Gaskell’s men sign off as champions ahead of move to Lancashire League

Clitheroe, pictured after their recent Ramsbottom Cup success, are again Ribblesdale League champions
Clitheroe, pictured after their recent Ramsbottom Cup success, are again Ribblesdale League champions
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Clitheroe’s invincibles have sealed a fourth-successive Ribblesdale League title – and an historic treble.

Having already won the league’s Twenty20 competition, and the Ramsbottom Cup, the Chatburn Road side clinched the league with victory over closest rivals Settle on Saturday.

They are yet to lose a game in the league, and depart for the Lancashire League next seasonconfident of making an impression.

Skipper Paul Gaskell said: “It was quite special to win it by beating Settle at their place, because they’ve pushed us harder than anyone for the last four years.

“Four titles in a row is something we are all very proud of.

“And to win the treble makes it a perfect way for us to sign off from the Ribblesdale League.

“We’ve won it with two games to go, but now the target is to win those last two and go through the season unbeaten – that’d be some achievement.

“We’ve got a real monkey off our backs by winning the Twenty20 and the Ramsbottom Cup, and now it’s four league titles in a row too. So it’s been a memorable season – but not just for the first team.

“The seconds have won their league, and it looks like the thirds will do too.

“And on Sunday our Under 18s won their Birchall cup competition. So in many ways it’s been a perfect campaign for Clitheroe.

On Sunday, the club waved goodbye to professional Janaka Gunaratne, who has enjoyed three successful seasons at Chatburn Road, but has informed the club he will not be returning to Clitheroe for their inaugural season in the Lancashire League.

Gaskell said: “Our thanks go to Janaka for everything he’s done here, and we wish him and his family every success in the future.”

Clitheroe’s final two games of the season see them travel to Oswaldtwistle Immanuel on Saturday, before hosting Whalley the following week.