SKIPPER Adam Fisher says his Sheriff Hutton Bridge side are not out of the championship race this year - and reckons more title challenges will follow from his young guns in years to come.
SHB, runners-up last year, lie third in the current Hunters York & District Senior League premier division with six games to go. They are 53 points behind champions Woodhouse Grange - but face key back-to-back fixtures against second-placed Easingwold and the leaders themselves. Grange also host Easingwold next month.
"We would obviously love to be in the hunt with a few games to go but its a case of trying to trying to pick up as many points as a possible," said Fisher when asked of his title hopes.
"We know if we turn up and play our best cricket, then we are a match for anyone in the league."
Their match at Easingwold this Saturday will be key. Victory will see them go second and stay in striking distance of Woodhouse.
The return of Yorkshire Academy player Ed Barnes will bolster SHB's side, and Fisher is hoping he will be able to also lure his brother and teenage Yorkshire bowler Matthew back from the county ranks, too, to play in the all-important Woodhouse fixture.
Skipper Fisher has been delighted with the performances of his side this season, with a number of younger players stepping up to provide key performances when needed.
Brother Mark Fisher, 22, is the premier division's leading wicket-taker, with 18-year-old spinner Ben Harris not far behind.
Captain Adam, 25, himself is the the division's leading run-scorer. He said: "We have had a lot more people contribute this year than in previous years, so that's probably helped us more and given us the depth.
"Hopefully, if we were to be short this season, whether it be second or third, with a young squad we are well set up for future years."