THE Lancashire League Twenty20 always goes down a treat for Church captain Levi Wolfenden.

And no wonder - Wolfenden made the tournament his own last term as Church carried off the short-form competition silverware for the second time in three years.

Wolfenden’s 82 against Accrington was the highest innings by an amateur, and when the competition had finished he could boast the highest amateur runs too, 269.

Holders Church tackle Rishton at Blackburn Road tonight and who would bet against another run to the final for the Lancashire League’s Twenty20 kings after a convincing five-wicket victory over Great Harwood in their opening White Witch Group tie a week ago.

“There’s something about Friday nights and Twenty 20 cricket when Church are involved – we just love it,” said Wolfenden.

“A few years ago we just thought that youth was the way to go, and the kids that came in relished the challenge of Twenty20.

“They enjoyed the crowds and the atmosphere of Friday night cricket, and they rose to the challenge.

“They’ve also put themselves in the shop window, but most of all they’ve helped Church develop as a club.”

The skipper added: “We’ve won a couple of T20 trophies and now the crowds turn up in big numbers to see us play at home because we are the champions.

“Two or three big Friday nights at home can make or break a season in terms of receipts through the gates, but thankfully we’ve enjoyed a bit of success and that’s brilliant for everybody connected with Church.”

Church’s shock win in 2014 - against then holders Lowerhouse - provided the club’s first major silverware for 40 years.

“You really can’t underestimate the difference the competition has made to Church, and I’m pretty sure we’ve only lost a couple of Twenty-20 games in the last two seasons, so that’s a remarkable statistic from 19 ties,” added Wolfenden.

“People ask me why have Church done so well in the competition?

“I just think it is the enthusiasm and vigour of youth, lads wanting to play this form of cricket, and it is the way cricket is going now.

“There’s a lot more going in terms of improvisation and new shots and that’s down to Twenty-20.

“It might sound a bit silly, but there’s no pressure and you can just go out and enjoy yourself.

“If it comes off with the bat or ball then fine, and thankfully, more often than not, it has for Church and the lads should get a lot of recognition for that.”

This season, Wolfenden has been appointed captain of the senior squad and the Twenty-20 team.

“To win the Twenty-20 Cup last season in my first year captaining the side made me so proud and seeing the team lifting the trophy at Todmorden on that fantastic night is a memory I will always cherish.”

Friday night fixtures: White Witch Group: Rishton v Church. Bacup v Great Harwood.

Blond Witch Group tonight: Darwen v Accrington, Ramsbottom v East Lancs, Todmorden v Lowerhouse.

Pride of Pendle Group tonight: Colne v Enfield, Haslingden v Clitheroe, Nelson v Burnley.