JORDAN Mason has identified Bradshaw’s bowling depth as a key reason for enjoying more success in cup competitions this season than the league.

The Bradshaw vice captain and leg-spinner has enjoyed an impressive personal summer, taking 75 wickets in all competitions.

Mason is one of a host of bowling options, which he believes gives them an advantage in cup cricket when captains often have to find more than five options due to over allocations.

Bradshaw’s cup form has been highlighted by their run to tomorrow’s Peter Stafford Trophy final away at Atherton (12pm).

They also reached the semi-finals of the Hamer Cup and the Bolton League’s Twenty20 as well as the National Knockout’s last 16.

By contrast, Bradshaw finished their Premiership league campaign in sixth position having initially targeted a title challenge.

Mason said: “I suppose in cup competitions teams have to rely on at least five bowlers, and we have real depth.

“That’s definitely a reason behind our success.

“We can rely on six or seven guys to do a job. There’s myself, Tom Liversedge, the pro’s bowled recently, Jack Shovelton, Ross Dickinson, Elliot Dargan and Stuart Hornby.

“Elliot wouldn’t be one of our main bowlers, but at Farnworth the other week, he got Imran Mirza caught behind.

“We’ve had a difficult season, so it’s good to have a day to look forward to, for the members and those who put the hard work in behind the scenes as well.

“It has been frustrating in the league, but we haven’t played bad cricket. Look at the games we’ve lost, they were all really close games.

“About halfway through the year, we’d scored something like the highest tally of runs and taken the most wickets, but we were still towards the bottom because we were losing close games.

“Over the last few weeks, a bit of luck has been on our side, and we’ve won some games.

“Now we’ve got a really good chance to show people how good we are and have something to show for the season.”

Mason certainly isn’t the first Bolton League player to speak about its competitive nature in 2018, saying: “Every game we’ve played has been tough. We’ve beaten Walkden twice, which is a sign of how competitive the league is.”

Mason, a 25-year-old product of the Bradshaw junior system, has been playing first-team cricket for a few years now, but this has been a breakthrough campaign.

He said: “It’s been really good. I’ve been at Bradshaw since I was nine-years-old and have played second team and, for the last few years, first team.

“For whatever reason, I’d not bowled as many overs as I’d have liked previously, but this year Brett (Ernst, captain) has put a lot of faith in me.

“We’ve usually had a pro who bowls spin, but this year it was Muhammad Saad who bowled medium pace. I was the frontline spinner, and it’s been really good.

“I was always confident I could do a job, but to actually do it is a bit different.”

Ironically, Bradshaw have employed Leicestershire’s Boltonian left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson as a sub pro for the final, with Rumesh Buddika having returned to Sri Lanka.