FARNWORTH captain Simon Booth is hoping lightning does not strike twice as his side prepare to defend the Thwaites Hamer Cup.

The 2013 winners go into their first round match at home to Astley Bridge tomorrow on the back of some decent form, after winning three of their first five matches in the Bolton League.

Their one defeat – the other game was washed out last week – came against Astley Bridge, who edged a tight match at their Sharples Park ground by two wickets.

“Fingers crossed, we don’t get the same result,” said Booth.

“There was one bad decision in the game when Adil Nisar was given out, caught on the leg side when we were certain the ball had bounced.

“We put a couple of catches down as well, but that is not to take anything away from Astley Bridge as, on the whole, we got beat fair and square.

“They played some good cricket and we just weren’t good enough on the day.”

Weather permitting, tomorrow’s match will be Farnworth’s first cup game of the summer after attempts to play Prestwich in the National Knockout and Flixton in the Lancashire Knockout were both washed out.

Last season, former captain David Morris Jnr made it clear from the off that the Bridgeman Park men would be targeting the cup competitions.

But it has been all change over the winter, with Morris one of five players to leave the club and a total of six new faces drafted into the first-team squad.

Early signs have been good, but Booth says there are no lofty targets for this campaign.

“We are going through a bit of a transition, so we have to be realistic about what we can achieve,” he said.

“We are not going to be able to pick up where we left off last season, our aim is just to win as many games as we can and see where that takes us.”

The competition has been boosted by new sponsorship from Thwaites.

The deal, which is worth £6,000 in the first year, includes £750 prize money to the winners and £250 to the beaten finalists.