SOME of world cricket’s great names and the very best amateurs in Bury and Bolton have represented Greenmount down the years, leaving Ryan Senior with a significant sense of pride having taken over the captaincy at Brandleshome Road.

Senior played junior cricket for Greenmount before leaving to take up various professional roles.

Now he is back and, having replaced Andy Bowker for 2019, is determined to elevate the club back to the GMCL’s Premier Division.

“In this area with the GMCL, there’s no bigger club in terms of honours – Lancs Knockouts, league titles and cup wins,” said the all-rounder.

“When we first came into this league, we were probably the most glorified club, but it’s just not gone our way.

“We were unlucky to be relegated last season. We lost some close games.

"But we have a young side who are better for the experience of a year in the Premier, and our ultimate aim this year is to get back there.

“There’ve been some fantastic names playing here – Matthew Hayden, Mark Taylor, Saeed Anwar, Franklin Stephenson, Ashar Zaidi, who has recently played for Essex.

"Even our current pro, Kaustub Pawar, must have scored 18-20 hundreds in the last two seasons.

“I started at Tonge, but came here at 15 and left at 22 to go and do some pro’ing at Woodbank and Shaw.

“But to come back and captain my boyhood club, to follow the likes of Mark Stewart, Derek Kay and Terry Stewart, it’s a tremendous honour.

“I love the club and want us to get back where we should be.”

It was a frustration to Senior that he was speaking after Greenmount’s first round Derek Kay Trophy defeat on Sunday, by six wickets to top-flight side Woodhouses as the visitors chased down 164 with almost three overs to spare.

Greenmount were the defending champions of a competition named after their late club legend.

“This cup holds a great deal of sentimental value because of who it’s named after.

"But our main priority has to be the league – and we’ve started well,” said Senior.

Greenmount have won two of their opening three Division One B fixtures, with the other rained off, as they chase a top-two finish.

On Saturday, they racked up 378-4 in 50 overs and a mammoth 245-run home win against Westleigh.

The standout performance came from young batsman Tom Heaton with 166 unbeaten off 128 balls with 10 sixes.

Senior (69) shared in 176 for the third wicket.

“There are areas we can work on with the ball, but we’ve been fantastic with the bat, scoring 630 runs in two games,” said the skipper.

Derbyshire’s Daryn Smit, who hit an opening-week hundred in victory over Stayley, will continue as sub pro until Indian Pawar arrives on May 27.

Batsman Andy Kerr and fast bowler Mohammad Nazim have returned this summer, while left-arm spinner Nick Kennedy has signed from Woodbank.

Meanwhile, Greenmount are hosting Woodbank in a charity T20 clash tomorrow (6pm) and are titling the fundraising evening as Cricket versus Homophobia.

“We’re both wearing the rainbow kits and will raise money for charity,” added Senior. “There’s entertainment afterwards, music and barbecues.”