CHORLEY take to the field for their biggest game in years on Sunday as they go for glory in the last four of the Royal London ECB National Knockout and try to recapture their golden age of the mid-90s.
The Windsor Park outfit won the competetition – the biggest tournament for league cricketers in the country – in 1994 and 1995 and have stepped up the game this year to shine despite indifferent form in the Northern League.
And on Sunday they face Sandiacre Town, themselves winners of the National Knockout a decade ago, for a place in the showpiece, which this year takes place at the Nevil Road home of Gloucestershire and the venue of Monday’s abandoned One Day International between England and India.
The Nottinghamshire Premier League outfit head to Lancashire as slight favourites but that is not something that bothers skipper Andrew Holdsworth, who played a key role in the quarter-final win over big hitters York.
“Why cant we win it?,” said Holdsworth. “On our day we can beat anybody as we have proved so far and we have some special match winners in our team.
“We have an excellent bowling line up in the competition that offers us great control with each bowler bringing something different to the attack.
“The upturn in recent form has been pleasing to see and you can see the growth in confidence in the players in their approach to matches and also around the club and training.
“Professional Mohammed Jamal is playing very well and we are fully aware of the potential he has and his explosiveness and it allows the top order to bat sensibly knowing the potential we have in the middle order.”
Chorley play Netherfield at Windsor Park on Saturday in the league ahead of their date with destiny - and they will be looking for a boost after a painful Bank Holiday double header weekend.
They suffered defeat at the hands of Kendal at Shap Road on Saturday, bowled out for 133 in 37 overs.
There was more pain for Holdsworth’s men on Monday at the hands of derby rivals Darwen at a freezing Birch Hall. David Fisher and Holdsworth both made 32 as Chorley posted 151-6 from their 50 overs.
Darwen were flying when it rained. George Linde was unbeaten on 54 and Ammer Mirza was 44 not out when play was abandoned – and that score of 98-0 gave the Towers an easy win.