DARWEN are one game away from the Lancashire Knockout final and skipper Mark Friend has hailed Sunday’s last four trip to Liverpool Competition heavyweights Ormskirk as ‘massive,’

The Towers remain in the hunt for a possible treble having reached the Lancashire League finals day while sitting fourth in the league table.

But success on a county level would be a terrific achievement and Friend is confident his side have the potential to beat the defending champions, who shared the title with Lowerhouse after a wash out last year.

“We know we are capable of beating them,” said the Darwen skipper.

“Anything can happen in a cup game and we know that on our day we are capable of scoring upwards of 250 against any side.

“We know all about Ormskirk, they have had the same players together for a few seasons and they are a good side.

“But we are going there to win the game. It would be great to reach the final so it is a massive game on Sunday.”

Darwen have already beaten one Liverpool Competition side - Bootle - in their run to the last four and Friend is hopeful of repeating the trick this weekend.

“We have played well in the Knockout so far and we want to reach the final, it will be a tough game but it is one we are all looking forward too.

“We are probably slight underdogs but we will be at full strength aside from Jordan Clark who is at a wedding abroad.”

A number of supporters will be making the trip from East Lancashire to Merseyside although Friend is disappointed that a request to move the second XI fixture against Enfield was rejected.

“It is a shame as a lot of the players would have wanted to come and watch the game and I don’t think there was anything stopping us moving it like we did with the first team game which we played last weekend,” Friend added.

“We did request it but the league rejected it so we will move on, it just means we will be a little bit less supported than we might have been.”

Darwen must first attend to league matters with a clash with Rochdale tomorrow, a side they eliminated from the Knockout in the last eight.

And, if Friend’s side are to have any chance of bridging the 17 point and three place gap to leaders Walsden there can be no slip ups.

“We have just got to win every game we play now,” said the skipper whose side have played a game more than their rivals.

“It will be tough against Rochdale, they have some good players, but we just have to keep putting 12 points on the board where we can.

“I think the weather will still have a part to play and maybe the fact that we got two wins in last weekend can help us in the run-in.”

Last weekend Darwen saw off Enfield on Saturday before edging past Church on Sunday on their way to 20 points from two games.

The latter fixture was decided by just five runs on Duckworth Lewis with Friend admitting it had been a nip and tuck affair.

“The key thing for us was that Dave Bowden bowled Levi Wolfenden just before the rain came which swung Duckworth Lewis back in our favour,” he said.

“We looked well set but one of their lads came in and made some quick runs (Joel Gaskill, 39 off 42 balls) and that just tipped it towards them so it was a really good result.

“We managed to get 10 points on Saturday against Enfield as well and although we would have liked 24 points from the weekend it was still a good return for us.”

Meanwhile, Darwen professional Calvin Savage will play his final game for the club against Ormskirk.

The Towers have Daryn Smit on duty against Milnrow next weekend and leaders Walsden the weekend after while the former Ramsbottom man will also be available for T20 finals day. Neels Bergh will stand in for Darwen’s trip to Rishton on September 9.

Meanwhile, Lowerhouse, who are missing injured pro Ockert Erasmus, will have Durham’s George Harding standing in against Rawtenstall tomorrow and Lancashire’s Karl Brown in the team against Rochdale on Sunday. Brown will then play for Clitheroe for the final two games of the season while the defending champions have drafted in Hampshire’s Sean Ervine as sub pro for the Bank Holiday weekend, including finals day.