THERE was a rumour going around that wicket keeper Matt Wilson had said he would cut off his long hair if Accrington win the Worsley Cup.
Well, one victory and the former Thorneyholme Road captain could be visiting the barbers.
Mind you, if captain David Ormerod gets his way it might be a cheaper cut.
"I haven’t heard that but something does need to be done with his hair," laughed the captain. "And if we win it, some of the lads might do it for him!"
Ex-skipper Wilson was quick to point out that he hasn’t said anything of the sort.
"That rumour was definitely started by someone else! I might have bad knees but no one would catch me to do it. No way!"
The Accrington team, though, made sure their fans had a hair-raising experience during their nail-biting seven run win over Burnley in the cup semi-final on Sunday.
It was an eventful game, watched by a lively crowd with a coach and a mini bus plus plenty of cars making the short trip to Turf Moor from Accrington.
And they suffered a rollercoaster six hours as the game swung first one way and then another but ended with Accrington facing either Ramsbottom or Todmorden in the final on August 2 after their game didn’t survive the rainy weather - it will be played tomorrow.
"I don’t mind who we get," said Ormerod. "Everyone just wants a home draw and I just want to win it."
And team-mate Wilson echoed this: "It was a brilliant day on Sunday and I have never experienced anything like it.
"I don’t mind who we face in the final as it will just be a big occasion and we will make sure we enjoy it.
"For the local lads, it is superb. We have been in the doldrums for too long so this is a nice experience."
The last time Accrington were in the cup final was in 1989 when they lost to Enfield and they last won the competition in 1986.
And Ormerod admits it has taken some time to sink in - especially as they are up among the frontrunners for the league too and have their sights set on the double.
"It is hard to believe that we are in the final of the cup," he said.
"Everyone keeps saying the bubble will burst and we will fall to pieces so we have just got to make sure we go on winning and show these people that they are wrong.
"We had a low score on Sunday and I knew it would be difficult - but, I know it sounds odd, but sometimes it is harder to chase a low score. At half-time I said we had the runs and the lads just had to scrap, battle and work hard and we did."
Wilson added: "We have defended low scores before this season. I think we have defended 135 four or five times so we knew we needed to get their openers out - and especially their professional."
It didn’t, though, seem to going Accrington’s way from the off. The rain led to the match starting late but, in the cup, it is still a 50-over clash.
And it was quickly 28-2 after Paul Carroll fell and Wilson was out to what he felt was a dubious lbw decision.
Stuart Crabtree was back in the pavilion for a duck and Graham Lloyd and pro Roy Silva needed to steady the ship.
They looked in control as they took the score on to 82 but then Lloyd was run out in a bizarre fashion.
Both he and Silva ended up at the same end with Lloyd walking and soon after it was an easy catch for Bharat Tripathi to see off Silva, making it a shaky 93-5.
"I wasn’t happy with the decision against me," said Wilson. "But I thought once Lloydy and the pro came in we would be okay - until they decided to run each other out!" said Wilson. "They made a mess of it!"
Toby Bulcock took the score on but the lower order couldn’t get into double figures and, when the final wicket fell at 137, it just didn’t seem enough.
The mutterings around the Turf Moor fans at the break were that it was an achieveable score and Ormerod agreed: "I didn’t think it was enough."
However, Sri Lankan pro Silva played through the pain barrier with a shoulder injury to give Accrington a dream start and see off the two Burnley openers. At 11-2, the game swung back in Accrington’s favour.
But then it was back in the home side’s hands when Burnley pairing Mohammed Jamal and their Sri Lankan pro Jeevantha Kulatunga came in and punished Accrington - with bowler Carroll suffering as three fours were hit off his first three balls as Burnley then looked in charge.
The pair took the score on to 67 but another crazy run out ended up with the game swinging back in the visitor’s favour.
The Burnley pro went for a quick single, Jamal didn’t set off and Kulatanga was caught seemingly stunned midwicket.
"That was the turning point in the game," said Ormerod.
That set up for a lively spell as it went from 75-4 to 81-5 and then 82-6 with Bulcock and Ormerod in the wickets.
At 96-7, the pressure was on with fans anxiously looking at the scorebox and Burnley needed 34 off the last 15 overs. With top scorer Jamal (40) still in, Burnley had the upper hand but Carroll got rid of him and, at 105-8, it was hoped Burnley’s resistance had gone.
It was still on a knife edge though with Chris Burton making a dogged 22 but Damian Clarke got going with the ball and made his mark by seeing off Tripathi with the score on 129-9.
They needed nine runs with eight overs and one wicket left but then Clarke sparked scenes of wild celebration as the umpire pointed his finger to give lbw against Burnley’s last man James Capstick.
"It was a good feeling at the end," said Ormerod. "It was one of those games that just fluctuated. It was stressful for me as the captain, sorting out the fielders and the bowlers but Graham Lloyd is a big help with that.
"Paul Carroll is an experienced bowler and, although they did get three fours off him, I have every confidence in him and he got a big wicket in Jamal when he threatened to win the game for them.
"Then Damian (Clarke) used all his experience at the end to get his two wickets.
"And Roy (Silva) has played through the pain barrier. He is such a lovely, affable man and he gives 100 per cent on the field.
"He had taken a lot of pain killers before the game but I told him he had to forget the pain, and play from his heart and he did that.
"And the crowd played their part as, whenever there was a dull spell, they started singing and picked us up. They were like a 12th man.
"It is a bit of a dream for us - but we are there and now we have to see if we can win it."