BOLTON LEAGUE: Arun's five title hopes
NO sooner had Westhoughton seconds claimed this year’s title that captain Arun Pindoria’s thoughts turned to next season.
His crack outfit claimed a record-equalling fourth successive Howarth Cup – the second team championship – with a resounding 10-wicket victory at Egerton last weekend.
Only Tonge have ever matched that feat, winning four titles between 1992-95, and the Westhoughton captain is now eager to wipe that mark from the record books. “Equalling the record with our fourth title is brilliant,” said the 39-year-old all-rounder.
“But it would be nice to get five now and become the outright record holders. That would be something special.”
Pindoria stepped down from first-team duty two years ago to take charge of the seconds and has taken great pride in helping to nurture the talents of the club’s youngsters.
Together with level-three qualified coaches Atiq uz-Zaman and John Partington, Pindoria has overseen the progression of a host of players from the club’s thriving junior set-up.
Stand-out players from this season’s success have included 21-year-old Matt Trow, who opens the batting, and 16-year-old opening bowler Dan Higham.
There is a good chance, of course, that first-team captain Rob Houghton will come calling over the winter to pilfer some of the second team’s prized assets, but Pindoria is not concerned.
“Westhoughton have fantastic facilities and coaches, which has helped us to put in place a thriving junior set-up,” he said.
“I have seen the standard of players coming through the under-13s and u15s so there is no doubt there is plenty more talent available.”
Pindoria’s team may have already secured this season’s title with three matches remaining, but there is no question they will be putting their collective feet up and basking in the glory when there are records to be broken.
“Westhoughton won last year’s title with a club- record 130 points, so we want to break that,” he said.
“We already have 129 points in the bag, so it is now all about how many points we can get.
“Our aim is to break the 140-point barrier, and after only losing two matches all season I would back us to do that.”
The St George’s Oval first team has also enjoyed a fine season, recovering from finishing bottom last campaign to fourth going into this weekend’s fixtures.
A win at fifth-placed Bradshaw today will go a long way to cementing their place in the top five and clinch a spot in next year’s Lancashire Knockout. They are also at home to Astley Bridge tomorrow. Elsewhere, if Little Lever fail to get the win they need to clinch the title at Walkden today, they will get a second chance tomorrow at home to Kearsley.