Clitheroe take over at the top of the table

Clitheroes Ali Ross in action against Earby. Picture: Keith Driver
Clitheroes Ali Ross in action against Earby. Picture: Keith Driver

Champions Clitheroe returned to familiar territory when taking over at the top of the Ribblesdale Cricket League with an eight-wicket win over Earby.

The visitors, batting first at Chatburn Road, were all out for 113 despite Anton Muller’s knock of 42. Clitheroe professional Janaka Guneratne did most of the damage with the ball when taking six wickets.

In reply, Paul Gaskell’s side cruised to victory with Ali Ross striking an unbeaten 40 while Guneratne added 48 to the home side’s total.

Meanwhile, Clitheroe also progressed in the Ramsbottom Cup with another eight-wicket win over Padiham in the second round.

The tie proved to be an extremely one-sided affair as Kurt Robinson’s men were wiped out in less than 20 overs with just 61 runs on the board.

Brannon Varley was the one individual to show any kind of resistance in reaching 36 but the pairing of Joshua Marquet and Jack Dewhurst proved to clinical.

The former secured a five-wicket haul at the expense of just 19 runs while Dewhurst added 4-10.

Despite losing two wickets, Clitheroe went on to cement their passage in to the semi-final of the competition in just over 10 overs.

They were joined in the final four by Baxenden, Great Harwood and Barnoldswick.

The club is hoping for a bumper turn out this weekend as they host a triple header of first XI fixtures on home soil.

The action starts tomorrow night (Friday) when Ribblesdale Wanderers make the short journey for the Twenty20 derby.

The bar will be open from 6 p.m. with beers from Bowland Brewery and a selection of wines from D. Byrne and Co. Local butcher Alan Hacking will also be running a barbecue while music will keep the crowds entertained.

On Saturday, Wanderers will make a quick return to Chatburn Road as the defending champions look to extend their unbeaten start to the term.

Then, on Sunday, Clitheroe will begin their LCB Trophy campaign with a testing first round tie against Blackpool.

Clitheroe have reached the semi-final stages twice in the last two seasons.