THE final of the Lancashire Knockout will be played at Ormskirk Cricket Club this year.

The showpiece game for amateur cricket teams in the county was traditionally played at Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford, and its move to club grounds has been the subject of debate.

Bolton League clubs have an excellent record of winning and reaching the final of the competition, and their last representative, Walkden, will meet Clifton on Sunday in the last 16.

Being played at Old Trafford was always a massive incentive for local players to try to reach the final.

It was staged there every year from 1972 to 2006, then had four years being played at club grounds, returned to Old Trafford from 2011 to 2013, was hosted by club grounds for the next three years and returned to Old Trafford last year.

When announcing the this year’s final would be at Ormskirk, Lancashire Cricket said it was not possible for the final to be held at Old Trafford this year as the outfield would see a significant six-figure investment, and major work would be taking place at the end of the season.

The final will be staged on Sunday, September 2, and Lancashire Cricket Foundation clubs and league director John Murphy said: “This competition is the pinnacle for all club cricketers in our area.

“To be part of the team that beats the best of the best and is awarded the trophy is every club player’s dream.

“The recent restructure of Lancashire Cricket, following the merger of the Lancashire Cricket Board and the Foundation, presents us with greater opportunities to enhance the competition and make it an even better spectacle going forward.

The following Sunday is the reserve date for the final and would again to be hosted by Ormskirk if needed.