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Haasbroek excited by the battle of the Boks
8:52am Friday 3rd August 2012 in Sport
FRANCOIS Haasbroek is relishing tomorrow’s collision with his friend Ockert Erasmus – but insists progressing to the final of the Foster’s Worsley Cup means much more than any personal bragging rights.
Haasbroek’s Lowerhouse travel to Erasmus’s East Lancashire in a mouthwatering semi-final at Alexandra Meadows and the battle of the Boks has naturally caught the eye.
And while Haasbroek is looking forward to getting one up on his mate he said: “Maybe last season in our first year over here the personal bragging rights with Ockie would have meant more. It was our first year and we have known each other well for some time – and you always want to beat your mates and fellow countrymen.
“But now we are both in our second season with our clubs we both know just how it matters to Lowerhouse and East Lancashire and that is the main thing, we both will want to win the game for our clubs.
“Any friendships are put to one side for the game and it is a very big semi-final for both teams and it is the same for Accrington and Church in the other game. Finals are always special games to play in and I know just how much it would mean to all the lads in our side to get through.”
The House are the reigning Lancashire League champions and seemed to be sweeping all before them this season – but two defeats against Enfield saw them lose their lead of the table to the Dill Hall Lane outfit.
Haasbroek isn’t too concerned about that at the moment and said: “There are plenty of games to go.
“We have a good side and last week was disappointing - but the cup semi-final is a good game to come back in.
“It will be a hard match against a very good East Lancashire side and we know we will have to play hard and well to win.
“But the game suits us and we have the strength in depth, we have the five or six bowlers that we need. Everyone is involved and hopefully we can get the weather that the game deserves.”
Lowerhouse are taking a 400-strong army of supporters to the game and Haasbroek wants to put on a show for them.
“Our supporters are tremendous, the best in the league,” said the big 24-year-old. “We are taking buses to the game and about 400 are making the trip and they will create a cracking atmosphere.
“I just hope we can go out and do the job for them as much as anyone else.”
Lowerhouse make the trip to Blackburn with a 13-man squad and will pick a team ahead of the game, while East Lancashire name a strong side that includes veteran batsman Mark Lomas, opener Mudassar Panchbhaya and young bowler Danny Chester.
The other semi-final is also a tasty affair as Hyndburn big hitters Accrington and Church lock horns at Thirneyholme Road.
As well as being a derby clash to whet the appetite, the game has the added spice of seeing the winners hosting the showpiece final, dubbed as the biggest club game in the country, on Sunday week.
Accrington go into the game in fifth place in the league with Craig Fergusson’s Church just one place above them and the carrot of being final hosts is a major one for both clubs.
Church had that honour last season but were hit by the double blow of the rain and then defeat by Ramsbottom, while Accrington last hosted the game in 1989.
They were the last side to complete a Lancashire League and Worsley Cup double in 2008 but they are missing skipper Graham Lloyd and will be led by wicketkeeper Matt Wilson.
If the games are not completed tomorrow they will be continued on Monday night as the Lancashire League executive tries to keep the competition on track .