CHURCH captain Levi Wolfenden admitted it was a tough call to bring in a professional for tomorrow’s President’s Cup final against Ramsbottom.

The West End club, who have not lost a game in the shortened Lancashire League season, have drafted in Neil Hornbuckle for the showdown between the two form teams.

Wolfenden is hoping the former Milnrow paid man can go head-to-head with Rammy danger man and captain, fellow South African Daryn Smit.

“I thought long and hard about going with the same players that had got us to the final and who have done so well this season,” said the all-rounder. “But we are a founder member of this league and have always had professionals and we thought it was something the members would appreciate.”

Ryan North is the unlucky player to drop out but Wolfenden is certain every player will agree it was a choice made for the good of the club.

“It doesn’t make my job any easier as I had very tough decision to make about who to leave out,” added the 27-year-old. “But it was a decision made for the right reason and I am sure all the lads will be behind me.

“I didn’t want to be in a position where Daryn takes six wickets and hits 70-odd and we didn’t have someone who could potentially respond to that.

“Neil is a good player who I have played against before but never with. He hasn’t had the chance to train with us but I am sure he will do a good job.”

While Smit is clearly the man to watch in the Rammy line-up, Wolfenden insists Church’s focus will not just be on one player.

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“Daryn is good and he can score runs quickly and can damage you so we know he is a danger,” he added. “But we will focus on what we can do rather than what Ramsbottom can do.

“We are not going to get too worked up trying to get him out because there are good players in before him and after him.”

Church go in to the final with a near perfect record – an abandoned game against Great Harwood in the group stages denying them a clean sweep of victories – while they also lifted the Hyndburn T20 Cup. Likewise, Ramsbottom lifted the Valley T20 Trophy, topped their group with three wins and one game abandoned but were beaten in the NHS T20 Cup by Burnley.

Wolfenden now wants to finish the job and lift the inaugural President’s Cup.

“We have had a very good season but now we want to make it a great season,” said Wolfenden who guided his team to a narrow four-run win over Walsden in the semi-finals.

“We have got this far playing as a team, everyone chipping in and no one player standing out and that is exactly what you want as a captain. Let’s see if we can do it one more time and go on and win the cup.”