Seven teams chase League’s KO places

First published in Sport

NO fewer than seven teams have something to play for as the curtain comes down on the season tomorrow.

Mid-table teams Astley Bridge, Westhoughton, Bradshaw, Heaton and Kearsley are all in with a chance of finishing in one of seven qualification slots for next season’s Lancashire Knockout competition.

Under normal circumstances only the top five would qualify, but the League has two extra places because allconquering Greenmount and Walkden reached this year’s final.

And that battle gives an extra dimension to the fight for the runners-up slot behind runaway titlewinners Greenmount.

Horwich, who entertain Farnworth, must better current second place Walkden’s result with whom they are locked on 104 points but having won one game less.

However, with Walkden hosting Bradshaw, a home win and runners-up spot is far from certain.

“It’s a fascinating end to the season,” said league secretary Ray Taylor. “It shows the quality of Bolton League cricket that we will have seven local sides in the Lancashire KO next year and it has kept the season alive for all the teams down to the bottom four.”

It will be Horwich captain Grant Long’s final opportunity to score the 28 runs he needs to reach 20,000 career runs in the Bolton League.

But the genial 51-year-old South African is refusing to concern himself with the milestone.

“It would be nice to do it on the last day of the season,” he said. “But if I don’t do it this time, I’ll do it next season.”

! The Bolton League play the Central Lancashire League at Farnworth’s Bridgeman Park ground on Sunday in the second team inter-league clash.

Team: N Duxbury (captain), T Tierney, D Senior, B Richards, D Counsell, M Craig, A Couper, D Wilson, M Knowles, C Crawford and S Banks.

Tomorrow’s fixtures Association: Astley & Tyldesley v Standish, Blackrod v Walshaw, Daisy Hill v Elton, Edgworth v Golborne, Flixton v Darcy Lever, Little Hulton v Adlington, Spring View v Atherton.

League: Greenmount v Westhoughton, Heaton v Tonge, Horwich v Farnworth, Kearsley v Little Lever, Egerton v Eagley, Farnworth SC v Astley Bridge, Walkden v Bradshaw.

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