Champions end on a high with derby victory

Clitheroe captains Paul Gaskell (left, first XI) and John Green (second XI) receive their trophies from Derek Birchall and Brian Woodhead from the Ribblesdale League.'''              Picture: Keith Driver
Clitheroe captains Paul Gaskell (left, first XI) and John Green (second XI) receive their trophies from Derek Birchall and Brian Woodhead from the Ribblesdale League.''' Picture: Keith Driver

On the final day of the regular Ribblesdale Cricket League Senior League season, champions Clitheroe underlined their superiority with a four-wicket derby victory at home to Whalley.

While Read cemented second spot courtesy of a three-wicket win in another rain-affected game with Great Harwood.

Whalley were all out for 99 in 28.4 overs as Simon Gorton, batting at number eight, top-scored with 26.

Marcus Sharp took 3-33 off 11 overs, Janaka Guneratne 4-20 off 11 and Ali Ross 2-20 off 3.4.

In reply, Cliheroe got home in the 24th over, largely thanks to Callum Birtwell-Jones’ 35-ball 36.

Daniel Ainsworth took 3-25, and Lee Kearsley 2-19.

For Read, Elliot Lowes, Frank Barden and sub pro Ockert Erasmus took two wickets each, as Harwood closed on 120-7, and Ben Gorton’s unbeaten 22, on the back of skipper Kyle O’Connor’s 22, saw Read past the target in the 31st over.

Clitheroe enjoyed a 39-point final winning margin over Read, who have confirmed Sri Lankan, Geeth Alwis from Royton CC, as their professional for next year.

Ribblesdale Wanderers and Second Division champions Great Harwood were involved in a play-off on Sunday with a place in the First Division at stake.

Steve Kerr claimed 7-31 as Harwood were bowled out for 143, before Akeel Khan’s unbeaten 55 – his second half century of the weekend – steered Wanderers to a convincing eight-wicket win.