ACCRINGTON skipper David Ormerod’s mouth is watering ahead of this weekend’s double header derby with title rivals ENFIELD.
The local rivals have traded top spot in the league for the past two weeks, with the Thorneyholme Road side moving 10 points clear again after easing to a 61-run victory over Burnley last time out.
Enfield make the short trip to the home of the leaders tomorrow, and they will do it all again at Dill Hall Lane on Sunday.
Enfield will be desperate to bounce back from a disappointing weekend in which they lost first place with a four-wicket defeat by Lowerhouse a day after falling agonisingly one-run short of Todmorden’s total in an action-packed Worsley Cup quarter final.
Graeme Sneddon’s 64 set up Accrington’s latest win, as Burnley’s reply was limited to 128 with Ormerod taking 4/44.
The 40-year-old captain is the league’s second highest wicket taker with 28 victims costing 15.3 each.
Ormerod said: "It’s two local derbies between the sides at the top of the league. We are just looking forward to the games and hope they are played in a good spirit. Enfield are a very strong side and we had some really tight games with them last season, which was fantastic.
"When you have been perched at the top it’s not a pleasant feeling to be toppled, but it happened to us last season. Rawtenstall knocked us off the top then we managed to claw our way back. I’m sure Enfield will be looking to do the same to us again."
He added: "To get two wins would be massive, but the way the points structure works you can lose a game and still pick up points and that’s where teams are staying in touch."
Ormerod revealed that Sri Lankan pro Roy Silva has been getting a few digs in the dressing room for a modest run of form, but feels his side’s control of the game in the field is aiding their title defence.
He said: "Our pro hasn’t really come to the party. He’s bowling quite well and is just beating the bat a lot. The performance from Graeme Sneddon against Burnley was fantastic, and the lads have been good in the field taking their catches and playing well as a team. We pride ourselves on our team ethic. We have got a great bunch of lads and no egos in the dressing room."
Replying to Tod’s imposing 250 all out, Enfield’s cup run was effectively scuppered by four run outs, including the crucial wicket of replacement pro Theo Doropoulos for 90. Adam Bracewell made 47, while Matloob Khan (3-31) was the pick of the Enfield attack.
In-form CHURCH have been handed a trip to Ramsbottom in the Worsley Cup semi-finals.
A haul of 6/40 from Andy Bentley helped them maintain their resurgence last weekend with a comfortable six-wicket win at struggling Bacup, after skittling the hosts for just 88. Levi Wolfenden (2/8) also starred with the ball, before Adam Greenwood (32 not out) saw Church home.
By a fixture list quirk, Church and RISHTON also go head to head in a league double header this weekend.
Rishton will be looking to stiffen up their batting after subsiding to a paltry 57 all out in the seven-wicket thrashing by Colne.
Chris Lambert (11) and Craig Smith (18) were the only Rishton batsmen into double figures as Colne’s pro Ali Anwar and captain Jeff Ellis helped themselves to five wicket hauls apiece.
Colne suffered early alarms too as they lost their top three before knocking off half of their victory target, but Ali (32 not out) and Matt Wilson (16 not out) ended the contest with only 40 full overs completed.
The Blackburn Road side are faring better in 20/20 Group A, however, with two wins from two after reaching a reduced target of 89 with over four overs to spare against Enfield last Friday.
Church are top on run rate from three games, the latest a four-wicket win at East Lancs.
The top two meet again tonight, while Accrington bid to move off the bottom of the table as they travel to East Lancashire.