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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Sowing the seeds of victory

LOCAL rivals Lindal Moor and Vickerstown will battle it out for silverware in the final of the Sowerby Cup at Furness Park on Sunday.

And though the result is a tough one to call, one thing is for certain – there will be a new name on the trophy as neither Lindal nor Vickerstown have lifted the cup in its nine-year history.

Relegated into North Lancs Division One for the first time last season, this is a debut campaign for Lindal Moor’s first team in the competition.

Vickerstown, on the other hand, have previous experience, though it isn’t the happiest. Last season they were beaten in the final by Penrith.

Lindal will arguably go into the game as favourites. They thumped the Walney outfit by eight wickets in their last meeting at Pennington Lane in late June, gaining revenge for an opening day six-wicket loss at Rainey Park.

The villagers also have better form as far as the league table is concerned. They sit joint-second with Kirkby, just one point behind leaders Wigton and with promotion firmly on the agenda.

Vickerstown, who unlike Lindal are this season without a professional, currently sit seventh.

Also weighing heavily in Lindal’s favour is the fact that their pro this weekend is Durham CCC one-day ace Gareth Breese.

The 32-year-old West Indian all-rounder replaces Swapneel Hazare, who has gone back to India with a groin injury.

Breese, a former pro at Lancaster, has turned out for Lindal on a couple of occasions this season.

The Jamacian has also starred while playing Pro 40 and Twenty20 cricket for Durham this year against many of the games biggest names.

But this weekend the off-spinner and middle-order bat will swap playing alongside the likes of Steve Harmison, Shaun Pollock, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Paul Collingwood and instead take to the crease for Lindal in the Sowerby Cup final.

“He (Breese) is a top bloke, a great player and gets on so well with all the lads,” said Lindal skipper Alastair McDougall, who has contacts at Durham.

“He’s been top quality in the games he has played for us. He should be a big player for us in the final.”

Asked if his side were the cup final favourites, McDougall added: “On paper, maybe. But, at the end of the day, Vickerstown are a competitive unit as they showed when they beat us easily in the first game of the season.

“We’re under no illusions, this will be a competitive final.”

Lindal will be without experienced duo Colin Knight and Peter Reynolds, both of whom have played no part in the cup run thus far.

The likes of Mike Hughes and John Atkinson will all have big roles to play, as will younger cricketers like Andrew Parkinson, Marcus Brown, Tom Burrows and Tom Penny.

Vickerstown – inspired by a match-winning knock of 74 from Craig Daly – shocked table-toppers Wigton in the second round of this season’s Sowerby Cup before beating Workington seconds in the semi-finals.

Without a first team trophy win since the Higson Cup triumph of 1965, the men from Rainey Park go into the final hoping to end 43 years of hurt.

In what has been an inconsistent season for Vickerstown, they seem to have reserved their best performances for the cup competitions.

Big-hitting batsman Geoff Luxon will be a big threat to the Lindal attack, while vastly-experiened team-mate Colin Lucus will be a danger with ball in hand. Youngsters like seamer Lee Hogg and batsman Sam Beckman will be aiming to impress in front of what it is hoped will be a big crowd.

 

With just four league games to go, clubs will be hoping there’s no repeat of last Saturday’s complete washout tomorrow. The forecast is, however, poor, with heavy rain likely.

Workington remain on course to defend their Premier Division title. Weather permitting, they entertain Dalton tomorrow.

Second-top Cleator are at Penrith, while Higson Cup winners Millom host Carlisle. Third-top Millom look set to finish the season as the best placed south of the county side.

The only team seemingly capable of catching Stuart Swallow’s men are Furness, who go to Whitehaven. Haverigg are at Cockermouth, while relegated Duddon host Keswick.

Barrow go to St Annes in the Northern League tomorrow, with Ernest Pass professional Pasan Wanasinghe chasing a season total of 1,000 league runs. The Sri Lankan currently has 797and is third in Division One batting standings. behind Netherfield’s Callum Ferguson (1102) and Carnforth’s Ryan Bailey (858).

Barrow, whose game against Leyland last weekend was rained off, have five league matches left to play and currently sit eight in the table – the same position they finished in last season.Soon-to-be disposed champions St Annes sit sixth. Barrow sit eighth in the table, soon-to-be-deposed champions St Annes are sixth.

Barrow seconds suffered a humiliating 10-wicket home loss to Preston seconds in the semi-final of the Northern League Division Two Cup last Sunday.

Barrow were skittled out for just 19 in 14.2 overs. Preston knocked off the runs in just 3.2 overs.

  • The Grand Finals Day of the South Cumbria Twenty20 Cup will now be held at Millom CC on Monday, August 25. The timetable of the day is as follows: first semi-final: Furness v Millom 10.45am until 1.25pm. Second semi-final: Lindal Moor v Ulverston 2pm until 4.40pm. Final: 5.15pm until 7.55pm.

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