HORWICH RMI will aim to make it third-time lucky against Bradshaw in next month’s Peter Stafford Trophy final after beating Atherton by 41runs in Sunday’s semi-final.

Brett Pelser’s men will finish the season with the T20 and Stafford double as long as they can overcome a Bradshaw side who have beaten them twice already this summer, in league

and cup competitions.

Bradshaw, the reigning Stafford champions, will travel to Horwich’s Ramsbottom Road ground on Sunday September 1 for a 40-overs-per-side clash.

Sunday’s semi at Atherton was reduced to a 25-over game, starting at 3pm, because of the weather, and Horwich posted 170-8 having elected to bat.

Opener Danny Naylor top-scored with 39, while Dean Morris almost matched him with 38, Tom Billington added 27 and captain Pelser 20.

“Everybody chipped in,” said team manager David White.

In reply, Atherton posted 129-8 as Australian overseas off-spinner Lachie Fitzpatrick led the way with 3-24 from five overs.

Morris added to his productive day with two wickets, leaving Horwich with the chance to enhance an already impressive season which has seen them reach the last four of the Lancashire Knockout and the last 16 of the ECB National Club Championship.

They may be out of the Bolton League’s Premiership title race behind Walkden and Farnworth, but White said: “If we can finish in the top three in the league and win two trophies, that’s a proper season.

“Barring the Hamer Cup, we’ve done really well.

"We wouldn’t swap this season for anything.

“It’s been a brilliant experience for the lads, and they’ll take so much from it going into next year.

“Brett said in the changing room afterwards, ‘Some people may look down on the Peter Stafford, but we see it as a competition we want to win’.

“We would take a lot of pride in winning it.

“We take every competition seriously, be it Peter Stafford, Hamer Cup, Twenty20, everything.

“Every time we go on that field, we go out there to win.”

Horwich were always going to be favourites to win Sunday’s semi at Higham Park, but Atherton are no also-rans.

Last season’s Stafford finalists, Jesse Dinnie and co are currently top of the Association Division and on course for an immediate return to the top flight.

White said: “Credit to Atherton, they’re a good team and a decent set of lads. But we played well.

“We won the toss. The wicket wasn’t easy early on, and we played well.

“The rain came after tea, so it skidded on for a little while and made it a bit easier. But we came through.”

Bradshaw inflicted Horwich’s first defeat of the season in any competition on June 26 in the second round of the Hamer Cup at The Rigbys.

They then won at Horwich in last weekend’s league clash.

White added: “Bradshaw are a decent cup side, so it’ll be tough.

“It’s not gone for them in the league, but I don’t think it’s helped them not having a pro for half a dozen games.

"But they’re as good a side as anybody in the league on their day.”