GREAT Harwood are hoping to give their fans something to smile about when they face Read on Sunday in the Ribblesdale League final of the inaugural 20/20 Thwaites Cup (start 4pm).
Lancashire League side Haslingden have already sealed a place in the grand final and a Northern League team will also be there as a trio of winning sides from their respective leagues will battle for the £1,500 prize money at a yet unspecified place and date.
Sunday is a huge game for Harwood as they try and win some silverware from this season as they have slipped away from the Ribblesdale League title race - not helped by the rain last weekend which washed out their game with Whalley.
And the weather seems to have a habit of upsetting Harwood as they had all but sealed a grand final place in the 20/20 competition - before the rain caused chaos two weeks ago. Then Harwood had posted 221-6 and Read were 7-2 in reply before the heavens opened.
Bowler Stuart Maher admitted Sunday is a huge game for his side.
"It would be nice to win the tournament as we are unbeaten in our league and intend to keep it that way. The gods are not smiling on us at the minute and we hope that will change by Sunday.
"We are hoping for a big crowd - however it is charter fair day in the town but come 4 o' clock we are hoping people will come up to the club for a drink and to support us."
Harwood have had experience of the grand final before having finished second in the competition last September when they lost to Central Lancashire League side Crompton, beat Northern league side Kendal and then a wash-out spoiled the day yet again.
And, before Sunday, Harwood have another massive match if they are going to keep any faint hppes of the league crown alive when they face title challengers Barnoldswick.
"The washout last week almost certainly put us out of the title race," added Maher. "Clitheroe lost but Settle managed to beat Barnoldswick so they are in a strong position. But we just want to keep winning and see what happens."
Baxenden were the only other team, apart from Settle, to get their game on and they were in a celebratory mood after knocking pacesetters Clitheroe off the top.
Francois Herbst made 48 while brothers Pete (28) and Dave (25) took the score to 147-5.
Clitheroe must have thought they had the total in sight but Pete Usher and pro Indika Gallage then took four wickets apiece to see off Clitheroe with 37 runs to spare. Pete was the star with figures of 4-13.
Baxenden face local rivals Oswaldtwistle Immanuel tomorrow at Back Lane.