SKIPPER Rob James admitted Knighton “were simply not good enough” having been dismissed for 32 in a nine-wicket mauling by Ross-on-Wye.

No Knights batsman mustered more than seven having been put in by their high-flying visitors as Jack Donovan (4-11), Robbie Nixon (2-13) and Charlie Cole (4-8) cut through the order with ease.

John Milman (1-5) did prevent a complete whitewash when Ross came to the crease but there was never likely to be a credible defence.

“We didn’t bat well at all,” said James. “We had seven players missing from our normal team and were simply not good enough.

“It was a shocker but hopefully a one-off. We haven’t done that badly so far but the standard is higher than last season, in my opinion.

“Our biggest problem is not being able to field the same team every week. Availability is the key issue and generally, we have not made enough runs.

“We have been enjoying our cricket so far. This was a bad day at the office but I certainly don’t think there were any on-field frustrations, none that I know of anyway.

“No-one got going. It was a very difficult pitch to bat on and they bowled in the right places so it was a struggle for any of us to get in.

“That said, there is no excuse for making 32 runs. It is not good enough, you cannot expect to defend totals like that at this level.”

It gets no easier for the relegation battlers who travel to Marches League Division Two leaders Canon Frome on Saturday (1pm). Jack Brain, Jack Kitchen, Richard Smith and Dave Chance return as Knighton attempt to end a run of three straight defeats

“We know we came up very short but we have to bounce back against Canon Frome,” added James. “We expect to face a strong side. They have been doing well and scoring plenty of runs so we know how difficult it will be.

“The key thing for us is not to get despondent. We need to put the last result down to a bad day at the office, bounce back and compete in the next game.

“All we can do is get as many points on the board as possible to get out of that drop zone. Having the same team every week would be fantastic in some respects but it might be more difficult to pull it back after a result like this.

“We do have a few key players back so we will dust ourselves down and go again.”

Meanwhile, James has offered some mitigation for Knighton’s struggles with the bat on home soil.

“There have been a lot of low scores at Newnham Bridge so far but once we get into the summer, we should get some good wickets down there,” he added.

“While it is raining like it is, the wicket is always slow and that makes it hard for batsmen.”