WESTHOUGHTON captain Rob Houghton could be Going Underground this weekend if his team-mates lose a tough Lancashire Knockout quarter-final tie at Ormskirk.
The 25-year-old skipper booked tickets to watch Paul Weller at an Italian music festival before the cup date was set against the unbeaten Liverpool Competition leaders.
And he expects to face the Eton Rifle firing squad on his return to St George’s Park if the Howfeners follow Greenmount and Little Lever to become the third Bolton League side knocked out at the quarter-final stage.
“I booked the trip after we lost in the Hamer Cup as the final will be played this Sunday so I assumed it would be a free date,” he explained.
“But the way the fixtures have fallen Sunday was the only day we could have played the Lancs Knockout game.
“Hopefully, the lads will be celebrating by the time Paul Weller comes on stage and I am sure they will keep me informed.
“And I know the side will be in good hands as Steve Parker will be captain.
“He led us to the double and has a great track record of winning big games so I have no worries.”
Second-team batsman Charlie Honour will replace Houghton in the middle order for both matches this weekend – against Egerton in the league tomorrow and Ormskirk on Sunday – after the 19-year-old continued his good form with a half century last time out.
Club legend and first-team manager John Partington will also make a rare appearance behind the stumps in place of regular wicketkeeper Kieran Paisley, who broke a finger last weelend.
Houghton admits he is gutted to break up a side that has won seven of their last eight league and cup games and plundered more than 600 runs in victories over Eagley and Kearsley in their last two matches.
But he is confident they have enough strength in depth to keep the pressure on league leaders Farnworth Social Circle, who have a 16-point lead at the top but entertain second-placed Bradshaw tomorrow.
“Social Circle know they should not lose it from here but stranger things have happened,” said Houghton, whose side are fourth in the table, 22 points behind the table-toppers.
“I think the two abandoned games being rearranged for the final two weeks of the season could be significant.
“There will certainly be plenty of points to play for, so if we can just keep our own house in order and keep winning games then hopefully Social Circle will will still be within our reach come September.”
Greenmount v Astley Bridge, Farnworth SC v Bradshaw, Farnworth v Eagley, Westhoughton v Egerton, Kearsley v Little Lever, Horwich v Tonge, Heaton v Walkden.
Hamer Cup final: Heaton v Little Lever (at Tonge).
Lancs KO quarter-final: Ormskirk v Westhoughton.