The Lancashire League title race is hotting up to be one of the tightest contests in recent memory according to Burnley captain Dan Pickup.
The club’s recent run, which has brought four league wins in succession, has clawed them back to within a victory of current leaders East Lancashire.
Newcomers Clitheroe, who claimed the Ribblesdale Cricket League crown on four consecutive occasions, had threatened to run away with it when succeeding in seven of their first nine fixtures but defeat to Darwen has pulled them right back in to the pack.
“It’s tightened up a lot over the last couple of weeks,” said the Turf Moor skipper. “Darwen beating Clitheroe has pulled everyone back in to it. East Lancs are top now but there’s nothing between six or seven teams. It’s really tight.
“It’s there for the taking. We need to try and put a bit of a run together and pull clear. We’re playing some good cricket at the moment so there’s no reason why we can’t do that.
“There’s nobody that is head and shoulders above the rest. That was my thought before the season started. The new teams have levelled things out.
“The league is as tight as I can remember and I think it’s going to stay like that. Clitheroe and Darwen are both good sides and they’ve definitely added something extra this year. It’s made it more competitive.”
Burnley could also have a big say in the Twenty20 competition and the Lancashire Cricket Board Knockout Cup.
Ahead of a limited overs tie against Clitheroe at Chatburn Road this evening and a home game against Church in the league on Sunday, Pickup said: “We’re going pretty well in three competitions. We were gutted to go out of the Worsley Cup when we did but we can focus on one of the others now. We’ve got a chance in all three that we’re left in as it stands.
“We just want to keep this run going and go as far as we can in all of the competitions that we’re left in.
“We’ve focussed a lot on the Worsley Cup over the last few years. It’s a competition that we valued a lot. Sub-consciously, though, that can sometimes come at the expense of other competitions.
“We can certainly put more emphasis on other competitions that we’re still left in now. We’re keen to do well in all of them. We just want to keep ticking them off and we won’t be far off if we keep this run up.”