Read face a potential ‘all-or-nothing’ encounter this weekend when they face Whalley in the first outing of a double-header.
While victory at Station Road would significantly boost the club’s chances of cementing a seventh-consecutive top four finish, the remnants of defeat would ultimately blow any hopes of county cup qualification in to the ether.
Recent results have seen the two sides move level on 157 points in the Ribblesdale Cricket League with both having three games to play in their bid to seal entry to the 2015 LCB Knockout Cup competition.
Captain Kyle O’Connor, who will also lead his side out against fifth place Baxenden at Whalley Road on Sunday, said: “We’ve got two massive games at the weekend against sides that surround us in the league. We’re on equal points with Whalley now after they lost on Saturday. Everything went right for us really in our hunt for the top four.”
O’Connor, who guided Read to Twenty20 glory earlier in the campaign, added: “We’ve got to earn qualification and prove that we’re deserving of it. We’ve got to continue as we have been playing. The biggest benefit to us is that we’ve still got two home games remaining.
“I don’t think the lads will feel any pressure because they’re young and they’ll just get on with it. I feel a little bit of pressure myself because getting in to the Lancashire Cup is the club’s ultimate aim at the start of the season. It’s what the club expects. We need this, we haven’t finished outside the top four since 2007, and if we can get it again it’ll be seen as a successful season with the Twenty20 win.
“The second string has also done the double and the thirds have continued to develop. It’s been a good year for Read Cricket Club all round really and this will top it off.”
Meanwhile, Padiham have rounded the season off emphatically with five wins from six games. Now they’ll look to extend that when they host Brooksbottom at the Arbories for the club’s final game of the season. Fixtures commence at 1 p.m.