Clitheroe’s history makers

Clitheroe celebrate with the CBS Office Supplies Ribblesdale League trophy ahead of their move to the Lancashire League next year			Picture: Keith Driver
Clitheroe celebrate with the CBS Office Supplies Ribblesdale League trophy ahead of their move to the Lancashire League next year Picture: Keith Driver

Clitheroe brought the curtain down on 124 years of Ribblesdale League history in fitting style at the weekend.

Paul Gaskell’s first XI – who had already secured the treble – became the ‘Invicibles’ as their win over Whalley ensured they finished the league season unbeaten.

In addition, the second and third XIs also won their respective leagues to make it a clean sweep.

But there will be new names on all those pots next season as Clitheroe will be playing in the Lancashire League.

The switch was unanimously agreed by members, players and supporters at a club meeting earlier this season.

And after winning four successive senior league titles – as well as this year’s Ramsbottom and T20 cups – they will begin a new dawn with confidence.

Club chairman Robin Sharp said: “This is a historic moment for Clitheroe Cricket Club and a very exciting one.

“The Lancashire League is known throughout the world and we will be very proud to be part of it. It will be a big wrench to leave the Ribblesdale League because it’s all any of us involved at the club have ever known.

“Of course there are some regrets, but it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly.

“In the end this was the unanimous verdict of more than 80 people – players, supporters and members.

“We felt we had to put the interests of the current and future players first by providing them with the best opposition and the best cricket.

“So it feels like the right decision and it’s wonderful that we can leave the RIbblesdale League on such a high note.

“Now we are looking forward to a bright future in the Lancashire League - with a team full of players who have come through the ranks at Chatburn Road.”

First team skipper Gaskell added: “It feels like the right time for the club. There are mixed emotions because we are leaving behind a lot of friends – but it’s also exciting.

“We believe we can compete, and our results in the Lancashire Cup in recent years show that.

“We’ve won the Ribblesdale League four years in a row and maybe this will take us out of our comfort zone and give us a new challenge.”