DAVID Bowden believes the Bolton Association have their strongest inter-league team in years.

The Association bid to make it through to the third stage of the Reader Lancashire Inter-League Knockout away to North Lancashire and Cumbria League in Furness tomorrow (1.30pm start).

There will be an element of revenge in the air after the local side was well beaten by the same opposition at Adlington’s ground last season.

Bowden, who is back in the side this term after not being eligible for a four years due to being a professional, says the side is now a different proposition to the one he used to play in.

“We had a good blend of batting and bowling.

“In the past the team has been made up of seasoned amateurs in the 30s and 40s, and maybe not specialists,” said the Standish man.

“Now we have specialists right through the side. We’ve got specialist opening bowlers, proper opening batters, specialist left-arm spinners and good all-rounders in the middle.

“That’s the difference this year and it’s what makes it a better team.

And Danny Lomax is unbelievable behind the stumps. He took four stumpings in the last game in about three or four overs at the end.

“I have never seen keeping like it, he was standing up to quick bowlers.”

Bowden is relishing playing inter-league cricket again after his spell as a pro, and says he cannot understand why some players do not want to play for the league team.

“I started playing in the inter-league at 19 and had three or four games in the next year or so then four years as a pro so I couldn’t play,” he said.

“This is my first season back in the league team and I love it. They are a good bunch of lads and the cricket is a good standard and always competitive.

“Some players are not all that interested in playing for the league team and I don’t really understand why.

“I really look forward to the games. We’re all looking forward to this one because we got beat quite badly off them last season.”