CHURCH pro Ruvin Peiris will expect a warm welcome when he returns to Central Lancashire League side Middleton in the first round of the Inter League Trophy on Saturday.
The popular Sri Lankan spent four seasons with Middleton between 1999-2003 where he won over the club and the crowd - so much so that they made him a life member. The big-hitter injured his cruciate ligaments last June and Middleton decided not to renew his contract - and so he came to Blackburn Road instead.
There are no hard feelings and the 33-year-old is ready to go back - and wants to hit his first 100 for his new club against his old one.
"I have been pleased as I have got four half centuries in the last five games but I expect to get a century this weekend - either Friday or Saturday. I am looking for a 100, I want a big score," said the paid man. This means Enfield also have to beware as they travel to Church in a local derby in the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League on Sunday.
Peiris continued: "I have spent the last four years at Middleton and it is like my second home. I didn't know Church had drawn Middleton in the Trophy but it is a good one for me as I can see some old friends. I am at Church now, though, and I want to win for Church."
Church haven't had the best of starts but the pro, with opener and skipper Phil Sykes, have already got quite a few runs on the board. And he feels he has settled in well at his new club despite just six games. "It is a family club, a good set-up and they are nice people. I am enjoying it," he said.
Church officials think he might break their club record for a pro of 1250 runs but he isn't piling that pressure on himself. "I will just get on with my own game and see what happens. If I get a chance, I will."
Peiris, however, is up against another pro in stunning form this weekend. Alviro Petersen only arrived at Enfield last week. He made 28 in his first game in his side's league loss to Rawtenstall but turned on the style to knock rivals Accrington out of the Worsley Cup. The South African scored an unbeaten 149. Before facing Church, Enfield are in Inter-League action at Crompton on Saturday.
Meanwhile Accrington aim to get their league form back on track at home to Rawtenstall on Sunday while they have a bye in the first round of the Trophy,
And Rishton are hoping teenage brothers Shaun and Garth Wyse can continue to come up with the goods. They travel to Werneth tomorrow and then are on the road again at Haslingden on Sunday.
"Garth and Shaun are both doing well," said skipper Jonathan Dobson. "They have worked hard and their wickets have already helped to turn a few games for us this season."