National stage can suit Chorley again

Chorley chairman Peter Mockett says the club can progress in the ECB National Knockout
Chorley chairman Peter Mockett says the club can progress in the ECB National Knockout
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Chorley go in search of national glory once more when they welcome Liverpool Competition outfit Lytham to Windsor Park on Sunday.

Andrew Holdsworth’s men went all the way to the semi-finals of the ECB National Knockout last season before losing to eventual champions Sandiacre Town of Derbyshire.

As a club, Chorley have a proud history in the competition, having won it twice – when it was known as the Abbot Ale Cup – at Lord’s in 1994 and 1995, as well as also reaching the final the year after.

Last summer’s run evoked memories of those golden years when Roland Horridge was the skipper and chairman Peter Mockett admits there is always a sense of excitement whenever the club competes in the competition.

Chorley will start the match very much as underdogs, but that tag appeared to work in their favour last year.

“It’s a remarkable record we have in the competition,” Mockett said.

“We did well in it the season before last, but last summer particularly, we went right through to the semi-final and lost to the eventual winners.

“Lytham are a good side though – we are under no illusions as to how difficult it is going to be.”

In terms of the new Northern League Division One season, it has not been the best of starts for Chorley.

They have won just one of their four games – and that was against rock-bottom Preston.

In fairness, the men from Windsor Park have faced some of the better sides in the league. On Bank Holiday Monday they were comfortably beaten by reigning champions Blackpool, while their other defeat came at the hands of Leyland, who finished runners-up in 2014.

After their fixture against high-flying Darwen was ruined by the weather, Chorley face another difficult proposition in the shape of current leaders Morecambe at Windsor Park tomorrow.

Mockett believes Chorley need to start posting some decent totals if they are to be a force to be reckoned with this summer.

“We’ve only won one out of four, so it’s not been the best of starts,” he said.

“Our top-order batsmen have only had one real performance, so you’re always having to play around the black ball if the top order don’t get established.

“We have played some of the better teams it has to be said.

“Morecambe are at the top so that’s going to be a difficult game for us tomorrow.”

The wet start to the season means Chorley’s Australian amateur Brenton McDonald has yet to find favourable conditions for his legspin bowling.

But Mockett believes he will come more to the fore as the wickets dry out.

“Brenton is very experienced. He’s been over here and played for five or six teams, so he knows the ropes,” Mockett said.

FIXTURES

NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE: Barrow v Blackpool, Chorley v Morecambe, Kendal v Preston, Lancaster v Darwen, Leyland v Fleetwood, St Annes v Netherfield

PALACE SHIELD PREMIER DIVISION: Croston v Great Eccleston, Freckleton v Fulwood and Broughton, Fylde v Garstang, Hoghton v Vernon Carus, Penwortham v BAC/EE Preston, Thornton Cleveleys v Longridge