COUNTY class act Jonathan Clare returns to the Foster’s Lancashire League tomorrow as cup kings Burnley collide with reigning champions Accrington in a heavyweight battle at Turf Moor.
As the new season steps up a gear on double header weekend, Burnley are out for revenge after they were well beaten by Accrington in the Ron Singleton Colne Trophy last Saturday.
And after a loss at Haslingden 24 hours later, Bharat Tripathi’s men – among the favourites for the title – are desperate for a win.
The appearance of the former record-breaking amateur ace, who now plays for Derbyshire, is a major boost to those hopes.
With Derbyshire using the 27-year-old Clare mainly for one-day games, he could be making regular appearances for Burnley and his seasonal bow pits him into direct opposition with Accrington’s ex-Lancashire star Graham Lloyd.
Stuart Crabtree has taken over as skipper from Lloyd, who has been promoted to the First Class umpires, and saw his side open up with a thumping win over Ramsbottom.
And the Turf Moor showdown has all the ingredients to make it the biggest game of the season to date with a big crowd expected through the gate.
Enfield’s Dill Hall Lane showdown with Lowerhouse also has the big match feel about it as two classy South Africans lock horns.
Enfield’s Werner Coetsee played a big part in last weekend’s thumping of Bacup, while big things are expected of Lowerhouse’s Cobus Pienaar as Charlie Cottam looks to a first success of the season.
Haslingden have borrowed former Todmorden professional Qaisar Abbas for their trip to East Lancashire as Jamaican star Brenton Parchment’s visa has still not arrived, while Church look the real deal this time around.
They rocked Lowerhouse last week with Levi Wolfenden starring with the ball and they welcome Bacup to West End, while Rawtenstall host Nelson in another tussle between Springboks as rival professionals Brett Pelser and Ryan Canning collide.
Ramsbottom and Todmorden meet at Acre Bottom, while Colne play their first home match of the season as Rishton go to The Horsfield.