O’Connor and Clarke foster dreams of cup glory!

Kyle O'Connor is hoping to bring the club's wait for silverware to an end
Kyle O'Connor is hoping to bring the club's wait for silverware to an end

Read skipper Kyle O’Connor is hoping to bring the club’s wait for silverware to an end with the capture of the Twenty20 trophy.

Having dropped 32 points behind league leaders Clitheroe, in addition to being dumped out of the Ramsbottom Cup by virtue of a bowl-out loss to Barnoldswick, the Whalley Road side have one last chance to ensure they avoid culminating the campaign empty handed.

Their quest for Group Two supremacy in the competition began with victory over rivals Padiham at the Arbories, and now they move on to face four-time champions Great Harwood on home soil tonight.

“It’s the only competition we can really have a pop at unless we get a good run together in the league,” said O’Connor. “We’ve had a good start in the competition so we’re determined to progress now. We want to get to finals day and beating Great Harwood this weekend will put us in a great position.

“We want to take some silverware back to the club this season so it makes us want to push hard. We’ve been in the final twice but never won it. It would be very nice to end the season as Twenty20 champions.

“Great Harwood are known for being a big hitting side. They beat us two years ago in the semi-final so we’re looking to avenge that. Their professional (Jack Wildermuth) is starting to perform with bat and ball so he’ll be a threat.”

Ahead of Read’s trip to New Lane tomorrow where they take on Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, O’Connor added: “They are a decent side with plenty of depth. Dan Metcalf is a great asset for them and he’ll be dangerous. It’ll be a tough game.”

Meanwhile, Padiham captain Callum Clarke harbours cup ambitions of his own.

The Arbories outfit entertain unbeaten Clitheroe on Sunday in the quarter-final of the Ramsbottom Cup - a competition they last won six years ago. And Clarke is hopeful of causing an upset on the road to the Applegarth.

“There’s no pressure on us on Sunday because Clitheroe are the favourites to win everything this year,” he said. “We’re at home so we’ll give it a good go and try to cause an upset. We’re going to enjoy it and try to keep our cup dream alive.”

Padiham also have an important task ahead in the league as struggling Edenfield are the visitors tomorrow. “It’s a big game and one we definitely need to win,” said Clarke. “We need to start batting as we know we can. The pro batted really really well against Read so hopefully he’ll kick on now.

“The table is tight so it gives us that chance to get away from the bottom. We need to start winning now and climbing that table.”