ANTHONY AXFORD BOLTON ASSOCIATION: Daisy Hill looking to end long wait for Cross Cup final appearance
DAISY Hill will look to clinch their first Cross Cup final appearance for 28 years tomorrow.
The St James Street men are determined to put an end to their lack of success in a competition they last won 34 years ago.
“We said at the start of the season we want to do something in the cup this year,” said captain Mark Wood.
“We would love to win it so Sunday’s a big game and everybody at the club is really looking forward to it.”
Daisy are going well this season, handily placed in fifth in the league, 11 points off top spot which they will be looking to improve on when they visit Standish today.
They strengthened their side impressively in the summer when they lost no players and brought in Amjad Khan, Sean Brooks, Paul Hart and Mark Atherton who are all key men this season.
They are seen as a side with no stars but strong from one to 11.
Wood understandably does not have many lasting memories of the Cross Cup during his 15 years in the first team, but the few he does have he wants to eradicate with a good performance from his side tomorrow.
“I have played in a couple of semi-finals in 15 years at Daisy Hill and we were comfortably beaten both times I seem to remember,” he said.
“We back ourselves to win at home but Bury are a very good outfit.
“They are very similar to ourselves in that anyone in their side on their day can win them a game.
“You can never relax against them because they can beat you at any time.”
Wood says his side have a big game before that semi-final with the league also figuring high on their priorities this season.
“We are doing all right,” he said.
“We have so many more options in the team this season. Somebody else seems to be stepping up every week which means we are not relying on the same one or two players.”
Amjid Khan, a regular top performer for the side, is at forefront of Daisy’s push for honours this season, but Wood says there are plenty of players who could be picked out for special mention.
“Amjid’s a good clubman and is a massive factor in pushing the club forward over the last few years,” said the captain.
“Steven Hodgkinson is Mr Reliable with the ball for us, a captain’s dream. He’ll bowl when you want, how long you want and allows you to have control of the game.
“He always has a good season and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.
“Michael Chiltern is 30 but went away from the game for seven years then came back.
“He is slowly finding some form and belief that he can do it. He has been getting 20s and 30s but he’s got the ability to get a lot more. He could be a key player for us when it comes to the big games.”