CAPTAIN Adam Barnes helped Edenfield secure a crucial rain-affected 10-wicket win against promotion rivals Stretford on Saturday with an unbeaten 69 and he is top of the run-scoring charts in the GMCL’s Division Two B.

Opener Barnes hit 10 fours in 68 balls, sharing an unbroken stand of 120 with professional Paul Gallagher (41 not out) chasing a revised target of 117 in 23 overs following mid-afternoon rain in Stretford.

Earlier, the hosts has posted 94-5 in 23 overs.

Barnes has now scored 263 runs in six matches (five innings), including three fifties. He is 64 runs clear of his closest challenger.

His form has helped Edenfield into fourth place as they chase a place in the new Championship division for 2020.

They are six points behind second-placed South West Manchester, who are in the promotion places.

Stretford held on to third place, but the gap between those two is only two points.

“The weather meant it was in our favour,” said Barnes. “It was a game which was heavily influenced at the toss, which I won.

"In a rain-affected game, it’s always better to bowl first. But we still had to do the job.

“It takes us a bit further up the league, so we’re very happy.

“It’s part of captain’s responsibility to lead from the front.

“I seem to have come good eventually. I’m over 30 now, and it’s a matter of working my game out a bit and knowing where my run-scoring

areas are, not having the young naive head I had in past.

“It’s only in the last three or four seasons that I’ve opened the batting, and it seems to have suited my game and settled me down a bit.

I was almost a shot-a-ball man before that.

“It’s also growing up a bit. I’m at a different stage in my life. I’m a dad now, for example. I’m pleased with how I’m playing.”

Make no mistake, though, Barnes – like any good captain – would swap good personal form for team success in a heartbeat. Thankfully for him, both

are happening.

Last season, Edenfield missed out on promotion by finishing third, “The bridesmaid’s position” as the skipper puts it.

“We’re a side that has matured well,” he said.

“We’ve grown up together and all know our games inside and out. We’ve got to a period where it’s time for us to step up and make that transition

to finishing in the top two.

“Hopefully with the addition of an overseas amateur (New Zealander Christian MacDonald), we can just go one step further.”

New ball quick Fred Nixon was superb with 1-11 from seven overs, while pro Gallagher claimed 3-33 from five overs.

“We bowl well in partnerships,” added Barnes.

“Andrew Rushton, our other seamer, missed the game because his work means he can only play once every two games.

"If we can get all three together – Fred, Andrew and Christian – we’re going to be a strong bowling unit.

“The pro is also bowling well, and we’ve got Dan Jenkins and young Ben Seeley. Both those are very capable.”