Burnley ready to start defence of treasured Worsley Cup crown!

Cup kings: Burnley start the defence of their Worsley Cup crown against Colne CC on Sunday at Turf Moor

Cup kings: Burnley start the defence of their Worsley Cup crown against Colne CC on Sunday at Turf Moor

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Bharat Tripathi claims his players won’t need motivating as Burnley start the defence of their Worsley Cup crown this weekend.

Having won once all season - against Bolton and District Cricket Association outfit Adlington CC - morale among the Turf Moor ranks has understandably taken a hit.

But that 74-run win in the LCB Knockout Cup on Bank Holiday Monday has airbrushed earlier defeats to Accrington, in the league and Ron Singleton Colne Trophy, Haslingden, Todmorden and Bacup.

Nine months ago the club ended an enduring wait - stretching close to three decades - to land the prestigious piece of silverware with a historic 84-run triumph over Haslingden.

And now - with just three bowling bonus points on the board in the Lancashire League table - attention will once again revert to the retention of their tag as ‘cup kings’.

Ahead of Sunday’s tie with Colne on home soil, Tripathi said: “We can’t wait for Sunday and we’ve got all the big guns playing. That obviously doesn’t determine success but it’ll be as strong a team as we’ve put out in recent years.

“We certainly don’t need lifting for this game. There’s rewards to be reaped in the Worsley Cup, especially if you get a home final. Everyone knows what’s at stake.

“It’s the show-piece event of the season and it’s a massive date on our calendar. We will approach the competition in the same way as we did last year and make ourselves hard to beat. Adrenaline will then take over on the day.”

However, there’s plenty of work to be done before the mini-derby. Burnley take on Rishton CC at Blackburn Road in a league encounter tomorrow hoping to build some momentum.

“Before the Worsley Cup we need to focus on Saturday, aim to get some points on the board and register our first win of the season,” Tripathi said. “At this point Sunday is almost a distraction, albeit it a good one. But we need to tackle Rishton first.”

He added: “The only game of cricket we’ve won this year was against Adlington. That made everyone feel better about themselves straight away. It was a relief and it would be nice to continue that momentum against Rishton and take that through to the Worsley Cup game.”

Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton insists the club can’t afford to live on past glories in a quest to land further prizes.

Over the past couple of seasons the West Enders have landed an unprecedented Lancashire League and Worsley Cup double, as well as their first Twenty20 triumph.

And the weekend will provide Charlie Cottam’s side with the opportunity to start firing on various fronts again as they host Todmorden in a league encounter tomorrow before tackling Accrington in the opening round of the cup at Thorneyholme Road on Sunday.

The Liverpool Road outfit began the campaign with defeats to Church and Rawtenstall, but they’ve responded with victories over Enfield and East Lancs plus Heyside in the LCB Knockout Cup.

“Our aim is to extend our three-match unbeaten run,” Heaton said. “We’ve endured a slow start to the season but we’re determined to increase our recent run because we can’t afford too many more slip ups.

“Todmorden haven’t had too great a start either so they’ll be chomping to get going themselves. We want to compete on all fronts this year. We want to win the Twenty20 again, push for the league title and win the Worsley Cup. We want to get as far as we can in the LCB Knockout Cup as well.”

Heaton added:”It’s hectic all the time here so there’s no time to dwell on stuff. Winning the double was obviously a superb achievement but there’s no time to look back on that. We’re ambitious so it’s imperative to keep looking forward.

“Accrington have a tremendous team spirit, they have very capable individuals and they know how to win games. But so do we. It should be a cracker of a game; it’s just a shame it’s a first round tie because it would be befitting of a semi-final or final.”