EAST Lancashire Paper Mill captain Paul Hewart says his side did not push themselves enough as they suffered relegation.

The Radcliffe team returned to Division Three after one season in Division Two A following promotion 12 months earlier.

But the skipper was honest in his appraisal of the campaign just gone and said he wanted to see the side bounce straight back next year.

"We had a great season in 2017, gaining a double promotion to the highest standard of cricket the club has probably played in since the days of the Saddleworth League approximately 1990-91," he said.

"We felt a successful year would be finishing mid-table and staying in the division and I believe setting off with that mindset may have contributed to us not pushing ourselves and maybe settling for mediocrity.

"Nobody had an outstanding individual season. Matthew Smalley scored more than 400 runs and got 40-plus wickets in all formats, Mark Robinson also got 400-plus runs and was his usual consistent self behind the stumps.

"We will now just have to focus on next year and try to bounce back straightaway.

"The positives are the six or seven new players who joined ELPM CC last year and the potential for two or three more coming next season will hopefully allow both the first and second teams to progress and for us to continue giving people the chance of a game of cricket with our third team.

"It will help us to continue to promote the club both on and off the field ready for the hopeful relocation of the club with the proposed development of the ELPM site."