MARK Bolton says his East Lancashire side faces a big test as the second round of Foster’s Lancashire League swings into action tomorrow.
But the all-rounder is relishing the prospect of a big game as he leads his men into the back yard of reigning champions Accrington and a showdown with East Lancashire’s former professional Ockert Erasmus.
Bolton described last weekend’s last-ball win at Nelson as a ‘brilliant one in a brilliant game’ but he knows a trip to the champions is a different ball game.
“They are a class act team,” said Bolton. “They proved that last year and they beat Ramsbottom well last week too.
“And of course they have our old professional Ockie there now so that will make it interesting.
“We had him for three seasons and we know him well – but then again, he knows a fair about about our lads.
“But it will be a good game and we’ll see where we are at after it.”
Accrington swooped for Erasmus just a couple of days after East Lancashire announced he would not be returning to Alexandra Meadows and the South African has already made an impression on his team-mates.
While Accrington v East Lancashire is a big game, the highlight of the day is the clash between Haslingden and Church at Bentgate.
Both sides won impressively on the opening day with Haslingden seeing off Burnley and Church chasing down a big Lowerhouse score thanks to a fantastic century from Levi Wolfenden.
Haslingden are still waiting for the arrival of professional Brenton Parchment and are likely to have to field a substitute on both days of the double header.
That was not a major impact last week when they borrowed Ashar Zaidi, although the former Accrington man is not likely to be available this weekend as Sussex begin a Championship match with Somerset on Sunday.
Burnley will field their former young talent Jon Clare in their side for Sunday’s game with Accrington.
He is not available at Todmorden tomorrow but chairman and former Surrey, Middlesex and Hampshire opener Michael Brown is and he plays alongside his brother David, another ex-county ace.
Lowerhouse host Rawtenstall in what should be a good contest at the Neville Gee Recruitment Ground, while there is a Hyndburn derby at Blackburn Road as Rishton host a good Enfield side.
Upbeat Colne aim for back to back wins after their excellent win at Todmorden when Ali Azmat hit a thrilling 168 and they are at fragile Bacup.
Nelson and Ramsbottom were both beaten last week and they clash at Seddhill in the day’s other game.