BOLTON ASSOCIATION: Edgworth shooting for top-five finish
FOUR teams go into tomorrow’s final day of the season battling with each other for places in next season’s Lancashire Knockout.
With champions Atherton and runners-up Flixton’s postions secure, Adlington, Walshaw, Edgworth and Bury are involved in a last-day shake-up of the next four positions.
The lowest third-placed Adlington – who are at home to fourth-placed Walshaw – can finish is fifth.
And with it looking like the top five qualifying for the Lancs KO their place appears secure.
Edgworth travel to a Bury side who are 10 points behind them in sixth.
If the Radcliffe Road men are to cap an encouraging first season in the Association they will need to get the 13 points for a win and deny Edgworth sufficient bonus points.
That puts Edgworth in the driving seat, and their captain Simon Lord is looking to his players to finish the job and secure their second fifth-place finish in two years.
“We qualified for the Lancashire Knockout last year so we would really like to do it again,” he said.
“The good thing is it is in our hands.
“You could look at the points situation and think if we get a certain amount of bonus points we will qualify, but that’s a dangerous way to think. You just go into it looking to win the game.”
Edgworth have been one of the more unpredictable teams in the league this season, something they will look to address during the winter.
“We beat Atherton in the first game of the season, and we have also lost to a couple of teams in the lower half of the table,” he said. “But if we finish fifth it will have been a decent effort.
“Our batting has been a little fragile at times, but what we have lacked more than anything is control of the ball, so we need another spin bowler.
“We have Mike Watkinson but he has missed a lot more games than he did last year.
“If we get another slow bowler – a good spinner – we should be able to get more control of the ball and control games better.
“You only have to look at Atherton to see how important that is. They have won the league by having two good spin bowlers at either end.
“Apart from that I am pretty hopeful we can keep the players together for next season.
“We have a team of lads who live in the village, and if you have players who have an affinity with the club they play for it’s a good thing.”
Edgworth will be looking for revenge tomorrow after losing the reverse fixture.
But Lord has a positive view on their last-day opponents.
“Bury have been a great addition to the league,” he said. “They’ve played well and they are a good club.”