Clitheroe captain Gaskell warns rivals

Peter Dibb top-scored for the home side
Peter Dibb top-scored for the home side

Clitheroe captain Paul Gaskell has warned the club’s Ribblesdale Cricket League rivals that his side will grow even stronger in their bid to retain their crown.

The Chatburn Road skipper has guided his men to wins over Great Harwood, Settle and 2011 champions Baxenden so far with the latter a 41-run triumph at the weekend. However, Gaskell insists there’s still room for improvement where performance is concerned.

“We didn’t play particularly well but we got the result which is the most important thing,” he said. “I thought the total would be enough because I knew our bowling attack were good enough to back it up. And so it proved.

“We’re losing a lot of wickets early on which is something we definitely need to improve on. The positives we’re taking though is that we are not playing too well yet we’ve won three from three. We’re winning and there’s still plenty of room for improvement.”

Peter Dibb top-scored for the home side, contributing 21 to Clitheroe’s total of 132 when coming in at number five. Earlier in the innings paid man Janaka Guneratne added 20 while last weekend’s man of the match Tom Lord fired 16.

In the reply, Joshua Marquet’s prolific spell with 5-18 from 10 overs plus two wickets apiece for Guneratne and Jack Dewhurst extinguished any hopes ‘Bash’ had harboured.

“Josh is in his element,” Gaskell said. “He ages every year like the rest of us but he’s as fit as I’ve ever seen him. He’s got an extra yard on him this year. There were doubts over whether he would play this year, but he’s delivered again.

“We needed him to tighten things up at the start and with him in the team we’re always confident of defending a total. He will always take wickets and put the opposition under pressure.”

Ahead of Saturday’s Ramsbottom Cup clash with unbeaten Whalley at Station Road, Gaskell added: “It will be a tough game because Whalley are flying at the moment. We struggled against them there last year and they’ll be full of confidence after seeing off Read at the weekend.

“It’s always a good game against them. We’ll need to improve our batting if we’re going to have a chance of progressing. We would love a good run in the cup. We’ve probably got the toughest draw so if we can come through it then who knows how far we can go.”