WESTHOUGHTON’S all-conquering second team captain Arum Pindoria believes it is only a matter of time before his side’s success translates into first-team honours.
Pindoria’s side are in pole position to claim their seventh title in the last eight seasons, topping the table by six points with nine games remaining.
They set up the chance of the double last weekend after beating the Farnworth Social Circle second team in a tense Birtwistle Cup final.
Social Circle, of course, remain favourites to claim the first-team prize this season, but Westhoughton are only 11 points behind and host the league leaders next week.
“With the lads we have coming through and the philosophy this club has of promoting players from within, I think it is a matter of when rather than if we win the first team title again,” said Pindoria, who was a member of Westhoughton’s last championship-winning side in 2004, when they also won the Hamer Cup.
The St George’s Oval men take on second-bottom Tonge tomorrow, while Social Circle are at Farnworth, who Westhoughton beat last weekend to effectively end their title chances.
“Farnworth is not an easy place to go, so they might be able do the first team a favour and then we have to play Social Circle next weekend, so it is still in our hands,” Pindoria added.
“Everyone at the club are rooting for them – all the sides bounce off each other. The first, second and third teams train together all week and the sides are all interchangeable. The lads don’t know which sides they are playing for until the teams are posted at the end of each week.
“It is a real family here. I have been here since I was 11 years old, and two of the lads I started with and won trophies with, Steve Parker and Ian Pilkington, are still in the first team.
“They will be ready to step down soon and I know there are plenty of lads coming through the set up who are eager and capable of replacing them.”
Matt Trow, aged 21, and Charlie Honour, 19, have made that step up recently, while 17-year-old bowlers Matt Fanning and Dan Higham have represented the first team more than the second team this season.
And 14-year-old Ben Harrison is certainly one to watch out for after recently hitting a century for the seconds.
That kind of strength in depth has helped Westhoughton's under-18s and u15s side to success this season as well. The u15s just missed out in their age group's cup final last weekend, while the u18s play Social Circle in the final of the Jake Tatlock Cup this Sunday.