LEAGUE leaders Todmorden have a big weekend ahead.
They face Ramsbottom, one of their fellow contenders for the title twice.
First they travel there in the league on Saturday before entertaining them the next day in the semi-final of the Worsley Cup.
And in addition to the Twenty/20 semi final on Friday, the second team too have a semi-final at Rishton (1pm).
Todmorden skipper Andrew Sutcliffe said: “The feeling in the camp is very positive at the moment and we’re all looking forward to an exciting weekend with two semi finals and a huge league game away at Ramsbottom on Saturday.
“Each game this weekend is a tough one, but if we play our best cricket and all step up to the plate then we could be in a fantastic position come Monday morning.”
Despite the feeling of confidence, he warned: “It is very close at the top and I am sure it will change a lot over the next few weeks with everyone playing each other up there.
“We’re not even halfway through the league season yet so let’s just see where we are in a few weeks.
“But I strongly believe in the ability we have in our side and I am expecting some big results over the next month to put us in a strong position,” he said.
Todmorden stretched their lead to three points at the top after taking maximum points in a 33-run win over Rawtenstall at Centre Vale.
They now lead by three points, but only 10 points cover the top five clubs.
Simon Newbitt top scored with 42 against Rawtenstall, adding 63 for the second wicket with Nick Barker (40).
Professional Qaiser Abbas also made 34 but the home side went from 121 for two to 159 all out, losing their last six wickets for 15 runs.
Professional Nilantha Cooray took four for 67 and stand-in skipper Keith Roscoe three for 65.
In reply Jon Kerrigan top scored with a breezy 30, including three sixes and two fours but Rawtenstall lost their last four wickets for the addition of just one run to finish on 126 all out.
Abbas took four for 47, Stevie Barker four for 31 and Lee Pearson two for 35.
Skipper Sutcliffe knew they had to bowl well to win the game.
“Our bowlers came out firing and put them on the back foot straight away with some tight spells.
“There were times in the second half when the game could have gone either way but with accurate bowling we ended up getting the full 12 points to keep us top,” he said.
l TODMORDEN second team lost by 31 runs at Rawtenstall.
The home team scored 228 for nine with four wickets each for Stuart Priestley and Herr Abbas.
In reply Todmorden could only muster 197 all out. Freddie Priestley hit 31 and Stuart Priestley topscored with an unbeaten 47.