Rishton are hoping pro Andrea Agathagelou will sign up for another season and help them charge up the table next summer.
The South African, who also has a European passport, has been a bit hit at Blackburn Road in his first season with 725 runs so far and 44 wickets and he has also starred for Lancashire seconds, earning him a two year deal at Old Trafford.
Rishton are keen to snap up his services for another season, in conjunction with his Lancashire contract, following his six-month scholarship, and are close to a deal.
"There are just one or two bits to iron out but he wants to come back and we want him back," said captain Craig Smith. "He has got a new deal at Lancashire and we have offered him terms but it is just sorting out the nitty gritty at the moment."
Skipper Smith admits it has been a tough season for the 2007 champions although they are finding their form of late – knocking Haslingden off the top with a victory on Saturday.
Agathagelou crashed his way to a superb 152 with his Haslingden counterpart Abbas being hit for 22 in one over.
The pro also enjoyed a third-wicket stand of 219 with Andy Bartley, who scored 68.
It was both the biggest score by a pro this season and the biggest partnership in the league.
Rishton made 269-8, despite losing both openers without a score, while Haslingden had little in reply with pro Abbas – a late replacement for injured Phil Hayes – out for a duck.
Smith admitted: "It was nice to beat Haslingden although we have also got Ramsbottom coming up so, if we can beat them, we could give the lead back to Haslingden in the title race.
"We did have a strong team on Saturday, only missing Tiernan Hamill, and it showed what we can do with our strongest team.
"The problem is this has been a rarity and it has been hard work with all the swapping and changing.
"Andy Bartley has done well when he is here but he hasn’t played a lot of games due to work and Jimmy Bibby played his first game last Saturday so it has just been really frustrating season.
"It has given other players their chance but they haven’t really taken it.
"But, with seven games left, if we can win half of them then we could move above Enfield – who we play this weekend – and close in on Accrington and Lowerhouse.
"That’s the aim anyway although there are a couple missing this weekend too and we can’t seem to get a settled side."
Agathagelou has been a star for Rishton and Smith admitted: "He is a quiet lad and it did take him a while to get to grips with the surfaces but he has got the hang of it now and is showing what he can do."
Church are the highest placed Hyndburn side in sixth spot but they had the rain to thank for their narrow six-run win over Rawtenstall at the weekend.
Their sub professional Mohammad Ashraful had a big day with 61 runs, including eight fours, as the home side posted a total of 155 all out in just over 46 overs.
Veteran Rawtenstall spinner Keith Roscoe picked up 6-77.
Bangladeshi sub pro Ashraful then took three wickets as rain ended the day’s play with Rawtenstall on 98-5 in the 26th over and gifted the win to Church.
Meanwhile West End captain Andy Bentley reached 50 wickets for the season during the match.
ENFIELD had a day to forget against Colne – who clinched the Worsley Cup against Ramsbottom on Sunday. Adam Bracewell’s side stuttered to 79 all out with only three players in double figures and, despite losing five wickets. Colne made sure they had a weekend to celebrate.
ACCRINGTON’S game was also rain-affected and they too suffered. Simon Hanson and Graham Lloyd both made 43 in Accrington’s 166 with Nelson on a revised target of 95 from 21 overs.
And the fourth-placed side did it to keep last season’s champions in the bottom half of the table. It doesn’t get any easier for David Ormerod’s men who face title-chasing East Lancs this weekend, while Church are up against Colne.