Parish Cup quarter finals: Ian Rushworth
OUTLANE are back in the trophy spotlight this weekend as the big outsiders in the last eight of the Parish Cup.
The mid-table Division Two outfit entertain league champions Sowerby St Peters and the club which hosted last season’s Crossley Shield final is determined to enjoy the experience.
Outlane finished third in the top division as recently as 2003 and have also appeared in a Parish Cup final in the not too distant past.
However, while they have a cosy clubhouse, which blocks out the noise from the nearby M62 and the worst of the weather at their exposed ground, plus excellent practice facilities, their on-field fortunes have taken a turn for the worse in recent years.
Skipper Dan Crosland conceded that his side were at the rebuilding stage but said they were looking forward to crossing swords with Sowerby after a trip to Denholme Clough tomorrow.
“You never know - it is a one-off game. It is a nice chance to play a top side,” said Crosland.
“It is a win, win situation for us. Sowerby have everything to lose playing a bottom division side. All the expectation is on them so we will go out to enjoy it.”
Assessing Outlane’s playing strength, Crosland said: “We have a young side looking to get the club back to where we think it should be. We have a strong base with a lot of juniors.”
Juniors Chris Brook and Alex Blagborough already open the bowling for the first team while 21-year-old Crosland has scored more than 200 runs in his last three league innings.
Crosland believes there is quite a big difference in playing standards between the best and worst in Division Two and is keen for his men to start climbing the league structure again.
The loss of King Cross in the last close season, following on the heels of Halifax CC folding at the end of 2008, means there are now only 10 teams in the bottom section and Crosland said: “Four blank weeks during the season does not help anyone.”