MICHAEL BARNES will urge Northop Hall to “not let standards drop” between now and the end of the Liverpool Competition Division One season.

Hall’s chances of finishing the campaign with silverware seemingly went up in smoke as they were beaten by Liverpool in the Ray Tyler Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

The Flintshire outfit will now turn their attentions to the remainder of the league campaign, which has nine games to go - the first of which comes at home to Sefton Park tomorrow.

Hall head into the clash in seventh spot, 95 points clear of the relegation zone and 62 adrift of leaders Wigan, but Barnes is eager to finish the season with a flourish.

“There’s no real pressure on us,” said captain Barnes. “But we must not let standards drop.

“We are in good form and we want to move forward by securing a fifth win in six games against Sefton.”

Standing in Hall’s way of a fifth win in their last half-a-dozen league outings is a Sefton side that are a place and 12 points better off than Barnes’ men.

“It will be a tough game against a Sefton side that has always been close to us in the table,” continued Barnes. “If we can win then it will help push us closer to those four to six positions.

“The disappointing thing is if we’d beaten Newton-le-Willows to make it five wins in a row, which we were more than capable of doing, we’d have been pushing those positions higher up the table.”

Sefton go into the clash at Smithy Lane full of confidence after doing what Hall were unable to - beating high-flying Newton-le-Willows.

The evergreen Rob Houghton picked up 7-51 as Sefton secured a three-wicket win at Croxteth Drive.

“Rob’s an old team-mate of mine, so I know how good he is,” said Barnes. “He’s got over 1,000 wickets, he’s a very experienced bowler and someone you look out for.”

Hall are boosted by the return to full fitness of young opener Jac Kennedy, while Josh Andrady will be available once again having missed Sunday’s cup defeat as Liam Evans-Ford misses out.

The second string make their way to Parkfield Liscard Seconds and Hall Thirds head to Orrell Red Triangle Thirds tomorrow, while the fourth XI host Orrell’s fourth team on Sunday.