GREAT Harwood CC knew they had a tricky start to the season with Ramsbottom Cup holders Settle up first followed by champions Read.
But they have seen off the first - and now they aim to do the same to the title holders on Saturday.
Harwood needed revenge against Settle after they were soundly beaten in the cup final last year.
And captain Russell Whalley, so gutted after the final loss, made sure he got some element of revenge with a half-ton to get his season off to a flyer.
"We loved that win," admitted the captain. "It was good to get a game under our belts and it was a good all-round team performance. We batted well, fielded well and bowled well. Everything came together."
The batsman was playing down his own part in the six wicket win.
He got 50 in 51 balls with four sixes and three boundaries.
"It was good to get a start like that but it was more important that it was a good team performance."
Harwood were helped by sub professional Kumar Dharmesena, who stood in for teenage paid man Martin Nurse.
Sri Lankan Dharmasena is the Rishton pro and he took 3-70 and chipped in with a vital 36 to get Harwood off to the dream start.
"He did well for us and will get wickets and runs for Rishton. It was bad conditions but he still got three wickets and, with the bat, he helped me get us into a winning position.
"It was always going to be a tough start against them but the win will boost our confidence and has given us the edge over one of our title rivals.
"They were saying they had only lost five games in two years so it was a plus for us and puts us on a bit of a high going into the game against Read."
There is a history of rivalry between the two sides with Read pipping Harwood for the title two seasons ago.
Read's opener against Oswaldtwistle Immanuel last weekend fell victim to the weather.
They will have last year's paid man Danny Law as their pro this weekend as Kenyan Thomas Odoyo is going home to play for Kenya against Uganda and then returning next week.
"If we play to our capabilities we are confident we can win," added Whalley.
And they hope Nurse from Barbados will help them to their first league title since 1900.
The 19-year-old opens the batting for Barbados and is a left hand batsman and right arm bowler.
He is highly thought of in his homeland and was recommended by the original man targeted as professional, West Indies international Dwayne Smith.
"He came to nets for the first time this week and looks a good player," said Whalley.
"He knows the first few weeks will be hard graft and he will have to get used to the wicket but he is a good player."
Oswaldtwistle will hope to see some action when they take on last season's wooden spoon club Whalley and are still waiting for Indian Raja Ali to arrive at the club.
And Baxenden face Earby, who lost in the only other first team game to play last weekend against Ribblesdale Wanderers.