Accrington believe their mix of experience and youth gives them a great chance in this weekend’s Lancashire League blockbuster against top-of-the-table Lowerhouse.
They go into the encounter after last weekend’s impressive victory over Rishworth, with their professional Ashar Zaidi smashing 109 runs.
Pakistan-born Zaidi, in his second season with Accy, was backed up by opening batsman Andy Greenwood's 44 runs.
It means Accy, who remain unbeaten along with Lowerhouse and Todmorden, go into this weekend’s game against Lowerhouse, who pipped them to last year’s title, hoping they can go one better.
Captain Jimmy Hayhurst said: "We did extremely well with a fantastic hundred from our professional. We won in reasonable style and played efficiently as well. We accumulated a good score of 218. We bowled and fielded excellently again. We’re happy with the way we performed."
But it was the up-and-coming youngsters – taking advantage of Zaidi’s experience – which pleased Accy most.
Hayhurst added: "The professional has been doing really well. It’s his second season and he's picked up from where he left off last year.
"We have to thank the
committee for pulling out all the stops in keeping hold of him. We can’t speak too highly of him.
"We have a good base of experienced players and a fantastic professional. We're very lucky. Other clubs don't have that. It’s a nice mix with the younger players coming through.
"At the start of the year I was a bit concerned that maybe we had too many young players but those players have really stepped up to be counted. We have good competition from the second team.
"That’s healthy and good. That competition for places is going right through the club now, which is really what we have been aiming for over the last couple of years."
In their other weekend game, Accy take on Colne at home in the Worsley Cup.
Hayhurst said: "It’s a big game. We always like to do well in the cups. It’s good revenue for the club.
"It won’t be an easy game though. They will have a point to prove because they haven’t had a great start to the season."
Elsewhere in the league, Church beat Rawtenstall thanks to 71 runs from captain Craig Fergusson and six wickets from professional Saeed Anwar.
Rishton also saw off Nelson by just two runs, the latter being bowled out for 83.
After two of Rishton’s top order batsmen were back in the pavilion for ducks, Luke
McVarish knocked off 25 crucial runs to see them home.