TO quote Eric Idle - Always look on the bright side of life!
It’s a philosophy Whalley skipper Richard Palmer will be forced to adapt after his side’s grip on fourth spot in the Ribblesdale Cricket League loosened. And if that wasn’t enough, they then crashed out of the Ramsbottom Cup at the semi-final stage.
It was a weekend to forget for the Station Road outfit. John Bushell’s mid-table Padiham were the first to inflict defeat with a four-wicket win to close the gap on Whalley to five points. Richard Lamb looked to have injected life in to the visitors as he made a patient 70 while Martin Davies added 27. However, Whalley collapsed and they ended on 182.
“Saturday was a disappointing day for us,” Palmer said. “We passed 180 again without our pro (Kamran Younas) scoring any runs but on Padiham that’s not enough. They knocked us off easily and it was probably our worst bowling performance of the season.”
And on Sunday they surrendered a place in the Ramsbottom Cup final to Ribblesdale Wanderers.
Whalley failed to make home advantage count, ending their innings with just one more run on the board than the previous day. Lee Kearsley top-scored with 40 and Younas added 36 but they lost the game by six wickets.
“We thought we were 20 or 30 runs short and that’s how it turned out,” said Palmer. “We were in the game at 50-3 with their pro (Muhammad Wajihuddin) gone but they rallied. I thought we bowled more than adequately but we didn’t set the tone with the bat. We didn’t have anyone who hit the 50 mark where as they did. That was the difference.”
However, despite the gap tightening, Whalley still own fourth spot and they also have a 20/20 semi-final clash at Baxenden to look forward to.
“We would have been aggrieved if we hadn’t have made the 20/20 semi final,” he said. “The only game we lost was a bowl out so it would have been upsetting not to have made it. But it gives us the chance to defend our title.”
Palmer added: “We’ve still got quite a lot to play for. The target is to finish as high as we can in the league and retain our 20/20 title.”
Elsewhere, Salesbury’s slump continued as they lost by six wickets to lowly Edenfield. Not even professional Susantha Pradeep’s sensational solo effort could help save their plight. The paid man fired a staggering 162 not out which included 13 fours and six sixes. Opener Will Cook chipped in with 30 as Salesbury ended on 245. However, their opponents somehow managed to surpass that total.