RIBBLE Valley Under 11s became the Lancashire Cricket Partnership Champions in an excellent game, as they overcame a well-drilled Burnley District team by 42 runs.
Throughout the season, the Ribble Valley batsmen have demonstrated a level of maturity in their batting that belies their age.
On a damp, green wicket against an accurate, persistent Burnley attack providing very little off-line to hit, they, once again, delivered a quality of batsmanship that was genuinely terrific.
Both the shot selection and execution was a joy to watch as Joe Briggs (10), George Stuart (38), Jonathan Richardson (22) and Sam Mulligan (41) built an excellent total of 126 despite the slow, wet outfield.
Similarly, as this season has progressed, the side has managed to starve teams of runs when bowling, and seemingly take key wickets when they were most needed.
Furthermore they have started to establish increasing variety in the bowling attack that makes life difficult for opposition.
Burnley’s reply was positive throughout, for which they deserve much credit.
They continued to try and attack the bowling attack throughout their innings.
On this occasion, however, the Ribble Valley bowlers held too many cards; and they were played beautifully as Jonathan Richardson (2-17) and Jack Morris’ (1-10) pace was followed by the spin-twins of Sam Mulligan (3-12) and Daniel Wilson (2-4), who, together, worked their way through the Burnley batting.
They were ably backed up by the other bowlers, providing meager offerings to a Burnley batting line-up that featured a slow but defiant 24 from Johnston, who almost carried his bat.
The Ribble Valley total, however, proved a step too far.
The Burnley innings petered out as run pressure and tight bowling started the slow collapse from 70-4 to 84 all out.