Lloyd Aspin was gutted as Church again missed out on silverware – but hopes they can still have a trophy in the bag by the end of this season.
The long 38-year wait for a cup win goes on as Ramsbottom thwarted them for the third time in as many seasons with Friday’s Twenty20 final five-wicket win.
But Aspin, playing his first full season as a senior at West End, refused to get downhearted, especially as his club are in the Worsley Cup semi-finals.
"We have lost this one but now we have got to make sure we win the Worsley Cup," said the 21-year-old (pictured right).
Ramsbottom have proved a bogey team for Church, overcoming them in the Twenty20 final in 2010 and the Worsley Cup final last year.
Church were hoping to finally lay the ghost to rest on Friday and it could have gone either way at a soggy Acre Bottom.
Church had made 118-7, Aspin starring for the West Enders with 40 while pro Saeed Anwar hit 37.
At 1-1 – with Muhammad Jamil bowling David Bell – it was then 41-4 with Church in charge especially with the removal of big-hitting pro Pieter Malan (17) and Alex Bell falling with the next ball.
But that only brought Rams skipper Jon Fielding in and, after taking three wickets, he scored what proved to be a match-winning unbeaten 33 with Mark Dentith hitting the winning four with one over left.
"You cannot take anything away from Ramsbottom as their captain was man of the match and took them over the line," continued Aspin, who is the top West End amateur batsman with 310 runs this season. "But it was a close game and we weren’t far off.
"We talked before the game about not winning a trophy since 1974 and it is still hanging over our heads.
"But this one could have gone either way in difficult conditions and it is a dampener that we lost but hopefully we can get a trophy in the Worsley Cup."
Accrington stand in their way in the semi-final on August 4 and, if they get through, it will be either Lowerhouse or East Lancs at Church the week after.
Meanwhile Aspin has been a major find for Church, also taking 22 wickets this season.
He played for them as a junior for eight years, following in the footsteps of his dad, before moving to Australia when he was 13.
"I have been playing grade cricket over there which is similar to county cricket over here," he said. "I always wanted to come back to Church and play though. I don’t need a permit or anything so it was ideal to return.
"I am enjoying it, I have met up with the lads again and it’s been easy to settle in. I go back home in September but I am hoping to come back next year.
"And I will – especially if we don’t win a trophy as I am determined we will get one soon."
It wasn’t a good weekend for Church as they lost to an all-round show from Todmorden pro Qasier Abbas on Saturday in the league. He claimed 7-53 to dispose of Church for 155, Sam Holt top scored with 54.
Pakistani Abbas then scored 59 as Tod secured the win.
And on Sunday they lost out to Burnley. Muhammad Jamil top scored with 41 in their 149 all out and Andy Bentley took three wickets but it was a five-wicket victory for the Turf Moor outfit.