Lancaster aim to end trophy drought with Twenty20 triumph

Lancaster bowler Liam Moffat will lead the side on Twenty20 finals day. Picture: Tony North
Lancaster bowler Liam Moffat will lead the side on Twenty20 finals day. Picture: Tony North

Lancaster go in search of their first silverware in more than 20 years at the TWP Wealth Twenty20 finals day on Sunday.

The Lune Road side will vie with Netherfield, Blackpool and hosts Darwen for the crown on a busy day in East Lancashire.

Ben Simm’s side have reached the final before and want to go one better this time with their struggles in the Northern League and exits from the Readers Cup and LCB Knockout meaning it’s a make or break day.

Simm, whose suspension ends after finals day, said: “Our aims before the start of the season were to prove that last year’s third position wasn’t a false position and win a cup.

“It doesn’t look like we’re going to finish that high up in the league so to win this cup would be a massive boost and it’s been a long time since we’ve won some silverware.

“And I’m sure with this crop of players it’s not that far away.

“We’ve been a few times before and it’s certainly a day you want to be involved in.

“There’s a lot of good cricket and I’m sure there’ll be a massive crowd at Darwen.

“A lot of players have experienced finals day so we’re going there in good spirits and hoping to bring it home.”

Lancaster play in the second semi-final against Netherfield at around 2pm with Simm hoping for a repeat of their meeting a couple of years ago.

He said: “We played Netherfield in the semi-final two years ago and beat them convincingly so we’re hoping for the same again.

“They won five out of six or six out of six though so they’re obviously a good Twenty20 side.

“Darwen beat Leyland and Chorley so they’ll be very confident and Blackpool just look a good all-round team.”

The club captain and chairman will however miss out as he serves the final weekend of a ban but admits it is in the back of his mind that a washout would see him available for a rescheduled finals day seven days later.

Simm said: “I’m absolutely devastated to be honest.

“These are the days you want to play. It’s what you come down to training for and I want to be out there leading from the front and spurring the guys on but I’ll do everything I can during the day and before the day, just everything I can to help these players out.

“But I might be the only one in the changing rooms doing the rain dance and I’ll be first on the field with the umpires if it starts raining!”

In his absence, pace bowler Liam Moffat will captain Lancaster at Darwen instead of usual stand-in skipper Jamie Heywood.

Simm said: “Jamie wanted to concentrate more on his batting and he found the captaincy was putting pressure on that.

“So Moffat who is a senior player in the side now and has proved he’s a very good Northern League player is going to lead the side.

“He has the respect of the guys and I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.”

Lancaster have a free Saturday ahead of finals day. Darwen and Blackpool meet in the first semi-final at 11am on Sunday before Lancaster’s clash with Netherfield at 2pm.

The final is set for 5pm.