NEW CHALLENGE: Patrick Roberts
NEW CHALLENGE: Patrick Roberts

BARNARD Castle CC’s two new faces are relishing the challenges ahead as the club looks to defend the NYSD title.

Patrick Roberts and James Wainman made their bow for the club in Saturday’s demolition job of newly promoted Billingham Synthonia.

Roberts arrives at Barney after five years in the Cheshire League, where he captained Oulton Park CC.

Having steered the club to promotion from division one to premier and secured their status in the top flight – adding the Cheshire Cup along the way last season – he said the time was right to look for new challenges both on and off the field.

“It was a nice way to bow out,” he said. He heard about the opportunity for Barney through a connection to director of cricket Dave Stanwix and decided try his luck in the NYSD for the first time.

A wicket keeper batsman, he made an unbeaten 43 against Billingham on Saturday, but did not don the gloves as regular keeper Phil Merryweather took his place behind the stumps.

Away from cricket, the 29-year-old works as a PE teacher and is due to start a new job in Scarborough in September.

Pace bowler Wainman will be hoping to hit good form for Barney as he seeks a county contract.

The 26-year-old was released by Yorkshire CCC at the end of last season having been part of the county set-up since U14 level.

Like Roberts, this will be his first season in the NYSD having played in the Bradford League last year.

Of his release from Yorkshire, he said: “It got to the stage where I wanted to be playing first team cricket if I was going to get anywhere.”

He has been clocking up the miles taking part in trials for the likes of Northants, Warwickshire and Worcester.

This week he was heading off to Kent as his efforts to break into the county set-up continue.

Of his tenure with Barney, he said: “I am looking forward to it and trying to help them win another championship. It will be a good challenge.”

With no obvious partner for Mike Dixon, Wainman opened the batting on Saturday, nicking off early before his nine overs went unrewarded for 37 runs.