Cup glory for Clitheroe

Clitheroes victorious XI (back to front, from left) Charlie Dewhurst, Janaka Gunaratne, Marcus Sharp, Matthew Coulter, Josh Marquet, Ali Ross, Saud Ahmed, Paul Gaskell (captain), Aneeq Hassan, Peter Dibb, Jack Dewhurst.
Clitheroes victorious XI (back to front, from left) Charlie Dewhurst, Janaka Gunaratne, Marcus Sharp, Matthew Coulter, Josh Marquet, Ali Ross, Saud Ahmed, Paul Gaskell (captain), Aneeq Hassan, Peter Dibb, Jack Dewhurst.

Clitheroe captain Paul Gaskell hailed “a fantastic day for the club” after their Ramsbottom Cup triumph on Sunday.

Gaskell’s men beat Great Harwood at Chatburn Road in front of a bumper crowd, to claim the second leg of what they hope will be a treble.

Having already won the Ribblesdale League’s Twenty20 competition, Clitheroe head the Senior League table as they aim for a fourth-successive league title.

And they added the Ramsbottom Cup, in their last season before moving to the Lancashire League.

Clitheroe posted a total of 166, and though Great Harwood made a game of it, getting to within 26 runs with three overs remaining, they were bowled out short of their target, and Gaskell said: “It was just a fantastic day for the club.

“It’s around a decade since we’ve won the Ramsbottom Cup so it was a great feeling to get our hands on it again.

“And to do it on our own patch in front of such a big crowd made it even sweeter.

“It was brilliant to see so many people on Chatburn Road – until you got out in the middle you didn’t realise how many people were on.

“But luckily they got to see a really competitive final.

“Credit to Great Harwood because it was a game that ebbed and flowed all afternoon and could have gone either way.

“Russell Whalley is such a dangerous player and looked like he could win it for them at one stage, but he was out during a crucial over from Josh Marquet, and we were able to close the game out from there.

“We all enjoyed the celebration on Sunday night, but we know there’s still work to do for the remainder of the season.”

Now Gaskell is looking for his team to make it a treble. They have a comfortable lead at the top of the Ribblesdale League.

Clitheroe head closest rivals Settle by 21 points with six games remaining, and Gaskell is focused on securing another league title: “We’ve got six games to go and we’ll be down to one game a weekend, so we’ll be able to give each one our full focus.

“I think if we can win four of those six then it’ll be enough for us to win another title.

“That would make it four in a row.

“That’s never been done before, and to do that and win three trophies would be a perfect way for us to say goodbye to the Ribblesdale League.”

l Clitheroe have secured £65,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund to re-lay their 14-wicket square.