“I think this could be the start of something.”

Padiham professional Jack Edgar is predicting that Sunday’s Hamer Cup final against Settle will be the first of a number of trophy-deciding fixtures the club will be involved in during the next few years of the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League.

Bridgeman Park, Farnworth plays host to a clash (1pm) between two clubs who finished first and second in last season’s Ribblesdale League.

Champions Settle also won the league’s Ramsbottom Cup.

But all-rounder Edgar is confident that Padiham are, and will continue to be, a force to be reckoned with.

“We’re a young side, and we’re all mates,” said Edgar. “We’re all pretty much in our twenties, and this side could stay together for the next 10 years.

“We also have a number of lads in the second team at 15 or 16 who are looking like promising players.

“Seeing lads like Max Seedall, who is 21 and scored 21 off 13 balls late on in the semi-final, improve in big games is massive for us.

“We want them exposed to these kind of occasions because, over the next two or three years, this isn’t going to be the only cup final or league deciding game Padiham are going to be in.

“As new as it is now to some of the lads, it isn’t going to be new in a few years.”

Padiham beat Blackrod by 47 runs at home in the semi-final a week last Sunday.

Edgar hit a brilliant unbeaten 118 not out opening the batting in 232-8 from 40 overs before taking the new ball and returning 3-41 from his eight overs as Blackrod were bowled out for 185.

Edgar described spin-bowling captain Toby Burrows’ 2-21 from eight overs in that match as “unreal”, him removing pro Ankit Lamba and experienced Thushendra de Zoysa.

Padiham are currently fifth in the Premiership and Settle 14th.

“We started badly,” said Edgar. “There was some rain around, but maybe we were a bit overconfident after a good season last year.

“We had two games rained off when we were on the verge of winning, and we could be second. We didn’t turn up against Little Lever, but I feel we could have pushed them harder than we have done.

“The way we’ve gone through the cup, we’ve been comfortable in every game.

“We’ve shown we have the depth of bowling. A lot of teams rely on a couple of bowlers, which shows in the cup. But we’ve got five or six lads who are genuine options.

“There’s no weak link in that attack, which has shown with us getting to Finals Day in the T20 and this cup final.

“We played Farnworth in the second round of the cup - it was our first game. And when we saw the draw, we thought, ‘That’s tough’.

“We’d chatted at the start of the season and thought they’d be the side to beat in the cup. To beat them in the second round made us believe we could do something.

“To win the cup, you have to beat the best teams. We did that in our first game.”

This is a repeat of the 2018 Ramsbottom Cup final, which Padiham won.

Captain Will Davidson’s Settle went on to win that title in 2021 and 2022 alongside four successive Ribblesdale League titles.

They beat Farnworth Social Circle in the semi-final.

“Settle are a proper first team. Winning’s a habit for them, and there’s no weak link in their side,” added Edgar.

“They’ve lost their best bowler, Harry Snowden, this season - they’re in a bit of a rebuild. The pro, Ashen Silva, is top drawer. I know him from his time at Great Harwood.

“They have five or six lads who can win a game single-handedly. The way they bat, they don’t die wondering.

“In my opinion, their league position doesn’t do them any justice.

“I think they’re in the top four or five sides in the league. They just haven’t performed to the best of their ability.

“It’s going to be a tough final, but that’s why you want to play. You want to play against the best teams. It wasn’t a shock to see them get to the final.”