Clitheroe do the double over rivals Ribblesdale

Peter Dibb fired an unbeaten 42 for Clitheroe in their LCB Knockout Trophy defeat to Blackpool
Peter Dibb fired an unbeaten 42 for Clitheroe in their LCB Knockout Trophy defeat to Blackpool

Champions Clitheroe continued their unblemished start to the defence of their crown with victory over rivals Ribblesdale Wanderers.

Paul Gaskell’s side have won all five games in the Ribblesdale Cricket League so far this term and have now lost just twice in 29 outings in the league.

The early pace setters had to survive several scores on their voyage to victory on this occasion after being bowled out for 127 at Chatburn Road.

The hosts slipped to 5-2 when openers Ali Ross and Jack Dewhurst were sent packing while Aneeq Hassan’s dismissal didn’t help proceedings.

The partnership between professional Janaka Guneratne and Peter Dibb saw the home side get back on track though father and son pairing, Ian and Jordan Britcliffe, continued to threaten.

Dibb hit five fours when adding a 16-ball knock of 25 while the Sri Lankan paid man batted through patiently to fire 33 which included three boundaries.

The tail end of the batting order then played its part as Gaskell added 15 along with Farooq Butt (10) and Marcus Sharp (14 not out).

Ian Britcliffe finished with figures of 6-48 from a punishing 17-over spell while Jordan added 3-46 from 11.5 overs.

In reply, Ribblesdale lost wickets on a regular basis but were always in with a chance while prolific professional Ryan Canning was at the crease.

The South African eventually exited just two runs short of a half-century when hitting five fours from 93 balls.

However, the former Nelson CC man wasn’t supported by his team-mates as Omar Hussain was the highest scoring amateur when hitting an unbeaten nine at the tail end.

Guneratne and Sharp did the damage with the ball as the former claimed 4-35 while the club’s amateur contributed with 3-42.

The result – which moved the club six points clear of Whalley – confirmed the double for Clitheroe over their neighbours following the lottery of a bowl-out the previous evening in the Twenty20 competition. Canning spared the away side’s blushes when firing an unbeaten 77, which included eight boundaries, in a 117-7 total.

Clitheroe were 33 without loss – with Dewhurst responsible for 25 of those – before the rain came and forced a premature finish to proceedings.

However, Gaskell’s side didn’t have the same fortune in the LCB Knockout trophy as last season’s semi-finalists were dumped out by Blackpool.

Dewhurst and Saud Ahmed claimed three wickets apiece for the locals but Matthew Houston (53) and professional Daryl Mitchell (68) did the damage for the Northern League outfit in a 197-9 finish.

A composed knock of 32 from Dewhurst added to an unbeaten 42 from Dibb gave Clitheroe hope but they were eventually extinguished 78 runs short of their target.