GREENMOUNT chairman Dave Willetts hopes to keep the flag flying for the Bolton League when his side take on Norden in the Lancashire Knockout quarter-finals today.
The Brandlesholme Road outfit were one of three Bolton League sides to make it into the last eight. But after Little Lever were beaten by Walsden last weekend and with Westhoughton facing a tough match against Ormskirk next Sunday, they want to make sure the league has at least one representative in the semi-finals.
Progress will not be easy, as they face a Norden side riding high at the top of the Central Lancashire League.
And their task was made even tougher after the LCB ruled they must play the tie today, meaning they face three matches in three days, with league games at home to Tonge tomorrow and at Walkden on Sunday.
“Originally, Norden offered us this Sunday and Walkden kindly agreed to move our league game to allow us to play it,” said Willetts. “But then Heywood, who had been due to play Norden in the Central Lancashire League, refused to switch their game and they came up with Friday instead.
“It is not ideal as Alex Rodzoch and Simon Woolford are unable to play due to work commitments, but we want to win the competition, not just for ourselves but for the league as well.”
An all Bolton League final is still a possibility, with Greenmount due to meet Walsden in the semi-finals, if they make it through.
The omens look good for Andy Kerr’s side, as they beat Norden on their way to their only other Lancs Knockout success in 2011, when they beat Walkden in the final.
But Willetts said: “Norden are a different proposition this year. They are one of the form teams in the county so it will be a big ask to get past them.”
Despite Greenmount’s obvious desire to progress in the Lancs Knockout, the chairman believes their main focus should still be on the league.
“Our main objective has to be to finish in the top four and qualify for the Lancs Knockout again,” he added. “So we need to cement our position in fifth and hopefully put some pressure on the guys above us.”
Skipper Kerr and Ryan Senior, who are both in the running for the league’s batsman of the month award for July, will lead the Greenmount charge after inspiring a turnaround in form which has seen them win four games on the spin.
“They had a stand of more than 200 against Kearsley in which both made centuries,” added Willetts.
“Our bowling attack has been great all season, but we struggled early on with the bat, which is why we are playing catch-up now.
“But Alex Rodzoch, Damien Keegan and Phil Ingram have also started chipping in with some runs, so it looks like we are hitting form at just the right time.”
Tomorrow: Farnworth v Astley Bridge, Egerton v Bradshaw, Westhoughton v Eagley, Horwich v Kearsley, Heaton v Little Lever, Greenmount v Tonge, Farnworth SC v Walkden.
Sunday: Eagley v Egerton, Bradshaw v Farnworth, Astley Bridge v Farnworth SC, Walkden v Greenmount, Tonge v Heaton, Little Lever v Horwich, Kearsley v Westhoughton.