman Arora says the club will look to recruit around a core group of home-grown players as they bid to pull clear of the relegation danger they were embroiled in during this season’s GMCL Division One B.

Unsworth had secured survival prior to Saturday’s last-round home defeat to Dukinfield when the hosts failed to chase 206, falling to 153 all out.

They were boosted by a mid-season run of three wins in four weeks, including against second-bottom and relegated Thornham, who they finished nine points and one place above.

Arora said: “At the start of the season, our main objective was to get some stability back after a couple of tough years, and our seconds also stayed up with a win on Saturday, so we’re happy.

“At the halfway point, it looked a push (for the firsts), but we got a few important wins.

“We’ve given games away for 80 per cent of the season.

"Against Stand, who were champions, we were in commanding positions in both games.

“Away, we were 110-3 and 125 all out chasing 140. At home, on a tough wicket, we were 80-odd for two and 110 all out when 140 or 150 would have been a winning score.

“On Saturday, chasing 208, we were 110-1 and 153 all out.

“We’ve had different players stepping up, but not many occasions when two or three have in the same game.

“Our ground needs some work. Conditions at home haven’t been ideal and that will hopefully improve performances.

“We’re also looking at getting a pro for the whole season next year, someone who’s very active with the juniors and is involved in the whole club, and an overseas as well.

“We’re trying to recruit around a core group of our own players, which will hopefully give us a more stable side.”

On Saturday, 15-year-old debutant Ellis McLaughlin’s maiden wicket was Dukinfield pro Yohan De Silva, bowled.

Another Bury side who weren’t so fortunate were Greenmount, who have been relegated from the Premier Division. Their fate was also sealed prior to Saturday’s final round.

Greenmount finished third bottom and were relegated alongside Denton West, Edgworth and Heywood.

On Saturday, the Derek Kay Cup Trophy winners lost at Woodhouses.

Captain Andy Bowker said: “I just hope the games we’ve lost by a run, or one wicket or even in the last over, we can turn those in our favour.

“There were five or six games like that, and we’ve come out on the wrong side.

“We actually said in the slips on Saturday ‘Would we have rather finished fourth or fifth and not won the cup?’.

“Everyone agreed the cup was a massive positive, with a lot of lads winning their first trophy.”

Bowker, who has re-signed Indian pro Kaustub Pawar, is encouraged by the development of younger players Ryan Barker, Lewis Dove, Tom Heaton and Owen Feakes – the latter two will play cricket in South Africa this winter.

He added: “We’ve got to see what’s going to happen with the structure of the Division One next year.

“There are rumours that it may be one division of 24 and everyone plays each other once. That leaves it a little bit more open.”

Meanwhile, there was heartbreak for Walshaw and Tottington St Johns, who were both beaten and missed out on promotion from Divisions One A and Three West.

Walshaw, starting the day in second, were 159 all out chasing 168 at home against Whalley Range. Royton benefitted and went up.

Tottington started the day in third behind Bury Seconds. But both teams above won their home games against Hindley St Peters and Roe Green Seconds.