CROSS CUP FINAL PREVIEW: 'Defining game' for Edgworth

Guy Haynes says Sunday's Cross Cup final is Edgworth's defining game of the season

Guy Haynes says Sunday's Cross Cup final is Edgworth's defining game of the season

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , head of sport

EDGWORTH will aim to win their first Cross Cup for 40 years tomorrow against a Bury side looking for their first piece of silverware in only their second season in the league.

The two clubs clash at Winton’s impressive ground in the 120th staging of the final of one of the world’s oldest cricket competitions.

While Bury’s league position of joint second would seem to make them favourites against 14th-placed Edgworth, the latter will take confidence from a good victory over the Radcliffe Road men in this season’s league clash.

Edgworth captain Guy Haynes admits the pressure is on his side tomorrow, but says it stems from the present rather than the past.

“It’s 40 years since we have been to a Cross Cup final,” he said.

“But the pressure comes from where we are this season, not from history.

“It’s the defining game in our season, a big opportunity for us to get some silverware because we’re obviously not going to do that in the league.

“We’re working hard to get ourselves up the league in the remaining games to try to establish ourselves in the top half, but this is now our chance to make our mark this season. At the start of the season we targeted winning some silverware, and this would enable us to achieve that aim.

“We’ve been beset by inconsistency, both in terms of players’ availability and in terms of performances on the day, and in recent weeks our young team has missed the steadying influence and ability of Simon Lord and Mike Watkinson.

“However, we’re at full strength on Sunday and that gives us confidence.”

When asked if the long wait for the Cross Cup made him feel pressured, Haynes said: “If there was any pressure on us in the cup it would have been on us in the semi-final because we had lost 14 in a row. I’ve played in two, one where we had the rough end of the weather, and in the other we were beaten by the best individual innings I’ve ever seen (by Steven Mullaney of Atherton), so I did wonder whether it would ever happen.

“If anything, that was the barrier and we came through it by playing extremely well and beating a very good Flixton team comfortably. Having a young and unscarred team probably helped in this instance!”

Haynes has faith in the quality of his side to raise their game tomorrow, as they have against top clubs this season.

“We have beaten Bury, Flixton twice and Elton twice this year and we have a good record against the better sides. Where we have let ourselves down is against middle and lower sides.

“Bury are an excellent side and we can be too.

“In the three times we’ve played them since they came into the league we have won two and they’ve won one but they’ve all been very tight. Bury have been a great addition to our league, and I expect another close game tomorrow.”

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