NETHERFIELD skipper Ben Barrow and his Kendal counterpart Chris Miller have both predicted a cracking game when the cross town rivals meet for the first time since 2017 on Sunday.

The Lancashire Cup clash at Parkside Road, 1pm, has been eagerly awaited by cricket fans in the area and with both sides having started the 2019 campaign in red hot form, it promises to be a fascinating clash.

“We are looking forward to the game and there should be a good crowd and a great atmosphere,” said Barrow.

“A lot of people have been talking about the game in Kendal this week and all our players are looking forward to it.”

And Miller agreed that the match should be a great advert for cricket.

“The Kendal derby is a great occasion for both clubs and we’re really looking forward to what should be a great game,” he said.

The last time the sides met, their respective fortunes could hardly have been more contrasting.

That game on a sunlit late August day at Kendal’s Shap Road in 2017 saw the visitors clinch the Northern League title with a 62 run win which also pushed Kendal neared to the relegation which was confirmed at the end of the season.

But since then, Miller’s men have turned their fortunes around superbly.

A barnstorming late run last season clinching promotion from the Palace Shield and a return to the Northern League ranks, and they have hit the ground running on their return to the top flight, helped by the superb form of South African professional Wes Marshall.

But Netherfield too are in good nick, and with New Zealand professional Bevan Small in the ranks, they top the early Northern League table.

Yet as both skippers pointed out, this is far from a tale of two professionals as the two sides also feature some fine home grown talent.

“Bevan is a great player and has done very well for us with the bat though he is still looking for his best form with the ball,” said Barrow.

“But we have a good mix of talent with some good young players and some experience too.

“The likes of Brad Earl and other lads from the area have done very well for us so far. “

And Miller said he would be delighted if his side kept up their early season form when they travel to Parkside Road.

“Wes has certainly done the business for us so far and we are very pleased with his performance,” said Miller.

“But all the side has done well and we just hope we can carry it on this weekend.”

The winners of Sunday’s tie will be away in the next round of the competition against the winners of the clash between Eccleston and Leigh, with that tie set for June 23.

However, there is important league business to attend to for both sides prior to the commencement of derby hostilities on Sunday.

Netherfield, who stretched their lead at the top of the table to an impressive 13 points with a comprehensive nine wicket win at Penrith last week, host fellow title chasers Leyland on Saturday.

And on the same day Kendal warm up for the big derby with a trip to Longridge, who were promoted with them last season and have also made a decent start to the 2019 campaign.