CAPTAIN Phil Sykes admits it is a huge weekend for his Church side if they are to keep in contention for the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League title.
The Blackburn Road team, who finished runners-up last season, are 25 points off the current leaders but the skipper knows if his side put a run together then there is plenty of time to make a charge for the top.
Church are at home to Lowerhouse on Saturday - after the game was washed out on the opening day of the season - and then make the trip to Todmorden on Sunday.
But in order to make a title challenge Sykes knows he has to get himself going after a poor start to the season. The opening batsman has got just 44 runs all season averaging 5.5 and has dropped himself down the batting order.
Sykes admitted: "I have been disappointed. I have never had a run like this. Early on the wickets were difficult but I have just never got going. Obviously I have dropped myself down the order to give others a chance but hopefully I can get a few runs starting this weekend."
A few other Church batsmen have been struggling as well with only professional Ruven Peiris - who has 484 runs already this season - standing out.
"Ruven has just carried on from last season with the bat and the ball," continued the captain. "He is consistent. We had a promising start with two wins and then we hit a sticky patch but we have got two wins in our last two league games so we just have to carry on from that.
"We have lost the close games this season - and that has been the difference between this season and last.
"We have had three or four close games but we have dropped a catch, missed a run out and we are making too many mistakes and it has cost us. Last year, we weren't doing that - we were winning the close games. There's a fine line between winning and losing and we are losing too many at the moment."
Lowerhouse have just moved up to second spot in the league so Sykes knows that will be a hard game and then there is the matter of Todmorden.
Last year, the Church officials were upset with the Centre Vale side after they reversed their order when playing Church's title challengers Haslingden and Haslingden went on to win the game and win the league by five points from the Blackburn Road side.
"There is no animosity," said the skipper. "We will just concentrate on our game. They are a good side although they have lost Stuart Priestley to injury. Their pro Gyan Pandey has done well for them and they have got a couple of players from the Central Lancashire League and they have done well this season.
"And Lowerhouse will fancy their chances of the title this season so it is a big weekend for us.
"If we want to get into the top half we have got to win these games. We have got to start winning to make sure we are in with a chance.
"The league is tight this season. The bottom five sides from last year have added a couple of players and they are stronger. There are no easy games and it is more interesting if it is closer but we have got to make sure we start winning now."
They would, though, have been glad their home game with champions Haslingden was called off last Sunday because of the showers.
Haslingden had made 119-1 thanks to an unbeaten 72 from opener Graham Knowles before the thunder and lightning halted the game and both sides shared the spoils.
But Rishton enjoyed better luck in their derby with Enfield. The Dill Hall Lane side had made 123 all out with joint top scorers Alviro Petersen and David Bracewell (22), while Rishton pro Kumar Dharmasena took 3-27.
Rishton were faced with a reduced target of 105 in 27 overs after a rain break and passed the winning target with just four balls to spare to seal maximum points.
Enfield will hope for better luck at home to fellow strugglers Bacup tomorrow before they tackle Colne on Sunday.
Rishton, meanwhile, face Rawtenstall on Saturday followed by a trip to Lowerhouse on Sunday as they warm up to their huge Worsley Cup semi-final at Todmorden on Sunday, July 3.
Accrington's horrendous start to the season continued as they slipped to their 10th successive defeat - their worst start since 1991 -although they were unlucky against East Lancs.
New Zealand pro Tama Canning thought he had helped his side towards their first league win with his unbeaten 57 - including 10 fours - in their 116-2 after 31.4 overs.
Mohsin Ahmed made 25 and Zahir Afzal's late knock of 14 took the score along.
The rain came but went again as East Lancs had to chase the full total to win in 19 overs.
It looked good when Canning removed paid man Loots Bosman for just six and star wicket taker Tariq Hussain got rid of David Pearson for eight but it then turned East Lancs way and they celebrated a three wicket win.
Accrington make the trip to table toppers Ramsbottom on Saturday - who lose pro Kartik Murali to the Indian squad on July 11 and he could be missing for eight weeks - before they take on Nelson, with amateur Joe Scuderi in red hot form as the league's leading run scorer with 523 runs.