BEN Barrow has praised the young guns who have helped his Netherfield side reach the Northern League's 40 Over Cup Final.

It was third time lucky for the Parkside Road men on Sunday as they banished the memory of the recent semi-final defeats in the league's T20 competition and the Lancashire KO Cup by seeing off visitors Longridge in Sunday's last four clash.

That ultimately comfortable triumph has booked Field a home date in the final against St Annes or Garstang.

And Barrow said he was delighted not only to break that semi-final hoodoo but to do so with a team with a good representation of young talent including Lancashire under 17s regular Tom Anderton and brothers Isaac and Sam Medhurst.

"We were delighted to win and get to the final after two semi-final defeats and I was very pleased with the performance," said the Netherfield skipper.

"We bowled well and got through the run chase without any real scares.

"Tom Anderton bowled some very good off spin and we're very please with his progress. He's definitely one for the future.

"And Sam Medhurst has good pace and accuracy and we're pleased he's doing so well.

"We watched him improve and we felt he was ready for first team cricket and he's proved us right by doing so well."

Like everyone at the club, Barrow had been disappointed with the recent indifferent form which has not only seen those two semi-final defeats but has seen Netherfield slip out of the title race.

But he said the showing in Saturday's battling draw at leaders Leyland offered signs of a return to form as the season enters its closing weeks.

"We didn't win but I was very pleased with the performance at Leyland," said Barrow.

"We have not been in good form in recent weeks and we've not had much luck with the toss having lost a few in a row, but I thought we batted and bowled well.

"Hopefully our luck and our form will improve and we're looking forward to the final."

And that fine early season form certainly looked to be back as Longridge were comfortably dispatched on a breezy but sunny Sunday afternoon at Parkside Road.

Batting first, the visitors were rocked by Anderton's double strike and when Joel Blain won the battle of the Australian overseas amateurs by tempting Lachlan Bangs to hole out to Josh Dixon for 34, they never recovered and were eventually all out for 139.

Lewis Edge fell early in the reply but a half-century partnership between Barrow and professional Bevan Small put them firmly in charge.

And though both eventually departed, there were plenty of wickets and overs in hand and Anderton and Dan Gaunt subsequently guided Netherfield to a five wicket win which books that home final on September 1.