Read skipper Kyle O’Connor has criticised the Ribblesdale Cricket League schedule following the club’s Ramsbottom Cup exit.
The 2011 finalists haven’t played a tie in the competition for two years now having been dumped out by virtue of a bowl out.
Last year the Whalley Road side suffered a 1-0 loss to Euxton in a decider on home soil, and they endured the same conclusion against Barnoldswick at the weekend after rain had restricted play.
O’Connor said: “We opted for a bowl out in the end. Both teams were happy to come back on Sunday but the League wouldn’t allow it. It’s very frustrating with there being no reserve dates.
“It’s disappointing but I’d take a bowl out loss over a coin toss. At least there’s some skill involved. But that’s two years now that we haven’t been able to play a Ramsbottom Cup match. What’s the point in that?”
Following the crushing seven-wicket loss to a rejuvenated Whalley outfit at the beginning of the month, O’Connor expects his squad to prove that they are capable of mounting a championship challenge.
“We just want that opportunity to bounce back,” he said. “Everyone is really up for the game with Brinscall this weekend and they can’t wait to get back out on the field to put things right. We want to prove that we are title contenders and not just there to get into the Lancashire Knockout.”
Meanwhile, Padiham captain Callum Clarke had no qualms about the competition’s ‘shootout’ policy after prevailing in the bowl out against Euxton at Balshaw Park.
Steve Meehan and Kevin Hitchon secured the wickets to set up a quarter-final tie with Clitheroe at the Arbories on Sunday, June 15th.
“It’s a tough one because they’ll be one of the favourites to win it now that Read are out,” Clarke said. “We’ve got home advantage which is always a bonus and that’ll bring in extra revenue for the club. Anything can happen in the cup.”
Having accrued 12 points from their opening three league fixtures, Clarke is eager for Padiham to build on that consistent base. Ahead of the fixture with Oswaldtwistle Immanuel at New Lane, he said: “It’s a difficult place to go and they are a decent team. We just want to continue our good start to the season.
“They’ve got Daniel Metcalf who has returned from a spell in the Bolton League and he’s very good with the bat. He’s their main man. They’ve got a very good bowling attack as well. It’s another game for us to challenge ourselves against opposition from the top tier.”