Rex targets boost in league fortunes

Rex Purnell
Rex Purnell
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Chorley will be looking to carry their cup form into Northern League action when they entertain Lancaster at Windsor Park tomorrow.

Their fortunes in the league and cup have differed dramatically in recent months.

While Chorley have not put a league win on the board since May, last Sunday they reached the last eight of the ECB National Knockout with a thrilling victory over Bowdon.

In the quarter-finals they will face the winners of York and Chesterfield, who play this weekend after being rained-off last week.

Veteran bowler Rex Purnell collected two wickets in the Bowdon win.

And he would love to see Chorley pick up some momentum in the league before they return to National Knockout action on August 3.

Purnell told the Evening Post: “The team needs to take some of its cup form into the league because we are not having a great season in the league.

“I think there is a bit of frailty in terms of batting confidence.

“The match against Lancaster has to be targeted as one we have to win.

“The target now for the team is to try to get further up the table, build some momentum and try to go on a run of wins.

“It’s especially important to build some momentum with the quarter-final of the ECB National Knockout competition coming up.”

Chorley have to go back to 1980 for their last Northern League title triumph. In the 1990s they finished runners-up six times, then again in 2001.

Purnell thinks the time will come when Chorley challenge for the title again.

He said: “The players at Chorley have competed for the title before but in the last few years it hasn’t happened.

“I think the professional often has a major impact and it’s fair to say Chorley is not one of the richest clubs in the league so it can’t really splash the cash on getting a quality professional.

“You tend to find the teams who are at the top in the Northern League are the ones with a bit more money and are the ones who invest a bit more in the pro.

“There is a huge amount of young talent here at Chorley, we’ve got great netting facilities so there’s a lot of enthusiasm around the place.

“I think there’s no reason not to be optimistic that the club can’t challenge for league titles and win cups going forward.”

Leyland will be looking to keep the pressure up on Blackpool in the title challenge when they face struggling Preston at West Cliff.

Meanwhile, there is a first-versus-second clash in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division tomorrow.

Leaders Vernon Carus tackle Longridge at Factory Lane, with both sides bang in form at the moment.

Great Eccleston visit Penwortham, while Garstang host Fylde. Fulwood and Broughton make the trip to Whittingham and Goosnargh.