GREENMOUNT captain Andy Bowker insists Greater Manchester League Premier Division survival is central to a successful season, although he admits Derek Kay Trophy glory would be “special”.

It has been a funny old season for Bowker’s men.

Third bottom in the league, they are fighting to avoid relegation and gave themselves a boost with an important home victory over rivals Edgworth on Saturday. But they are into the semi-finals of the cup on July 22.

“I won’t lie to you, it’s given me a few grey hairs,” said Bowker.

“We seem to have turned up on Sundays, but we haven't been able to carry those performances through to Saturdays.

“It’s a tough league, and if you don't turn up week in and week out you’ll get beat.

“But the pleasing thing about Saturday was we won a game without the professional (India all-rounder Kaustub Pawar) doing anything.

“When we’ve won games on a Saturday, it’s generally been down to the pro getting a hundred and us playing around him. But we performed very well, with all the amateurs chipping in and Ryan Senior getting 90.

“League survival is absolutely paramount – goal number one. But there’s a juxtaposition in that the Derek Kay Trophy is something very close to our hearts given Derek’s 30 years of service to the club.

“He was our first-team captain, coach, had been on a number of committees, and his sons Neil and Martin are still involved with us.

“To win that would be absolutely massive for those who knew Derek very well. We would love to have our name on that cup for sentimental reasons.”

Senior’s brutal 90 off 55 balls from number seven helped boost Greenmount from 138-5 in the 35th over to 280-7.

Opener Vikram Batra and Saad Khan hit 47 apiece, while Bowker scored 32 and Thomas Heaton 36.

With the ball, the wickets were shared around as Edgworth were bowled out for 225, with new ball seamer Cameron Smith claiming 3-41 from nine overs and Lewis Dove 3-65 from 13.

“It was a good team performance, and hopefully we can string a few together now and get ourselves in a position of comfort,” said Bowker, whose side are third bottom and two points clear of the drop zone having won five times.

Saturday’s game was played with the backdrop of England’s football World Cup quarter-final against Sweden taking place at 3pm.

At that time Greenmount were batting, with their tea extended so players could watch the second half.

Bowker described the atmosphere around the ground as weird as approximately 200 spectators went into the pavilion, and he joked: “I got out at five to three, so I timed it really nicely!

“I nicked off, and there were a few comments from spectators as I walked off.”

The draw will be made for the Derek Kay semi-finals later this week.

And, in trying to explain the reasoning for such a difference in Greenmount’s league and cup form, Bowker added: “The only thing I can think is that we have what you'd class as five front-line bowlers, whereas a lot of teams are relying on three and someone else making up overs.

“When you get to the cup competitions and you need five bowling 10 overs, I think we put ourselves in a strong position.”