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Family affair

ANDREW Pilkington became the fourth generation of Pilkingtons to represent Church CC.

GREAT TRADITION... David and Andrew Pilkington.
GREAT TRADITION... David and Andrew Pilkington.

ANDREW Pilkington became the fourth generation of Pilkingtons to represent Church CC.

Andrew, 19, made his debut against Nelson two weeks ago to carry on the family tradition.

His dad David played for Church 1st and 2nd XI during the 80s while grandad Harry was the most famous Church player. He was part of the championship-winning side, along with his brother Sam, who took the league by storm in 1939, 40, 41 and 45.

And great-grandad Harry played for Church in the 1920s.

"We might be able to boast five generations but I am not sure," said David, whose great great uncle Lawrence Pilkington was believed to have played for the outfit. "I remember from the 50s mixing with the professionals while my dad was playing and some of the supporters were from my grandad's era."

"And it was a nice feeling to see Andrew out there playing for the first team."

Church, now third in the Lancashire League, have a big weekend as they face Haslingden at home in the quarter-finals of the Worsley Cup before they welcome Accrington to Blackburn Road in a local derby.

Meanwhile, while Church are enjoying a lot of success, Enfield captain Mas Ahmed knows his club face a vital weekend to keep their season going.

They ended their nine-game run of Lancashire League losses with victory over Accrington last weekend and now face East Lancs in the quarter-finals of the cup tomorrow.

"This is a big chance to keep our season alive," said the skipper.

"It was a big relief to get the win, especially as it was a local derby and it has given the whole club a lift."

"We know it will be tough against East Lancs as they have quality amateurs and were the champions last season."

"But we have a full-strength side for the first time this season, so we are all looking forward to it."

One boost has been the return of Keith Barker last weekend, Blackburn Rovers' Academy striker, who turned in two solid displays with the ball and the bat.

Barker is the son of former West Indies Test player Keith Barker senior and the teenager could have forged a career in cricket with Lancashire wanting him to sign up before he chose football.

"He has made a big difference," said the skipper. "He took five wickets on Saturday and 3-8 on Sunday. He has given up more bite with the ball."

Enfield will look to carry on climbing the league table when Todmorden visit Dill Hall Lane on Sunday.

Elsewhere Rishton, out of the cup, have a tough league game against last season's title winners East Lancs with new skipper Scott Greaves at the helm.

He took over from Jonathan Dobson last weekend and started his captaincy with a win over Enfield but then suffered a loss to local rivals Church on Sunday.

Dobson decided to retire because of injury and other commitments.

"I had taken over as captain when Jon was injured so I was quite happy to take over the role full-time," said 27-year-old Greaves.

"Everyone knows that we are a young side and it is a learning curve for me and the team."

Bowler Greaves has been at the club since he was a junior although did spend three years at Accrington before returning to Rishton around seven years ago.

"We always knew it was going to be tough this season after finishing bottom last season. That was demoralising as there wasn't as much fight in the side. Youngsters were coming in to a losing side and it was hard. But we a match for teams this season. We are sticking together and having a go. And the pro James Franklin has instilled quite a lot of confidence in the side."

And Greaves has set a target: "From a personal point of view I would like another five or six wins from this season."

"East Lancs will be tough on Sunday, there is rivaly and they are a decent side but we know we can compete."


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