ACCRINGTON captain David Ormerod has got a new weapon in a bid to make sure his side stay top of the table - ice baths!
The 40-year-old said a special plastic bath will be installed at Thorneyholme Road soon for all those willing to brave a cold dip and, for the older members of the Accrington team, hopefully prolong their careers.
The league’s prolific wicket taker Ormerod got his second seven wicket haul of the season on Saturday in their 12-run win over Haslingden but is feeling the pain - and that’s where the ice comes in.
"Scientists have proved it works so we will give it a go," said the Accrington captain with his side hoping to repeat their double winning campaign of last season.
"My knees are causing me real problems at the moment and I am not fully fit.
"I must admit don’t really fancy the ice baths but have them at home and we are hoping it will help us during game with having one at the club. There is no Radox or hot water it is just pure cold!
"Graham Lloyd has already said he won’t go in it - he said he has had enough ice baths in his Lancashire career and won’t do it again.
"I am not sure about the others but it could be the secret of our success!"
It is a huge weekend for Accrington as they face Ramsbottom tomorrow in the league - who are joint top of the table with them.
And then on Sunday they begin their defence of the Worsley Cup against last season’s beaten finalists Todmorden - a side who have proved something of a bogey team for Accrington in the new campaign.
"We owe Todmorden one," said Ormerod. "They beat us in the Colne Trophy and then have been the only team to beat us in the league so far.
"They have both been close games though and, with defending the cup, we don’t want to go out in the first round.
"I think both us and Todmorden will say that we didn’t appreciate the draw but both sides have got a lot of respect for each other.
"I said at the start of the season that I think Todmorden are a strong side and will be one of the teams who are up there challenging for the title as well.
"They strengthened over the winter and they are a threat to us in the cup and a big threat to us in the league."
Despite the knees, Ormerod has been pleased with his own shows this season and has taken over 20 wickets already. He finished last season with 71 and joined an elite club when he took his 1000th league wicket.
And, unlike most cricketers, he enjoys the wet conditions. "I think everyone thinks I do a rain dance before a game but the rain does suit my style of bowling," he said.
"I hear clubs making a joke that home wickets "are prepared for David Ormerod" - they are not but the rain does help me.
"Obviously in the cup my bowling is limited so it will be up to the others as well and I am confident we will do okay.
"So far the amateurs have really chipped in and put in some match-winning performances.
"Graeme Sneddon got 69 the other week, Stuart Crabtree got 94 at Rawtenstall and Jimmy Hayhurst got six wickets at Rawtenstall and they have all been match-winning performances for us.
"And the pro Roy Silva has come back and looks better than ever. He is playing in a higher league in Sri Lanka now and he seems to have a lot more confidence.
"He is still learning English although appears to have picked up some more swearwords!
"It’s great to have Roy though - I feel for those clubs still struggling without pros as it was hard enough for us just at the start of the season."
CHURCH - still waiting for paidman Luke Woodcock - suffered a 66-run loss to Rawtenstall on Saturday, with ex-player Mark Aspin again their paid man.
Phil Gilrane, Andy Bentley and Liam Wolfenden got three wickets each but the top scorer in their reply was Ryan North’s 22.
All local derbies fell victim to the weather on Sunday. Church meet Rawtenstall again in the cup on Sunday after facing Lowerhouse tomorrow in the league.
RISHTON haven’t got off to the best of starts with just one win in their five league games so far and their latest loss came against title hopefuls Todmorden. Only pro Aaron Heal performed with the bat with 54 as the rest struggled in their 114-7. Tod knocked the runs off relatively easily.
Rishton face Rawtenstall in the league and then Haslingden in the Worsley Cup.
Enfield will be looking to move back into the top four after not playing at the weekend. They face bottom Bacup in their league campaign and then it’s a home tie against Burnley in the cup.