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Worsley Cup final: Tucker hoping for a change of luck
SAM Tucker has a sense of deja-vu ahead of today’s Worsley Cup final – but this time he hopes his big day ends on a high rather than the low of 12 months ago.
A year ago, the Church wicketkeeper was preparing himself not only for the Lancashire League’s showpiece but also his swansong as he looked towards a new life working in Hong Kong.
Now Tucker is getting set for another tilt at the famous old trophy – and reckons that this year really will be the end of his time at the West End.
“It seems just like last year,” said the 27-year-old holder of the Church wicketkeeping record.
“It was the eve of the final and I was planning to move to Hong Kong for work and now it is a repeat and I will be going back there in September.
“It wasn’t planned this way for me – it was just a case of how things happened.
“It got to January and I managed to sort out a contract out there but I came back over here before the season started and played in a pre-season game.
“Then the other keeper at the club was injured and they talked me into playing a couple of games – and I managed to negotiate with my work contract to stay for the season.
“And it has ended up with another Worsley Cup final.”
Church were the perfect hosts last season but the rain arrived to mar the day – and defeat to Ramsbottom added to the pain.
“It was a low moment for everyone,” added Tucker. “It was just a deflating day but everyone at the club was determined to make it back to the final – and we have.
“We are under no illusions either. It will be a very, very tough game.
“Lowerhouse are a tremendous side and are probably going into the game as favourites after beating us twice in the league.
“But in a final anything can happen.”
A bumper crowd is expected at West End for the showpiece with both Church and Lowerhouse having armies of supporters.
“We are well supported,” added Tucker. “But I would say that Lowerhouse are among the best supported cricket teams in the entire country.
“I can’t imagine any other team having fans like Lowerhouse. They are always good fun and are really good humoured and are special to play in front of with the atmosphere they create.
“If the weather is fine there will be a lot of people on the ground, our biggest crowd for 30 years and it will be a day to remember.”
Tucker does expect this season to be his last but is hoping against hope that he can bow out of his only club on a high.
“I think being realistic this will be my last season,” he said. “You can never say never but unless something changes I will be heading to Hong Kong.
“You know, I have actually started packing – and I have left a little bit of space in the suitcase for the trophy.”