BY seamer Giorgio Rigali’s own admission, Goatacre are struggling to enjoy themselves in Premier Two this season.

After the Goats’ latest defeat - an 84-run capitulation to Ilminster on Saturday - Rigali & Co sit just nine points above the relegation zone with eight games of the campaign remaining.

Goatacre Lane might not be the happiest of places at present but Rigali is trying to take heart from his side’s second-half resurgence last term, where an extraordinary winning streak lifted them from the cusp of the drop to a fourth-place finish.

“It’s fair to say that at the moment it’s not the most enjoyable cricket we’ve ever played but last year we were in a similar position, where we went into halfway third from bottom and then won pretty much every game for the rest of the season and finished fourth,” he said.

“We’ve proved that it can be turned around but it’s going to take a bit of hard work and effort and more application with our batting.”

It was the batting that let Goatacre down once again at the weekend as, after restricting Ilminster to 221-9 in their 50 overs, only Ed Wilkins and Brad Dawson made any kind of meaningful contribution at the crease.

Wilkins hit 51 and Dawson made 21 but Goatacre crumbled to 137 all out, with James Thompson claiming five victims for a misery 30 runs.

Summing up the performance, Rigali said: “It’s pretty similar to every other week at the moment. By no means are we bowling the best we’ve ever bowled or bowling to our highest standards but when we’re bowling first, at the halfway mark we’re well in the game.

“When we get the bat in our hand we get to 60 or 70 for none or one, look like we’re comfortably in the game and in a winning position, and then we go on and crumble and there’s a standard batting collapse every single week at the moment.

“The main issue for us is that wickets are falling to not great bowling.

“There are no bowlers who are unplayable or tearing us to shreds.

“We’re getting ourselves out every week, mainly just playing shots.

“The majority of our batters on Saturday were bowled and you should never be getting bowled unless you get an absolute pearler.

“The only thing we can do is keep working at it and train hard, try to have some purpose to our training and try to focus on where we’re going wrong.”