Hosts Padiham are throwing everything into their bid to win tomorrow’s T20 Birtwistle Cup - the first trophy to be decided in the new era of the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League.

The showpiece occasion, also including Little Lever, Farnworth and either Barnsoldswick or Settle, will take place at The Arbories from 10.30am with the final at 4pm.

The winner of the quarter-final between Barnoldswick and Settle - to be played tomorrow (Friday) night - will face Farnworth in the first semi-final. Padiham will then host Little Lever from 1pm in the second semi.

“Sunday will be a massive day for the club,” said Padiham’s former captain Owen Deakin-Pickard, their top order batter.

“I think we’ve hosted a cup final before, but it was quite a while ago. I’m sure there will be a lot more people watching this.

“It will be tough and will take a lot of work. But as with everything we do as a club, we’ll make a real good fist of it, and I’m sure it will be a great day - if we get the weather.

“There are people who’ve got tickets for the final round of the Open who aren’t going anymore. Everyone’s committing to it.”

No pressure for the players, then, if some of Padiham’s team behind the team have given up the chance to watch Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and big cricket fan Cam Smith chase the Claret Jug.

Instead, it’s down to captain Toby Burrows, professional Jack Edgar and Zander van Tonder to ensure Padiham are above par instead of under it in their bid for a T20 triumph.

“That would be unbelievable,” said Deakin-Pickard. “To go and win the first trophy in the NWCL, it would be a great stepping stone to what we want to achieve as a club. We do want to be pushing for trophies and league titles.

“But everyone has got great ability and match-winners in their teams - both professionals and amateurs - and it should be a great standard of cricket.”

After a slow start to the season, new captain Burrows has led his team to the semi-finals of the Hamer Cup, while they are also ninth in the Premiership table with eight wins from 14.

They finished top of their T20 group with three wins from five and beat Ribblesdale Wanderers by 80 runs defending a 180 target in Monday’s quarter-final.

“Early on, we were bit rusty,” said Deakin-Pickard. “But we’re definitely coming into form at the right time.

“We’ve trained a lot more together as a team recently. We’re having a good 30 minutes fielding a session. That’s the part of the game when you’re together the most, and it’s really helped with togetherness.

“On Monday, we were electric in the field. A lot of those who came down said it was really noticeable and good to watch. I can’t really remember anyone dropping any chances.

“Everyone’s played their part and chipped in. There have been lads lads who’ve got a quick 30 to get us to 160 or even just hit crucial boundaries late on.

“Jonny Whitehead got 80 on Monday, and I think that might have been his first fifty in the T20 stuff. Jimmy Gray has also come in and got a five-for having only played a few (first-team) games this year.”

Meanwhile, Padiham are hoping professional Edgar will have recovered from a hamstring injury in time to play. He has been out since the start of July with a hamstring injury.

Discussions over a Finals Day reserve day should weather intervene on Sunday are ongoing.