Burnley skipper Bharat Tripathi is determined to create Worsley Cup history with a third successive capture of the silverware.
The defending champions travel to the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Ground on Sunday to take on rivals Lowerhouse in the semi-final of the competition, with the victors facing either Accrington or Nelson in a final showdown.
The Lancashire League leaders, who have already beaten their arch nemesis on three occasions this season, became the fifth club to defend their cup crown last year, but could become the first outfit to make a successful second defence in the competition’s 96-year existence.
Tripathi, who notched 33 runs and two wickets in an enthralling semi-final triumph against the West Enders in 2013, said: “It’s a massive game. We can’t wait for it because it’s a huge occasion. We’ve been quite dominant in recent games. We’ve got to replicate that again.
“It’s different this time because we’ve played three games at Turf Moor so this is another challenge. The players in our side aren’t tailored for one condition or one wicket though. We are experienced enough so we’ll look to do the same thing and adjust accordingly.”
The 25-year-old added: “We’re incredibly determined. It’s all about getting to that final which will give us the chance to retain that trophy. With the semi-final being against Lowerhouse it makes it that little bit more special.
“The real incentive is to win a third Worsley Cup on the bounce though because it’s never been done before.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool Road chairman Stan Heaton insists captain Charlie Cottam et al. will respect their visitors but won’t fear them.
Lowerhouse were beaten by eight wickets in the Ron Singleton Trophy against Burnley and that was followed up by a 100-run loss in the league as well as a nine wicket reversal in the Twenty20.
Those fixtures, however, all took place at Turf Moor and now Burnley face the challenge of playing the House on their own territory.
“I don’t think there’s anything to fear – we respect Burnley, they are the league leaders and a magnificent side,” said Heaton.
“They’ve given us a couple of hammerings but we are aware they can be beaten, they are not invincible.
“It’s up to us to play to our maximum, and if we can do that, we have a chance.
“With the disruptions we’ve had, to be in a Worsley Cup semi-final, near the top of the Twenty20 group and still in there in the league, means we’ve been successful so far, but we want to continue and build on that.”
Heaton added: “I can’t really remember a period like this where the two Burnley clubs have been neck and neck – up to 1980, 1982, Burnley were very much in the ascendancy, but since then, in recent years, the balance, in terms of wins, has tipped our way.
“You look at Burnley, and they are probably stronger this season – someone described the semi-final as David against Goliath, and we’re certainly not Goliath!
“But we’re just focused on ourselves.”
l Burnley are at Rawtenstall in the league tomorrow while Lowerhouse entertain Bacup.