Stan Heaton relishing big derby clash!

Lowerhouse captain Charlie Cottam in action against Burnley in last seasons Worsley Cup semi-final
Lowerhouse captain Charlie Cottam in action against Burnley in last seasons Worsley Cup semi-final

Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton is relishing the weekend derby in the Lancashire League as the table toppers take on the defending champions at Liverpool Road on Sunday.

The West Enders, who won the title three times in four years from 2011, currently hold a three point gap over Nelson at the top while Burnley are eight points shy of their rivals in fourth place.

Burnley haven’t clicked in to gear yet but they’re a tough side and it’ll be a very difficult game.

Stan Heaton

“It’s not a good forecast for the weekend again so we’re hoping that changes,” said Heaton. “We’re looking forward to the derby immensely. We weren’t too far off the mark last year and, of course, we beat them at home. “We’re just as strong an outfit now, if not stronger. Burnley are the champions and we’ve won the league recently so there’s more of a stable closeness between the two sides now rather than the sporadic past we’ve had.

“Burnley haven’t clicked in to gear yet but they’re a tough side and it’ll be a very difficult game.

“We’re a strong side ourselves though so we won’t fear anybody. We will, however, show Burnley the necessary respect.”

The club stalwart added: “These are the games that you want to be involved in with a big crowd and a good atmosphere.

“Last year’s encounters were marvellous. That is what you want.

“It’s top of the table versus the champions. I can’t see any reason why either side won’t be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. We just need to keep going from strength to strength.

“This is a chance for us to make a big statement. Whoever wins this game will get a lot of confidence from it.

“It’s not critical at this stage of the season but you want to win every game.” Meanwhile, Heaton was delighted to see the club make positive starts in other competitions as they beat Todmorden in the Twenty20 before sweeping Vernon Carus aside in the LCB Knockout Trophy.

“We’ve made a very good start to competing on all fronts,” he said. “Beating Todmorden was a great result because it wasn’t an easy game.

“We benefited slightly with the interruptions from the weather. It favoured us so we got a bit of luck.

“We were just too powerful for Vernon Carus CC so we were happy with that performance and outcome.

“It’ll be nice to go to Egerton in the next round because it’s somewhere that we’ve never been before.

“Part of the attraction of playing in that competition is going to new places and gaining new experiences. We’re looking forward to the tie.”