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Focus is key for Cherry Tree skipper
RAMSBOTTOM Cup finalists Cherry Tree are determined to bounce back to form after suffering the shock of a double weekend defeat as they prepare for two big days out while still pressing for promotion.
Mark Hadfield’s men face Ribblesdale Wanderers in the final of the Ribblesdale League’s flagship competition on Sunday week and are also involved in this Sunday’s Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors Twenty20 finals day but the main priority is to win Section B of the new two tier structure.
And tomorrow they entertain the side who they finished alongside in the relegation positions last season, Padiham, as they bid to recover from defeats at Whalley and Ribblesdale Wanderers last weekend.
Few people expected Cherry Tree and Padiham to occupy the two relegation spots when the drop was introduced in 2013 and both clubs were eventually spared the embarrassment of demotion by a winter vote that led to the restructure and current Section A and Section B split.
While Padiham have stuttered at times Cherry Tree have been impressive but lost ground on Earby with those two losses and are 28 points behind the section leaders and 10 points adrift of second-placed Salesbury.
But with 10 games to play, Cherry Tree know the bulk of those matches are against sides from their own side of the split and Hadfield wants a charge from now.
“We know where we want to be and what we have to do,” said Hadfield. “The aim at the start of the season was to win promotion and nothing has changed.
“We are developing as a club after last year but it is still a work in progress.”
The Padiham game is a big one for both clubs and Hadfield wants his men to keep their focus rather than looking towards their two big cup days out.
They face off against Settle, Read and hosts Brooksbottom on Sunday in the T20 finals day and a week later they face holders Ribblesdale Wanderers in the Ramsbottom Cup.
But they have injury worries for those two games.
Youngster Jake Willacy will miss both finals after breaking his thumb in the defeat at Whalley, while at the other end of the age scale Rob Ince will miss this weekend and is a doubt for the Ramsbottom Cup final.