Champions Clitheroe take over at top after derby win

Janaka Gunaratne, centre, in action for Ruhuna
Janaka Gunaratne, centre, in action for Ruhuna

Champions Clitheroe are the new leaders of the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League senior division after a rain-affected Bank Holiday programme.

The Chatburn Road side took advantage of previous leaders’ Earby’s washout to take top spot after five games of the new campaign.

They lead by three points courtesy of a seven-wicket win over Ramsbottom Cup holders, Ribblesdale Wanderers.

And it was another fine performance with the ball by Sri Lankan star, Janaka Gunaratne, that laid the platform for victory.

His figures of 6-34 from 18 overs helped restrict Wanderers to 89-8 from their 37 overs.

Facing a revised target of 83, Clitheroe streaked home in 17.1 overs, losing only three wickets in the process.

They now boast the only 100% winning record in the division.

“They had us at 16-3 so it could’ve been close,” said skipper Paul Gaskell.

“The team showed great character to see it out though. There’s always plenty said ahead of the derby so it’s always nice to beat them. It was good to keep them quiet.

“We took early wickets and our pro again was exceptional. He’s really showing how good a player he is now. We were delighted to pick up 10 points, though it’s a shame it wasn’t 12.

Gaskell added: “It’s still early days where the league is concerned but we’re in a great position. There’s another double-header ahead so, though it’s a cliche, we’re taking it one game at a time.”