‘House a step away from Old Trafford

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With five teams involved in the LCB Knockout Cup quarter-finals, Lowerhouse captain Ben Heap believes this year’s competition has been a great advertisement for the Lancashire League.

The West Enders travel to Chatburn Road on Sunday where the two sides will battle it out for a final four tie against either Burnley or Lytham.

Should Dan Pickup’s men play their part at Turf Moor it would guarantee a local side a place in the showpiece at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Ramsbottom and Church also face off in the other half of the draw with the victor hosting either Ormskirk or Prestwich in the semi-final.

With the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in the county, the home of Lancashire and the second oldest Test venue, Heap said: “It’s a great advertisement for the Lancashire League.

“We don’t want to look too far ahead but there’s a mouth-watering clash in the next round for somebody.

“If we win this one then we’re only one game away from Old Trafford. We could meet Burnley in the semi-final.

“That’s a good thing because we’ll know our opponents, we’ve played them before and we’ve beaten them.

“It’s a huge game for our season, the biggest one yet. “We need to keep our season going and keep it alive.”

Heap added: “We need to do everything we can to win that game on Sunday. We’ve not played there before so we’re looking forward to it. It should be a good occasion.

“Our squad is suited to playing cup cricket but in the league they beat us in a very hard fought game. They knew that they’d been in a battle. We’ll be looking to put one over on them.

“Naturally there’ll be pressure as you progress in any competition. We’re another step closer to the final so we’ll try and keep our composure and put in a performance. Unfortunately we didn’t do that in the Twenty20.”

Lowerhouse appear fairly well placed to make the cut when the division divides next month but Heap is determined to make sure when they host Nelson in the mini-derby at Liverpool Road on Saturday.

“We’ve got to look at things realistically now,” he said. “We will finish in the top half of the table and compete in the top tier when the split comes but it’s going to be a difficult task to win the league from the position that we’re in.

“We’re pretty confident. One 10-pointer in our next two games would seal it mathematically. We’ve been playing well in the league recently and a win should see it done and dusted.

“There’s going to be a lot of movement. It’s going to be very competitive but we’re looking forward to it.

“There’ll be teams fighting for the title and for the LCB Knockout Cup qualification spots. Nobody will want to finish bottom of the group either.”