DOUBLE-CHASING Denton West concede they will be underdogs as they bid to lift silverware on Sunday, August 1 in the final of the Greater Manchester Cricket League’s Derek Kay Cup.
The all-conquering side, also 13 points clear at the top of premier league two, are playing high-flying premier league team Prestwich in the showpiece game at Bradshaw, wickets pitched at 1pm.
It is proving a memorable season for West who have claimed the scalps of premier league sides Clifton and Astley and Tyldesley along with Brooksbottom and Clifton on their path to the final.
“We have already beaten two premier league teams so let’s hope there is one more big performance in us, but it will be difficult as Prestwich are a very good side,” explained West captain George Hill, 26, who is in his first proper season as captain.
And Hill saluted Liam Kilburn who has been the star performer in the cup.
Kilburn, almost single-handed won the game against Brooksbottom after West were reduced to 98-6 chasing 217, scoring 99 not out from 31 balls and including 13 sixes and three fours.
The explosive hitting Kilburn also hit 51 runs from 17 balls in the win against Astley & Tyldesley and has 453 runs for the season, including 42 sixes.“Liam has been our main man in the cup and hopefully he will have one more big performance from him on Sunday,” he said.
All-rounder Aaqib Uppal is also having a fine campaign with bat and ball and has scored 488 runs and taken 35 wickets.
West will be hoping this is the first part of a double as they are also chasing promotion.
They have recorded 12 victories from 15 league matches to head the table, though second-placed Edgeworth have played two less matches.
“At the start of the season, our aim was to get back to the premier league where we last played in 2017,” Hill continued.
“If somebody said at the end of the July we would be top of the league and in a cup final, we would have taken it.”
And West’s second team also has a Premier Cup final to look forward to on Sunday, August 15 when they play Roe Green who have home advantage as it was chosen as the venue for the final before the start of the season.
The Championship Cup final will be contested between Dukinfield and Shaw with Mottram hosting the final, also starting at 1pm.
As the cricket season enters its penultimate season, there is plenty to play for local sides at both ends of the table.
Denton St Lawrence, premier league champions in the last completed season in 2019, are on course to defend their title.
They have amassed 54 points to lie top and five points clear of Prestwich, Roe Green and Clifton who are each on 49 as it has the makings of an enthralling title race.
Flowery Field are eighth in premier league two and look to be going neither up nor down.
In the championship, the third tier of the GMCL, Stayley are 10th in the 12-strong division and battling to beat the drop.
Meanwhile, one step below in division one, league new boys Mottram are top with 54 points from 15 matches.
However, second-placed Stretford are on the same points total having played one less match.
And Dukinfield are also in the hunt as they are third and only seven points adrift of the top two.
But at the opposite end of division one, Denton are next to bottom and battling to stay up.
In division 2B, Micklehurst are challenging for promotion. They are third, but on the same number of points as second-placed Werneth with Denton St Lawrence seconds also in the promotion mix as they are fourth in the table.