Leyland cricketers are on the trail of county cup glory
Leyland will fight for a place in the Lancashire Knockout Cup semi-finals on Sunday when they travel to Manchester-based side Clifton.
The men from Fox Lane are just two wins away from the final after coming beating Fleetwood, Burnley and derby rivals Chorley on their way to the last eight.
Although this year’s final will not be staged at Old Trafford – home of Lancashire – and will instead take place at Ormskirk CC on September 2, Leyland captain David Makinson revealed his team are very keen to win the prestigious competition.
Clifton will provide stiff opposition – they are currently placed fifth in the Greater Manchester Premier Cricket League, having won seven of their 13 league games this summer.
“We’ve got a big game coming up on Sunday against Clifton in the quarter-finals of the Lancashire Cup,” said Makinson, who is unlikely to feature this weekend due to a long-standing shoulder problem even though he captained the side last weekend against Penrith.
“It’s a chance of winning some silverware this season, but it’s a tough competition to win. You have got the best teams in Lancashire in the way.
“It will be great to get to the final. I think last year the final was due to be played at Old Trafford between Ormskirk and Lowerhouse but it got rained off.
“Clifton will be a good side and I think it will need a couple of our lads to click on the day for us to win.”
Currently just below mid-table in the Northern League Division One, Leyland have struggled with consistency so far this season.
The last three games illustrate their struggles – having thumped Barrow at the beginning of this month, they could only draw with Morecambe the following week and then were beaten by Penrith last weekend.
“It’s what we keep saying – we seem to take two steps forward and then one step back,” said Makinson.
“We think we are putting a run together to challenge for a top-three place and then we lose a game.
“To be fair against Penrith, we scored 211. It was quite a good wicket, but we thought it was a good score.
“But their pro Ashwin Hebbar batted brilliantly.
“He’s a really good player and sometimes you are just beaten by a better player.
“We did not bowl badly, there was nothing we could do.”
Leyland have been hampered by the absence of some key individuals at times this season and they will be sweating over the fitness off bowler Karl Cross for this weekend. He injured his ankle against Penrith.
On Sunday the Benchmarx Kitchens and Joiner Trophy takes place. Fixtures are: Chorley v Penrith, F&B v St Annes,Kendal v Fleetwood, Longridge v Lancaster (postponed), Morecambe v Barrow, Preston v Garstang.